The Raspberry Pi, which began as a DIY hobbyist platform, is shaking up the Internet of Things. If you have heard of the Raspberry Pi, you already know that it is basically a tiny, incredibly cheap personal computer that skilled developers can use to handle a number of tasks in an economic fashion. This technology has proven to be incredibly useful for IoT developers in particular. You can expect to see a variety of Raspberry Pi uses as more developers begin experimenting with this innovative piece of equipment.
Basics of the Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi Zero model is a computer the size of a credit card that you can buy for as little as $5. This version includes a Broadcom BCM2835 application processor, a 1GHz ARM11 core and 512MB of SDRAM. You connect to it through the micro-SD card slot, mini-HDMI socket for video, and micro-USB.
The free operating system for the Raspberry Pi is called Raspbian and is based on the Debian operating system.
The Raspberry Pi 3 is the latest generation and is a more sophisticated unit that includes Bluetooth and 802.11n Wireless LAN. A 3.5mm jack for audio and composite video along with camera and display interfaces makes it a small but highly versatile package that you’ll enjoy experimenting with.
Examples of Raspberry Pi Uses
Now is a good time to become acquainted with Raspberry Pi and its potential for use in IoT projects. When developing an innovative use for this device, you will need to come up with a software design solution that addresses your end-user requirements. You can accomplish this more easily when you have a better sense of the Raspberry Pi capabilities being demonstrated out in the field now.
Not all of these examples have to do with the Internet of Things, but they should inspire you as you think about your own IoT project.
Proxy Router for the TOR Network
People interested in avoiding being monitored when on the Internet need a quick and easy way to go online via TOR, a browser that provides browsing anonymity. The Raspberry Pi can be outfitted as a TOR proxy, giving you a portable solution for evading snoops while on the go.
Garage Door Opener Controlled by iPhone
An app on the iPhone lets you control a Raspberry Pi-connected garage door opener so you can use Wi-Fi to open and close your door when you come home. You can even integrate Siri, enabling you to use voice commands alone to summon the door open.
Given its small size, developers building their own robots are seizing on the Raspberry Pi to use as the onboard brain. This means they do not have to tether their robots to a cable connected to the laboratory PC, giving more freedom of movement.
Internet-connected Pregnancy Test
Believe it or not, a connected devices maker named Eric Tsai actually constructed an IoT pregnancy test using Raspberry Pi, according to a recent post at Raspberry Pi. This Bluetooth device sends the test results from the digital testing unit along with a message via Twitter about whether the user is pregnant or not. This project, while done tongue-in-cheek, underscores the versatility of Raspberry Pi and the creative power it can unleash in developers.
If your organization is interested in Raspberry Pi development for a new IoT project but you have limited experience or knowledge of embedded systems programming, the prudent thing to do is hire a team of third-party developers with plenty of experience in this space. For more information about programming Raspberry Pi or to set up a consulting appointment with our embedded software development team, please contact us.