Imaginative Raspberry Pi Concepts Are Still Proliferating

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 10, 2014

As we've noted here many times, when it comes to the top open source stories of the past couple of years, it's clear that one of the biggest is the proliferation of tiny, inexpensive Linux-based computers at some of the smallest form factors ever seen. Surely, the diminutive, credit card-sized Raspberry Pi, priced at $25 and $35, is one of the most widely followed of these miniature systems. It's been implemented for use in home security systems, synthesizers and even in a supercomputer mashup using Lego pieces to bind the parts together, as seen in the photo here.

Now, there are some far more exotic implementations of the Raspberry Pi showing up.

In some of the more exotic new applications for Raspberry Pi, it's being used in music, robotics and security scenarios. In an update online from the Raspberry Pi team, user-created synthesizers leveraging the Pi platform are seen in a video series.  The team takes note of the synthesizer-heavy song Cars, by Gary Neuman, from the 1980s, and mentions tha it was recorded using only four synth tracks. "There’s far, far more functionality available to you with a Pi than there was with an 80s synth," the post adds.

InfoWorld also has an interesting collection of Rasberry Pi hacks aimed at IT users. It includes VOIP PBX systems, NTP servers, web controlled power strips and more, all driven by Pi devices.

Our favorite Rasberry Pi concept, though, remains the  quirky supercomputer from the University of Southampton that Professor Simon Cox and his team of researchers have lashed together. It's an actual supercomputer made of 64 credit card-sized Raspberry Pis using Lego pieces as the glue for the cluster.

Professor Cox said: “As soon as we were able to source sufficient Raspberry Pi computers we wanted to see if it was possible to link them together into a supercomputer. We installed and built all of the necessary software on the Pi starting from a standard Debian Wheezy system image and we have published a guide so you can build your own supercomputer.”

You can get the guide to making your own Raspberry Pi supercomputer here, and find more information on Cox's version here.

The team from Southampton claims it built its supercomputer for under $5,000. Did you ever come up with that when you used to play with Lego blocks? Here's a look at the lashup: