Since it’s launch in 2012, the Raspberry Pi has taken the world by storm.
It’s safe to say that it’s ignited a generation of tinkerers both young and old. The core reason for this can be attributed to its low cost, small size, and great “hackability”.
However, we’re not here to talk about the virtues of the Raspberry Pi.
Instead, we’re here to present you with the best Raspberry Pi projects available online.
We’ve chosen a wide range of projects from useful to entertaining, easy to hard, and everything in between. If you’re looking for a cool project to build or just some inspiration then just scroll down and you’ll find plenty. (The projects are in no specific order as we believe that ranking a list like this could only be done subjectively, and everyone has their own tastes and preferences)
High Altitude Ballooning
Dave Akerman‘s project shows how you can use a Raspberry Pi for high altitude ballooning. It has a bunch of sensors to monitor air conditions, GPS to track it, and a camera to take some great photographs. It’s a relatively easy project (bar some airspace restrictions) and should be plenty of fun for anyone.
This is definitely one of the more complicated but more amazing projects out there. Mario Lukas first created his proof of concept product 5 years ago and has now created a full product from it called Fabscan. You can either build it yourself completely or purchase the parts all together. It’s not the easiest project but it’s definitely amazing and especially useful if you’re into 3D modeling.
Somewhat similar to the 3D scanner, students at Utah State University created a 3D mapper using the Raspberry Pi. It allows you to completely map the surrounding area, and if improved it could have some fantastic applications. Unfortunately, the full plans aren’t available right now but we hope this will change.
Home NAS System
As this list shows, there are plenty of projects for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts to get stuck into. The NASpi by Hackmypi.com isn’t a creative project but it’s a great foundation project. Using a Raspberry Pi as a NAS allows you to have a central data storage in your home, and then take things further and create an entertainment system.
There are many hidden PC projects available online from live edge tables to hidden in the wall. However, Fredrick Vandenbosch’s futuristic desk definitely is one to use for inspiration. It’s like something out of Tron and should provide inspiration for anyone looking to do a hidden PC project. All it’s missing is a projected laser keyboard.
Kids Play Wall
If you have any children, you’ve probably created a play wall for them with switches, chains, wires, and random bits and bobs. BuildXYZ took it a step further and created a multimedia wall for his children. Not only does it look super cool, but it’s also something that my kids would enjoy too.
Bringing Back Retro
Steampunk and the combination of retro and modern are in style right now. Don’t get me wrong, I lust over carbon fiber beauties daily but there’s something about the woods and metals of classic items that you just don’t get these days. Joseph Hazelwood created a fantastic installation using the Raspberry Pi and a group of classic TVs. It’s not an everyday project but I could definitely imagine having one in my living room if it was considerably bigger.
Clodagh O Mahony designed a smart dress for her thesis project. The dress uses touch sensors and fiber optic lights to light up when touched. This is a very creative use of Raspberry Pi, we just wish there was a dance video truly showcasing its potential.
As you probably guessed from the name, this uses a Raspberry Pi camera module. Henry from Raspberry Pi Tutorials put his Pi Zero to good use by creating an infrared night vision camera trap. He’s combined it in a nice little package for that additional twist. If you’re looking to create a hidden CCTV at home like in “The Accountant”.
Richards tutorial is pretty simple yet a great idea. Many PC games don’t have the advantage of playing on a large TV screen like console gamers. However, with this project, you’re able to stream your steam games using a Raspberry Pi. Therefore you can have your computer doing all the processing work in your office (or wherever) and attach the Pi to your TV screen and do all the gaming there.
The piPact by Beaver Works at MIT is a highly relevant project right now. The aim of the project is to use a Raspberry Pi and Bluetooth technologies for proximity sensing and movement tracking. In short, its aim is to create a contact tracking app. While it’s still at the project phase, we’re looking forward to seeing the results of this idea.
Dominik Jašek & Ondřej Sláma combined their thesis projects to create an AirHockey robot. It uses a camera module, an RPi and an Ardunio so that you can play AirHockey against yourself. It’s a fantastic project with a great combination of elements and we wish the boys the best of luck in the future.
One of the most popular projects that have come from RPis are Smart Mirrors. These mirrors use a 2 way glass and a screen to create an interactive mirror with a multitude of applications. The Magic Mirror is a fantastic open-source modular smart mirror platform. It will provide you with plenty of ideas and functionality that you can build in.
John from Zarcade loves the Sega Game Gear. Unfortunately, he was disappointed by the fact that there aren’t many upgrades or hacks for it. So he created his own using a Raspberry Pi 3. The RPi Game Gear uses the Retropie software that allows you to run any classic games on this great little handheld.
Many raspberry pi projects are for entertainment. However, another huge segment of the market is home automation. In this project, Matthew details how you can use a Raspberry Pi for Aquaponics – the art of clever watering. If you’re tired of having to water your pants constantly then this project could be perfect for you too. While Matthew’s is pretty large with some creativity you could design a beautiful and simple one for your bedroom window too.
Very Slow Movie Player
Tom has created an extremely imaginative project. His slow movie player does exactly what it says. It plays movies extremely slowly (a frame per 2 minutes), and in black and white. Most movies would take around 3 months to watch on this. The project is fairly straightforward to do and it’s a fantastic way to explore the visuals of great movies.
balenaSound is a simple yet extremely useful project. It allows you to give new life to your old speakers. You simply connect your speakers via the Aux cable to your Raspberry Pi, create the project and then you can play music via Bluetooth, AirPlay, or Spotify stream.
RetroPi is a fan favorite Raspberry Pi project. If you own a RPi, chances are you’ve installed RetroPi on at some point or another. It allows you to use a multitude of controllers to play classic games using your RPi. However, many modders take it a lot further and build entire retro gaming arcade machines.
If you’re heading to Chernobyl in the near future, or just like experimenting then creating a Geiger counter could be on the top of your list. This project is relatively easy and you could have plenty of fun listening to the classic tak-tak-tak noise that it makes. You can even set it off using household items such as a smoke detector.
This Intercom Assistant by MisterM is a work of art and ingenuity. In short, it’s a Google Home device disguised to look like a classic wall mounted intercom. Once you’ve built it, what you want to use it for is completely up to you – you’ll be able to automate your home in any way you’d like.
The Brachio Graph by Daniele Procida is a lot more exciting than it sounds. It uses a Raspberry Pi 4 and some additional parts to create a plotting machine. Input an image, give it some settings and it will plot your image for you.
The Pi Painter is another drawing project using the Raspberry Pi. While it’s more expensive than the Brachio Graph, it’s also more exciting. Using a multicolored light bar and timelapse photography you’re able to paint an image in the dark. Whether you’d like to draw a logo or a full-on movie scene the limitations are only up to you.
This project allows you to turn your Raspberry Pi model zero into a timelapse camera. It uses a Pi camera to be able to create a timelapse video. It’s a relatively easy but useful project to do using your Raspberry Pi Zero.
What is a Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python.
Which is the best Raspberry Pi to buy?
Most people will choose the Raspberry Pi Model 4 as it’s the most powerful, or the Raspberry Pi Zero W as it’s the smallest and has wireless connectivity by default. The prices are all approximately the same, so it really just depends on what you’d like to build with your Raspberry Pi.
What projects can you do with a raspberry pi?
In this article, we’ve shown you a huge range of Raspberry Pi projects that you can do. However, there are thousands of projects out there and creativity is your limit.
So there you have it, the most interesting Raspberry Pi projects that you can build and have fun with.