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Best Raspberry Pi Projects

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

There's no single-board computer on the market today nearly as beloved as the Raspberry Pi. The Pi community is a tight-knit group, eager to share their work (and often source code) with the world. Raspberry Pi projects show us what we're capable of and just how ingenuitive we can be.

Every weekday, we like to showcase the latest Pi news and original projects from the community. Raspberry Pi fans are incredibly persistent and their hours of hard work show in every project we feature. Today, we're taking a look at our favorite Raspberry Pi projects of the month. These projects really impressed our team, and we aren't letting them slip by unnoticed.

Whether you're looking for project ideas or just exploring the creative endeavors of the Pi community, this list is May’s cream of the crop.

Raspberry Pi PC Hardware Stats Monitor 

(Image credit: Debayan Sutradhar)

Debayan Sutradhar is an up-and-coming developer with a special touch when it comes to Pi projects. Earlier this month, we featured his Raspberry Pi hardware monitoring project. It's a seriously useful tool for any PC enthusiast.

The Raspberry Pi receives hardware status information from your PC and displays it on a monitor for real-time updates. It shows things like RAM usage, CPU temperature and GPU performance. Sutradhar used a Raspberry Pi 3 B when creating his project, but assures that the project will work with other models—like the Pi Zero—as well.

Why we love it: This Raspberry Pi project is incredibly useful for PC lovers. The user interface looks good, the output is reliable and the project is easy to set up for pros and beginners alike. 

Linux Raspbian XP Professional 

(Image credit: Pi Lab)

The Linux Raspbian XP Professional release is essentially an overlay for Raspbian designed to resemble Windows XP. It was created by a team of developers known as Pi Lab on YouTube.

It has several features that call back to the old-school OS such as a usable a Start Menu and windows with the classic bubbly XP design. The developers even included Libre Office instead of Microsoft Office.

Why we love it: Linux Raspbian XP Professional packs a serious nostalgia factor. It reminds us of old applications that linger in the void of unsupported software. This project brings back the look and feel we used to experience—back when XP was top-of-the-line.

Raspberry Pi DSLR Interface: Black Box 

(Image credit: Luis Salha)

This creative Pi project was developed by photographer Luis Salha. Salha was in serious need of a way to control his DSLR camera remotely and preferably via smartphone.

To tackle the problem, he used a Raspberry Pi to create a project dubbed Black Box. Using the Pi's built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, Black Box can communicate with and control the DSLR. You can capture images, record video and adjust specific hardware settings.

Why we love it: This project calls out the creative. It's versatile when it comes to controlling DSLR cameras and even proves use in a professional setting. 

HIIT Pi: The Raspberry Pi Personal Trainer 

(Image credit: James Wong)

This Raspberry Pi fitness project, known as HIIT Pi, is guaranteed to keep you moving! Designed by James Wong, it uses a camera and image recognition software on the Raspberry Pi to monitor the accuracy of your workout.

The Pi tracks your movements before checking them against a database of exercises to grade your performance. The feedback is reported in real-time, using TensorFlow Lite machine learning technology to make assessments.

Why we love it: This project is an excellent way to work both your brain and your body! With many of us still self-quarantined at home and unable to hit to gym, we can definitely appreciate the benefits of an at-home Pi-powered training assistant. 

Raveberry: The Raspberry Pi Music Server 

(Image credit: Viacheslav Nikolaenko/Shutterstock)

The Raveberry devs definitely know how to throw a party. This Raspberry Pi project uses a Pi to manage a custom playlist using music from Spotify. The innovation, however, is a built-in voting mechanism. Only music with the most votes will make its way to the top of the list.

This project includes a wide variety of features from screen visualization effects to LED synchronization. The unit can even function as a hotspot.

Why we love it: This project has a really fun end goal. We appreciate a project that encourages friends to interact with a Pi together. Raveberry is a delightfully social creation. 

