You’re certainly with how the Raspberry Pi is a great board that can do much of the work of an actual computer without the bulk or expense. What about the other end of the spectrum — how does the Pi perform as a hardware controller? As with any microcontroller solution, if you want your Raspberry Pi to control more than very low current levels you need extra hardware. The Samur Raspberry Pi Expansion MainBoard takes on this challenge, greatly extending the abilities of the Pi’s expansion header.
It features 15 relays rated for 250VAC and 10A or the same 10A current flow at 30VDC. The obvious application would be turning on and off appliances or lighting in a home automation setting, and with a Raspberry Pi (not included) powering it, your control options are virtually unlimited.
If that doesn’t present enough control options, the board also features 8 digital inputs for AC power (currently listed at only 250VAC, however a 120VAC option will be added) along with 6 inputs for 12 VDC. It also has accommodation for I2C, 1Wire, and an NRF24L01+ module for wireless communication.
While what’s shown here is quite capable, if you just need relays for your Pi to handle more power, you might also check out the Mega-IO Raspberry Pi Expansion Card featured earlier this year.