May 11, 2015 | By Alec

That the Raspberry Pi is a perfect addition to any maker’s arsenal hardly needs repeating here. We’ve already seen so many awesome 3D printed projects that rely on a Raspberry Pi to give that robot or cosplay accessory that wow-factor. But blogger and product anaylist Raymond Wong, from Mashable’s, explores a whole other field of cool Raspberry Pi applications: spy gear. By mounting a Raspbery Pi controlled camera onto a 3D printed bow tie, Raymond is almost ready to infiltrate the enemy’s headquarters. Almost.

As he explains, this project grew out of an age-old love for DIY projects and the revolutionary potential of the Raspberry Pi: ‘A simple Google search brings up thousands of cool Pi projects and hacks; people love the little $35 computer. To date, more than 5 million units have been sold since the Pi debuted three years ago. A handful of different models exist now, but the spirit remains the same: Go out and hack it into something awesome,’ he says. And he is absolutely right, of course. Awesome DIY electronics are just a Google search away nowadays. And since the release of the Raspberyy 2 (with its 900MHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM and four USB 2.0 ports) we are running out of excuses not to build something.

Being a dedicated tinkerer himself, Raymond just had to test the Pi 2 for himself. After all, it’s almost a fully functioning PC once you load an operating system onto a memory card. ‘It's underpowered and you can't really juggle more than a few tabs in a web browser — but it all works, as long as you're willing to wait a few seconds longer for things to load,’ Raymond writes. ‘[So] I set out to do something fun with the Pi 2.’

Images: Luke Leonard/Mashable

After spending some time looking for a project, he finally settled on a 3D printed spy camera bow tie. ‘It's techie, geeky and a conversation starter. Win, win, win,’ he says. And it’s also remarkably easy to build, and largely revolves around installing everything on the Pi 2. Of course, you’ll need quite a lot of electronics to complete the build: a portable battery pack, microSD card with SD card adapter, Wi-Fi adapter, Ethernet cable, Micro USB cable and Raspberry Pi camera module. Now installing everything can be a bit tricky if you’ve never worked with a Pi before, so follow of the steps in the video below to ensure you get it right.

But after that, the sky is the limit. You can indeed complete your geeky outfit with this funny tie, though you can also mount this small camera on just about any 3D printed creation you have laying around. Spying on others was never easier.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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