Online Raspberry Pi Toilet Paper Claw Machine 

(Image credit: Surrogate)

Toilet paper is a hot commodity right now. To help ease the burden, game developers at Surrogate created a Raspberry Pi-operated claw machine full of toilet paper that anyone could play online in real-time.

A live stream of the machine was hosted on the official Surrogate website. The Raspberry Pi transmitted user input into controls for the claw machine to perform. And yes—the winners were promised an actual roll of toilet paper for every win they accumulated.

Why we love it: Hilarious and well-engineered, this project features a fun concept and a very unique use of the Raspberry Pi. Overall, it was a brilliant way to bring people together while we’re social distancing. 

Mix Makr: The Raspberry Pi Automated Drink Mixer 

(Image credit: Balmy_summer)

The Mix Makr project is here for all of your automated bartender needs. It was created by a user known on Reddit as Balmy-Summer. This project uses a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ to accept and process custom drink orders from the web interface.

Once the order is processed, the glass is automatically moved to the right spout needed to complete the recipe using both stepper and servo motors.

Why we love it: It's hard not to love a machine that can make perfect drinks every time—just for you. It shows how flexible the Raspberry Pi can be when you give it the right combination of software and attachments. 

Raspberry Pi Garage Door Opener and Monitor 

(Image credit: Steve Does Stuff)

This project was created by a DIY YouTuber known as Steve Does Stuff. Of all the stuff Steve does, this Raspberry Pi Garage Door project is our favorite! It uses a Raspberry Pi Zero to both control and monitor a garage door.

The system knows when the door is open and when it's closed, keeping a log for your reference. The remote control features can be used to open and close the garage door while you’re miles away from home. Just use the web interface with a smartphone.

Why we love it: At the end of the day, this is a well-designed home automation project. It adds an extra level of security to your house while giving a little peace of mind. 

Ultimate Nixie Internet Alarm Clock (UNIAC) 

(Image credit: TheJBW)

This Pi project has so much going on—Nixie tubes, music streaming, even alarm clock functionality! It was created and shared this month by a developer known as TheJBW.

The UNIAC project is built on top of a Raspberry Pi, using the wireless capabilities of the board to stream music from Spotify. The Pi also controls the Nixie tubes to display the time output.

Why we love it: This is a well-finished project with a notably clean case design. It serves as an excellent demonstration of old and new technology coming together with a harmonious result. 

Raspberry Pi Reactive RGB Lighting 

(Image credit: Moe7863)

When Moe7863 developed this project, he knew it would use a Raspberry Pi. With a simple LED strip from Amazon, he was well on his way to creating an ambient RGB reactive lighting system.

The setup uses a Raspberry Pi 4 to control the LED strip. The color output is determined by analyzing image frames from a webcam mounted across the room. The Raspberry Pi uses the webcam input to determine what colors to display along the perimeter. 

Why we love it: This reminds us of how easy it is for a simple Pi project to become a cool, modern asset in the home. Why buy something off-the-shelf when you can make it to your specifications? This setup also shows the impressive real-time processing capabilities of the Raspberry Pi.

  • R_1
    Raspbian XP has merged with RaspbianX and is now Twister OS.

    you can get it here
  • princeror
    Admin said:
    Makers this summer are keeping their hands busy with plenty of cool Raspberry Pi projects. Here are some of the best ones we've encountered over the past month.

    Best Raspberry Pi Projects: August 2020 : Read more
    Raspberry Pi Scoreboard is the best Pi project
  • Endymio
    >> "This matrix cube project was created by a maker known as Sebastian Staacks. Using a Raspberry Pi, it constantly displays an animation that changes as his CPU temperature rises ..."
    A quad-core CPU and 20 million lines of Linux OS code-- all to implement a color-changing thermometer? And this is your number one project for the month? As much of a Raspberry Pi fan as I am, there is something indescribably banal in many of these projects.
  • mrv_co
    Wow, judging by what I've seen on Reddit, I thought the only possible RPi projects were 'smart mirror' projects.
  • jtremblant
    @Tomshardware, It's "Pi Labs", you have a typo in your article
  • DotNetMaster777
    Nice review