Thursday, August 15, 2013

All Things Raspberry Pi

A coworker introduced me to the wonders of the Raspberry Pi, so I thought I would take a crack at it and see what I could do with it.

First, you may ask what a Raspberry Pi is: "The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It’s a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video." (faqs)  It can also be used for hardware hacking and home automation.

As I pondered the many options, I came up with 6 projects I would like to try and tackle (in no particular order).

Project #1 - Deep Freeze UPS Monitor
    The deep freezer tends to loose power (tripping the GFCI), and we don't know why.  Would like to monitor it with the Pi and send off a text/email notification on a power outage.

Project #2 - Internet Sprinkler Controller
    We tend to set our sprinkler system at the beginning of the season and forget about it.  Time to actually monitor usage, control through the internet, and maybe even disable after a rainstorm.

Project #3 - Wifi Remote Controlled Car
    Back in college we built, as a team, a rather large, but simple, roaming robot controlled by a micro-controller and wifi.  Let's see if I can reproduce that on a miniature scale.

Project #4 - Security System Monitor
    When we moved into our home, we found a disconnected, but still active security system.  As we walk by the sensors they still trigger, but there is no controller on the back end.  Let's see what the Pi can do for us.

Project #5 - Proximity Garage Door Opener
    As I am driving home from work, I would like the Pi to pick up my cell location, and when I am within a few hundred feet of home, have it automatically open the garage for me.

Project #6 - Cubicle Entry Early Warning System
    When I get focused on a project, it is very unnerving to have someone walk up behind you, stand there watching you, and then get your attention.  This early warning system would pop up a message on my screen, notifying me I should watch for company.

This, of course, will require learning how to connect various components, program the Pi, and use the GPIO pins.

Let the Pi adventure begin...

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