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15 Best Raspberry Pi Zero Projects (2016)

smart environment monitor

The quickly growing reputation of single board computer systems has ushered in a totally new period of private computing. Whether or not you’re a budding programmer, or a hobbyist geek with a penchant for tinkering and DIY tech tasks, a single board pc is among the greatest issues you will get for your self. And although there are lots of of them to select from, the Raspberry Pi collection of single board PCs stays the preferred among the many single board computer systems.

For those who’re wanting ahead to purchasing your first Raspberry Pi, the ridiculously low cost Raspberry Pi Zero is definitely the only option. Retailing for a paltry $5, it comes with a 1 GHz single core CPU, alongside with 512 MB RAM. In reality, likelihood is actually excessive that you simply’ve already obtained one for your self. However you could be questioning, simply what superb stuff are you able to do with this credit-card sized factor?

The reply is, so much, as there are quite a few cool Raspberry Pi Zero tasks you can get began with. Can’t wait to know extra? Begin studying!

Best Raspberry Pi Zero tasks

1. Pi Zero Powered AirPlay Speaker

Apple’s AirPlay protocol gives a nifty little means of wirelessly streaming all types of media (audio, video, and photographs) from iOS units to different devices which are AirPlay suitable. So for those who’ve received an iPhone or an iPad, how about constructing a Raspberry Pi Zero powered AirPlay speaker for having fun with your music? Nevertheless, for this challenge, you’ll want some additional peripherals, such because the pHAT DAC audio board, in addition to a speaker and Wi-Fi dongle, because the Pi Zero lacks wi-fi connectivity. On the software program aspect, nothing else than the Shairport AirTunes emulator and the Raspbian distro is required.

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2. Pi Zero Web Related Info Show

Various our every day time is spent gazing at our devices’ shows, checking several types of info. And when you’ve acquired a Raspberry Pi Zero, you’ll be able to create your very personal programmable info show, and use it to point out info like time/date, climate circumstances, and social media notifications. This venture additionally requires some additional stuff, together with the Adafruit 128×64 OLED show, and two push buttons, which will probably be used for biking between the info that’s proven on the show. A bit of endurance, and your mini info console can be up and operating very quickly.

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three. Pi Zero Retro Gaming System

Xbox and PlayStation may rule in the present day’s gaming world, however they’re nowhere as enjoyable because the retro gaming consoles (e.g. SNES) of the older days. So if the gamer in you is feeling nostalgic, you need to use the Raspberry Pi Zero to create a gaming system that may play every little thing that you can play on a Sega Genesis or an Amiga. Along with a basic previous CRT TV, you’ll additionally want to put in the RetroPie gaming console emulator on the Pi Zero. What’s extra, the superior people behind this venture have confirmed that the gaming system works completely with the Xbox 360 controllers. Isn’t that nice?

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four. A Raspberry Pi Zero Drone

Their utilization (in each civilian and army environments) may nonetheless be a controversial situation, however there’s little doubting the truth that drones can show to be extraordinarily helpful, and even enjoyable. And what higher approach to make use of your Raspberry Pi Zero than to make it the driving pressure behind a sensible drone? Aside from a drone and the Raspberry Pi Zero (clearly), this undertaking requires a PXFMini autopilot board, and a particular Linux OS picture. As soon as finished, the autopilot board can create its personal Wi-Fi utilizing a USB dongle, and use a standard recreation path to regulate the drone by way of a floor management station. Not simply that, you may as well use the Robotic Working System to visualise the flight mode and state of the drone.

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5. Raspberry Pi Zero USB Hub

Whereas the compact type issue makes it immediately handy, it additionally signifies that the Zero has much less connectivity choices, as in comparison with the Pi 2 and Pi three. Notably, the Raspberry Pi Zero has just one USB slot, which makes connecting peripherals like keyboards and Wi-Fi dongles a chore. However because of this little challenge, you possibly can simply mix a 4 port USB hub with the Pi Zero. Though it’s fairly a primary do-it-yourself challenge, it might are available actually useful when you intend to interface the Raspberry Pi Zero with a number of peripherals.

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6. Sensible Surroundings Monitor

smart environment monitor

If you take care of the setting (and for our planet), that is one venture you’ll love. Its primary concept is to make use of the Raspberry Pi Zero to energy a tool that may monitor a number of parameters like temperature, humidity ranges, atmospheric strain and so forth., and ship the info to the AWS IoT platform for processing and evaluation. This may be extraordinarily helpful for duties like discovering out much less/extra polluted areas in a metropolis at a given time, or triggering alarms in case the air pollution reaches a dangerous degree. Along with a little bit of software program configuration, you’ll additionally want a bunch of sensors for the undertaking, resembling the Temperature and Humidity Sensor. From area, to the measurement interval, the whole lot may be configured.

