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Save yourself a trip to the body shop with this DIY rear-view camera

With the aid of a Raspberry Pi, you can add a proximity sensor for backing up to just about any car.

If there's one challenge mankind has been wrestling with for well over a century, it's how to parallel-park your car without backing up into another car or a parking meter. Once again, the intrepid Raspberry Pi computer comes to the rescue. Developer Jeremy Blythe designed a Raspberry Pi-based project that combines a cheap and effective parking camera along with a distance sensor in your vehicle.

Using a 2.2-inch LCD, a Microsoft Lifecam Cinema camera, a Sharp distance sensor, and an Adafruit Pi Cobbler breakout kit, this project is relatively inexpensive to assemble. As you back up, the sensor tells you how far you are from stationary objects and draws a circle on the screen that enlarges as you get closer.

If you're within 30cm (about 1 foot) of a stationary object, the Pi writes "STOP" in red letters on the screen in an attempt to save whatever you're about to bash with your car.

Following the lead of other Raspberry Pi project creators, Jeremy has posted the details on his blog (along with a little video for good measure) for the world to look at and ask questions. Once again, it's easy to see how Raspberry Pi lends itself brilliantly as an inexpensive solutions to small but challenging problems.

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