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Raspberry Pi Supercomputer
When Raspberry Pi co-creator Eben Upton helped come up with the idea of an inexpensive Linux-powered single board computer (SBC), he honestly thought, "We would sell about 1,000, maybe 10,000 in our wildest dreams. We thought we would make a small number and give them out to people who might want to come and read computer science at Cambridge." He was wrong.
The maker community fell in love with the idea of the Raspberry Pi and by the time the Raspberry Pi Model B first appeared, the initial run gone in hours with 100,000 units sold in the first day. Two years after it first went to market, more than 2.5 million Raspberry Pi SBCs have sold. Not bad for a computer powered by a 700MHz ARM11 chip, 512MBs of RAM, and requires an SD or MMC memory card for storage.
That's only the tip of the iceberg. There's far more you can with Raspberry Pi SBCs than use them to duplicate the functionality of other kinds of computers. Here's my pick of projects I've found especially interesting.
RaspBerry Pi Robot
Just look at that cute "face!"
It's not Wall-E, but this cute little Raspberry robot project is perfect for anyone who wants to start exploring the world of robotics.
There are many other nifty Raspberry Pi robotic projects such as this robot arm (pages 9 to 11) and a way to put that robot arm on its own mini-tank (pages 4 to 7). Or, you can also retrofit an R2D2 toy to work with Raspberry PI,
Raspberry Pi Home Automation
Sure the Internet of Things is bringing us smarthomes with a variety of devices from companies such as Google's latest acquisition Nest. Or, you could do it yourself (DIY)! If a DIY approach to home automation sounds good to you, you can use a Raspberry Pi to run your home with Arduino boards to monitor and control your electronics.
There's also a twinned pair of commercial projects called Pi-Face and Gertboard that can help you build the Raspberry Pi home automation system of your dreams.