Daniel Chote (a New Zealander now living in the USA) has built a walkie talkie for his kids out of a Raspberry Pi, some small electronic parts and a 3D case. When you press the button, you can use the internal USB speakerphone to talk to other participants. The software backend is Mumble which means you could use your “talkiepi” to talk to anyone running a Mumble client – even a PC, Mac or other Linux machine. He has extensively documented his build here and has written an install guide here. It’s a great project from someone who cares as much about what the device looks like as how it works!
Daniel Chote‘s son was learning about stars and astronomy in day-care, but was always in bed before it got dark. So, Daniel decided to use a Raspberry Pi to create a planetarium night-light! It involves a lot of tinkering and software installation to get just right, but he has written it all up in a friendly manner so you can get the result you want. The software, by the way, is Stellarium. Read part 1 of how to do it yourself here.
DusteD had a relative who became unable to use their CD player due to old age. So, he came up with a Raspberry Pi solution. He set the Pi up to be ‘always on’ and then ripped music to it. He then programmed RFID cards to activate particular music depending on which card you used. He even made proper labels and stuck them to the cards. It’s pretty low-tech, but the aim was ease-of-use and he’s certainly accomplished that! Read how he did it over on his website
The General Instrument AY-3-8910 is a sound chip that appeared in old home computers and game consoles. Vince Weaver has taken the chip and hooked it up to a Raspberry Pi and then added bar graphs and a matrix display for graphic feedback. He has worked out how to make the chip do most of the work, just as in days of olde and the result is chiptune heaven. Read how he did it here and see an example of playback below.