Raspberry Pi projects for IT professionals

The Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized computer that can be used for multiple purposes in the enterprises and at home.

The single-board design is affordable and has been used to promote computer science in schools. Despite this and a strong consumer base, the applications for Raspberry Pi have become more advanced over the years beyond just education and is being used in industry too.

There are various ways the Raspberry Pi can be embedded to create huge value in the enterprise world. Such projects developed using Raspberry Pi may transform traditional businesses.

Here are some ways to use Raspberry Pi effectively in your business.

If you don't own one already, the Raspberry Pi can be purchased from Amazon for £32.

Read next: Raspberry Pi alternatives: 10 single-board computers for IT pros

Learn a new programming language
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Learn a new programming language

The initial purpose of the Raspberry Pi was to help people learn programming and computer science. From its early years, it was built on the Python programming language.

Python on Raspberry Piis actually what enables projects to be connected to the real world. There are now other programming languages available on the Raspberry Pi such as JavaScript, HTML5, C++ and more.

Each programming language can be used to build different projects.

With new programming languages now available, the Raspberry Pi is ideal for learning them.

Smart home assistant
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Smart home assistant

The Raspberry Pi can be used for several smart home features, from smart heating to remote CCTV the tool can be used to build and manage the smart home effectively.

The Hass.io operating system, which uses the open-source home automation – Home Assistant, is a good option to turn the Raspberry Pi into a smart home hub. It can be integrated with Google Home and Amazon Echo and can be installed easily with just a few hardware tools.

It is designed to observe, control and automate devices around your home to create an effective smart home hub.

If you like this, try these Instructables.com tutorials to integrate Google Home or Alexa with your Raspberry Pi.
https://www.instructables.com/id/Hands-Free-Google-Assistant-for-Raspberry-Pi/
https://www.instructables.com/id/Making-a-Homemade-Amazon-Alexa-Raspberry-Pi-Mobile/

As a network-wide ad blocker
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As a network-wide ad blocker

The Raspberry Pi can be used to block adverts on the router level, which means getting rid of ads across all devices as opposed to installing an ad blocker on each device individually.

To do this, you'll need to install Raspbian OS if you don't have it installed already - then install the open source Pi-hole, which boasts that it blocks over 100,000 ad serving domains .

Build an AI assistant
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Build an AI assistant

Matrix Voiceis a development board that bolts on to your Raspberry Pi so users can now build their own voice assistant. In other words, it's a kind of Alexa for Raspberry Pi. It includes eight microphones and an FPGBA to manage the algorithms and audio processing.

The product is a result of a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2017 and is available to buy now, either as the standard model for $55 (roughly £39) or the ESP32 version with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and microcontroller for $65 (£46).

Turn it into a Wi-Fi router
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Turn it into a Wi-Fi router

To turn the Raspberry Pi into a functioning router you'll need, a USB Wi-Fi adapter, an SD card with Raspbian OS and of course, the Raspberry Pi itself. You'll need to add some software to the Raspberry Pi, so install HostAPD and isc-dhcp-server and configure. The Raspberry Pi HQ have a detailed instruction manual here.

WhatsApp on your Raspberry Pi
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WhatsApp on your Raspberry Pi

Getting Whatsapp for your Raspberry Pi is relatively easy and remarkably useful. Firstly, you should make sure your Pi is running the latest version of Raspbian, then, by using a few lines from the Yowsup python library you'll have access to a WhatsApp client. Here's the code you'll need (taken from Instructionables.com):

Prepare the system with the necessary components to Yowsup

sudo apt-get install python-dateutil
sudo apt-get install python-setuptools
sudo apt-get install python-dev
sudo apt-get install libevent-dev
sudo apt-get install ncurses-dev

Download the library with the command

git clone git://github.com/tgalal/yowsup.git

Navigate to the folder

cd yowsup

Install the library with the command

sudo python setup.py install
Thermal printing
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Thermal printing

The Raspberry Pi can connect to a thermal printer (mini thermal printers are around £40) and the internet simply and print inkless images, meeting times, and notelets easily. Full starter kits can be found here.

Check your chip\'s temperature
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Check your chip's temperature

A cool Pi project promoted by Raspberry Pi itself is the Temperature Log.

In the Raspberry Pi's SoC is a temperature sensor. Make a command line tweak and this sensor can be used to measure the temperature of the SoC and the processor itself. It can provide information on how much heat the chip has generated during operation and also report on the temperature of the environment.

This project's aim is to create a simple shell script that can run automatically as you boot up your Raspberry Pi, take measurements from the temperature sensor at given intervals, and write them into log files that can be viewed later.

Raspberry Pi indoor weather station
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Raspberry Pi indoor weather station

This project has morphed over several versions, but it's now a semi-commercial product offered through Tindie.

The gist is that instead of a potentially unreliable ball of wires, this professionally done system is a snap-on board for the Raspberry Pi that measures indoor environmental quality and pushes the results to the cloud. Because it's open source, you could just as easily push the data to your corporate database. The device measures temperature, humidity, light, air pressure, noise pollution, and more.

Here's another great tutorial from Instructables.com

Raspberry Pi surveillance camera
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Raspberry Pi surveillance camera

There are lots of places that could use a surveillance camera, but it’s not often a high enough priority for you to purchase a commercial unit. But with a Raspberry Pi, camera, and a fake surveillance camera as your housing, you can make your own surveillance camera for far cheaper.

This project takes advantage of the fact that fake surveillance cameras are mostly empty space, giving you more than enough room for a Raspberry Pi; if distances are short, you could even us a passive POE injector (10/100 Ethernet only) so that you can power the whole thing with a single cable. And you can even add motion-detection and recording capabilities by using something like a Synology NAS.

Try this tutorial from Instructables.com.

Minecraft projects
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Minecraft projects

Raspberry Pi's own resources section is well worth some of your time, albeit that most of it is aimed at teaching new dogs new tricks, rather than enterprise level hacks. A couple of recent additions involve interaction with Minecraft in such a way as to make the real-world and the Pi world collide - they aren't of themselves IT-friendly, but with a little imagination they could be used to create internal apps and even functional hardware.One is the

One is the Raspberry Pi Minecraft Photobooth, in which you build a photobooth out of blocks in Minecraft, and then program it to take a picture of you (in real life) when you virtually walk into it. Or you can use the Python API to code a version of Whack A Mole within Minecraft. Gamification, anyone?

Raspberry Pi Stratum 1 NTP server
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Raspberry Pi Stratum 1 NTP server

This project is crucial for anyone performing directory-based authentication, given that servers don’t have very good clocks. Because of this, if your authentication load and latency spike, you run the risk of false negatives thanks to authentication timeouts. Synchronising both sides using an NTP server makes authentication timeouts a thing of the past.

(Note: This baby NTP server won’t be able to handle the load from a 1,000-seat enterprise; after all, its network interface is USB-based.)

More information here.

Raspberry Pi wall-mounted calendar
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Raspberry Pi wall-mounted calendar

This simple project is a great way to get familiar with the Raspberry Pi - and it’s extremely useful.

Find a spare HDMI-capable monitor, mount it to your meeting room wall, and you’ve got yourself a dynamically updating Google calendar display for everyone to see. The script is dead simple, and as long as your enterprise calendaring system supports a Web interface stacked with some variables, you’re in business.

Since the Raspberry Pi is HDMI, just add an inexpensive HDMI to VGA adapter so that you can recycle old VGA monitors instead of tossing them in the landfill.

More info on how to do it here.

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