2 weeks ago

Raspberry Pi summer projects part 3

Get close to nature, pimp your ride, and see the world differently with these ten great outdoor projects!

Supersize your bike computer

David Schneider replaced the tiny computer on his bike with a Kindle Touch. Reed switches on the wheel and chain ring are used to measure the speed and cadence. The Kindle browser displays the stats, which a GPS-equipped Pi in the saddlebag uploads to a webpage.

A very special bike computer

Build a minibeast habitat

Invite snails or your favourite insects to move into a new home. Computing teacher Allen Heard and his son Lincoln made a Minecraft-themed minibeast habitat from a cereal box. A webcam connected to a Raspberry Pi streams video to the iCamViewer iOS app.

A habitat for miniature beasties

Get the best harvest

Whether you’re growing flowers or veg, Devon Bray’s PiPlanter project can help. It automates watering, based on a schedule or soil moisture levels. It also monitors light and temperature, and creates a time-lapse video. Relax on holiday, knowing the plants are cared for, and watch their progress on Twitter.

It doesn’t look like much but it works very well

Build a wearable camera

With these glasses, you can capture everything you see, automatically taking a photo every 30 seconds. A Raspberry Pi Zero inside the box controls a Camera Module, and an optional Blinkt! module flashes when a shot is taken. Cherry-pick your best shots, or turn them all into a film.

Feel like a secret agent

Fly a kite

Want a cheaper way to take aerial photos? Richard Hayler sent a Raspberry Pi up on a kite. He used the Xtrinsic Sensor Board to measure altitude, the Camera Module to take photos, and mapknitter.org to combine the aerial shots. At maximum resolution with image stabilisation, the photos look great.

Up to the highest heights

Watch the wildlife

Photograph passing squirrels, woodpeckers, and partridges with the Naturebytes Wildlife Camera Kit (see our review in issue 48). It uses a movement sensor to snap pictures of passing birds and animals, and has a green case so it blends in with your foliage.

This box is camouflaged well here

Broadcast Big Brother for birds

Discover the secret life of birds, with this project to add an infrared camera to a bird box. When the blue tits move in, the Pi NoIR Camera Module can video them in black and white, by the light of an infrared LED. You can then stream your footage to YouTube.

Who will get voted out this week?

Take your Pi anywhere

The Zero LiPo device (see our review in issue 51) enables you to safely power your Raspberry Pi from a battery pack (sold separately). Despite the name, it works with the Raspberry Pi 3, 2, B+, A+, Zero, and Zero W. What will you make with a portable Pi?

Portable power for any situation

Make spinning flowers

If the weather forces you into the great indoors, you can bring nature inside by making your own spinning flowers. Use the Explorer HAT with a motor and mount your own flower design on the wheel. The code is in Python, and this makes a great first motor project.

It’s like the flowers in Sonic

Motorise your skateboard

Put some zip into your trips around town with an electric skateboard. YouTuber TheRaspberryPiGuy used a Raspberry Pi Zero to control an Alien Power System motor, and a Wii Remote to control the speed and acceleration over Bluetooth. He hit speeds as fast as 30 km/h, and he says the range is at least 10 km.

The raddest man in town