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7. Audio Streamer

audio streamer

Units such because the Google Chromecast Audio are superior for having fun with streaming music over Wi-Fi. However why hassle buying one, when you’ll be able to flip a Raspberry Pi Zero into your very personal audiophile grade music streamer. Yep, it’s very a lot attainable. For this, you’ll want the PlainDAC I2S module. And when you’re finished, merely flash an audio-focused Linux distro (e.g. RaspyFi and Pi MusicBox), join a Wi-Fi dongle together with an amplifier, and also you’re able to roll.

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eight. Put an Ethernet on Raspberry Pi Zero

pi ethernet

Because of its compact type issue and low worth, there are numerous essential ports that the Raspberry Pi Zero doesn’t have, resembling an Ethernet port. However that isn’t an issue, as you possibly can simply add wired Web connectivity to the Raspberry Pi Zero. For this challenge, you’ll want the PCB ENC28J60 Ethernet Module for Arduino. Additionally, it’s value noting that the Web speeds will probably be fairly much less, however nonetheless ok for common objective IoT utilization.

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9. Xbox Controller Mod

xbox mod

We’ve already mentioned (see third level) how you should use Raspberry Pi Zero to make a CRT TV right into a retro gaming system. However what in case you might match a whole Raspberry Pi Zero inside an unique Xbox controller? That’s proper, you possibly can, because of this superb quirky challenge. Among the many stuff that you simply’ll want to do that, is a mini HDMI cable/adapter and a USB OTG cable. When the whole lot is completed, you simply should flash the pre-built RetroPie picture having the required emulators, config information and so forth., to the MicroSD card. So what’s the wait? Get gaming.

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10. MatchBot Line Following Robotic

One of many extra “fun” tasks using the Raspberry Pi Zero, the MatchBot is a line following robotic with proximity sensing capabilities. It’s constructed within the type of a two-wheeled toy, with all the things stuffed inside a matchbox (sure, you learn that proper!). The undertaking requires fairly some issues, resembling a buck converter, and motors for powering the wheels. The MatchBot can carry out a number of actions, based mostly upon the way you work together with the proximity sensor.

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11. Tempus Fugit Raspberry Pi Zero WordClock


One other uniquely spectacular undertaking based mostly upon the Raspberry Pi Zero, the Tempus Fugit WordClock makes use of an eight×eight letter matrix to spell out the present time. As well as, the accuracy of the time is maintained by a real-time clock chip, powered by an on-board battery. It won’t appear a lot, however the small challenge has been efficiently funded on Kickstarter, and is already on the working prototype stage. The clock will even are available Dutch and Latin language variants.

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12. Raspberry Pi Zero Powered Pirate Radio

For those who’ve ever needed to be a Radio Jockey, that is the time for it. The Pirate Radio undertaking permits you to flip Raspberry Pi Zero into a strong FM transmitter. You’ll want a few issues for this, resembling an antenna, and a battery pack. The usual Raspbian Linux picture works completely for this. You should use this to transmit all types of audio information (e.g. MP3, FLAC, WMA) over your pirate radio.

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13. NES Controller Mod

nes controller

The basic Xbox controller isn’t the one console controller that may home the Pi Zero. For those who’re feeling some extra retro-gaming nostalgia, you possibly can put the Raspberry Pi Zero inside an NES controller. As you may be figuring out by now, this additionally includes flashing the RetroPie pre-built picture on to the MicroSD card you’ll be utilizing with the Raspberry Pi Zero. After that, you’ll additionally have to setup further elements, reminiscent of HDMI monitor, and Wi-Fi dongle.

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14. Powering Raspberry Pi From an AA Battery Pack

battery aa pi zero

As moveable because the Raspberry Pi Zero is, it nonetheless wants an influence supply to run. Nevertheless it’s not that a lot of an issue, as you possibly can simply use a daily AA battery pack to energy the Raspberry Pi Zero. Like all mods, this enjoyable little challenge may also require some additional issues, resembling a Voltage Booster Module, and a Switched Battery Field. This will are available extraordinarily useful once you need to energy up the Raspberry Pi Zero on the go.

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15. Raspberry Pi Zero Wifi adapter and Home windows Backup Server (In Progress)

pi zero wifi

If you wish to add Wi-Fi connectivity to the Raspberry Pi Zero, your solely selection is to make use of a USB Wi-Fi dongle. However it doesn’t should be like that. This cool little tasks permits you to add Wi-Fi performance to the Raspberry Pi Zero, with out utilizing USB. You’ll want the ESP8266 wi-fi module for this. As soon as Wi-fi performance is added to the Raspberry Pi Zero, it may possibly function an ultra-minimal IoT pc. Isn’t that tremendous?

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SEE ALSO: 17 Cool Raspberry Pi 2 Projects

Make the Raspberry Pi Zero even higher

The Raspberry Pi Zero presents a particularly thrilling way forward for hobbyist computing. And given the a great deal of cool issues that you are able to do with this $5 pc, it’s sure to get solely higher. So check out these tasks in your Raspberry Pi Zero, and in case you’ve received a few of your personal, don’t overlook to say within the feedback under.

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