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