-3

I have completely no idea what they do, except for the part that they can be used to control LEDs and then the Pi camera

Are there any practical/simple uses for it?

6

Where to start? For one thing the GP in GPIO stands for General Purpose... and that is exactly what they're for.

Just a few examples what to connect to them:

  • a display or touchscreen
  • a soundcard (e.g. HiFiBerry)
  • some relays to control high power ciruits (such as lightbulbs, fans, home appliances, ...)
  • servo motor drivers (to run your robot or your window shades)
  • ...

You should really look into a few issues of the MagPi to get a feeling what is possible.

1

Wikipedia: General Purpose Input/Output

Raspberry Pi: DOCUMENTATION > USAGE > GPIO > AN INTRODUCTION TO GPIO AND PHYSICAL COMPUTING ON THE RASPBERRY PI

0

They are digital inputs and outputs: you can turn them High (3.3V) or LOW (0V).

There is also the option of communicating with other devices through the GPIO with serial, spi and i2c.

To control motors for example you can also output a pwm signal

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