Raspberry Pi Day!

Posted on March 15, 2016, midnight

by Jordan Cook

This week we are talking about Raspberry Pi's! What are they, and more importantly, what can we do with them?


The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. It’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games.

What’s more, the Raspberry Pi  has the ability to interact with the outside world, and has been used in a wide array of digital maker projects, from music machines and parent detectors to weather stations and tweeting birdhouses with infra-red cameras. We want to see the Raspberry Pi being used by kids all over the world to learn to program and understand how computers work.

Some of the major highlights to focus on that a Raspberry Pi offers:

  • It is low cost (~$30) and most if not all the software you can use with it is open source.
  • It is low power. It runs on a phone cable requiring only 5V. It makes a great server!
  • It is very versatile. It can connect to a bread board and run a number of different operating systems and utilize several programming languages.


Now on to projects. What are some of the fun things you can do with a Pi?

  1. A multiple-console emulator


The project EmulationStation creates a graphical and themeable emulator front-end that allows you to access all your favorite games in one place, even without a keyboard!

There is great documentation on how to manually set EmulationStation up on a Raspberry Pi found here: http://emulationstation.org/gettingstarted.html#install_rpi_standalone.

They also have provided a pre-built image as well: http://emulationstation.org/gettingstarted.html#install_rpi_retropie

    2. Voice-Controlled AI

Jasper is an open source platform for developing always-on, voice-controlled applications. Use your voice to ask for information, update social networks, control your home, and more. Jasper is always on, always listening for commands, and you can speak from meters away. Build it yourself with off-the-shelf hardware, and use our documentation to write your own modules.

Here is their software installation guide for the project: http://jasperproject.github.io/documentation/installation/

    3. Security Camera Network

This is a cost effective way of getting a security camera up and running that you can view over the network and also have it so it is motion activated!

Walkthrough: http://pimylifeup.com/raspberry-pi-security-camera/

Pre-Compiled Image: https://github.com/ccrisan/motioneyeos/releases

Useful Links:

Raspberry Pi Store - https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/

SD Card Tool - https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/

Project Ideas - http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-Projects/