The Raspberry Pi. Love it, hate it, but you’ll have a hard time denying the fact that adding an EUR35 1GHz embedded machine to the arsenal of the average hobbyist is a good thing.
Recently, I got one of the Pi’s myself exactly because of that reason: it’s always useful to expand your toolset with something powerful and cheap. I didn’t get it for a specific reason other than the fact I may have to use it somewhere in the future and it would be fun to play with it.
To make a long story short: Of course I couldn’t just be satisfied by just hooking it up to a TV and installing RaspBMC and playing some movies… so I ended up spending quit a lot more time than I originally envisioned. The end result does show it, though, I ended up with what may be the smallest MAME-powered arcade cabinet in the world:
This is the story of how I got there. If you want to duplicate any step I did, feel free: the designs and source code is all downloadable.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.