So far I've been using my RasPi for virtual applications such as hosting my own cloud services. But the Pi can do much more and I've been thinking about using one to control something in the real world beyond my music streaming setup with Squeezeplug. Interfacing with the real world requires inputs and outputs, of which the Pi has plenty. Driving motors and reading sensor input requires some special hardware though and there are a couple of add-on boards available for the purpose. Thanks to a tip of a friend I just found the add-on I really want to have for that purpose:
The BrickPi: LEGO® Bricks with a Raspberry Pi Brain
The BrickPi is a board and a casing for the Pi to integrate into Lego Mindstorms. I can already imagine building a couple of robots to do some fun stuff, like a robot on wheels with a web cam on top that I can send through my house to see what's going on when I am not at home. No problem with a Wi-Fi enabled Raspi on the robot that controls the wheels. Incidentally, the Raspberry foundation has just announced the availability of a small camera add-on module. Ultimately, though, what I have in mind with it is to give it to my nephews and nice as a computing and construction learning tool.
Note that the BrickPi is not a finished product yet, it's a kickstarter project and in case the people behind the project don't deliver your money's gone. Well, they have my 55 dollars now. With 648 backers at the time of writing, $37.600 in funding and a company behind the project that has been working on similar products before I think chances are quite high that they deliver on their promise.
The delivery date is foreseen for August. Time enough to dream of further things to do with it for myself and how to pitch it to my nephews and nice as a Christmas present.