Best Raspberry Pi Projects: January 2023

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

With the holiday season in full swing, makers have proven that there’s no shortage of fun Raspberry Pi projects to keep you busy and entertained. We’ve got tons of cool projects lined up to get you excited and hopefully inspire some unique creations of your own. From fun seasonal projects to those that can help in emergency situations, the featured makers have pulled out all the stops.

These creators use the best Raspberry Pi accessories and HATs around to add clever features to their projects. These are only some of the projects we’ve had the honor of covering over the past month.

Raspberry Pi Christmas Village

(Image credit: Omantn)

Because we’re well into the holiday season, we’re starting off this list with Omantn’s Raspberry Pi Christmas Village. Omantn brought his wife’s Christmas village models to life with a custom wireless interface using a little help from our favorite single board computer. You can adjust the lights and even control the train as it cruises around the tabletop winter wonderland.

Why we love it:

This is a fun way to use the Raspberry Pi that can help bring families closer together. It’s also a great opportunity to heat up the soldering iron while you’re home on winter break. This project is well-constructed and the end result looks absolutely beautiful.

Read: Raspberry Pi Christmas Village

Raspberry Pi Star Trek UI

(Image credit: Rob, meWho_System47)

If you’re a fan of the Stark Trek universe, you’ve got to check out this amazing LCARS replica—aka a Raspberry Pi-powered Star Trek UI. It looks just like the interface used on the computers in the Star Trek universe. It’s actually a browser-based application but this duo managed to run it on a Raspberry Pi and use real-time sensor data from a suite of Raspberry Pi devices.

Why we love it:

We love Star Trek so of course we’re going to get excited about this project. This UI is beautiful and can even interact with real-world LEDs to bring the red alert system into your home. We had the opportunity to interview the creator of this system and the maker that helped bring it to the Raspberry Pi on our Pi-themed podcast, The Pi Cast.

Read: Raspberry Pi-powered Star Trek UI

Raspberry Pi Big Red Button Pauses Ad Blocking

(Image credit: Kris, Planet Kris)

If you want to block ads on your network at the source, check out our guide on how to set up Pi-Hole on the Raspberry Pi. If you want to put a pause on that ad block system, check out this Pi-powered button that pauses the ad blocking from Pi-Hole.

Why we love it:

This project relies on a Raspberry Pi to block ads, but the button is powered by an ESP8266 microcontroller. The button merely sends a custom command to the Raspberry Pi which turns off ad blocking for a short time. Sure, you could whitelist the websites you don’t want Pi-Hole to block but slapping a button to turn it off is just more fun!

Read: Raspberry Pi Big Red Button Pauses Ad Blocking

Raspberry Pi Super Spooky Sweetie Stealer Stopper

(Image credit: Dr. David Pride)

We’re well past Halloween but we have to take a moment to show off this clever project put together by Dr. David Pride. When trick or treaters reach in for a bit of candy, this ghoulish mask, called the Raspberry Pi Super Spooky Sweetie Stealer Stopper, triggers a horrifying scream accompanied by a blast of fog, courtesy of an upside down can of air duster.

Why we love it:

This project idea is awesome and even cooler to see in action. We had the opportunity to interview Dr. David Pride on our podcast, The Pi Cast, to get a closer look at how it goes together and what it’s like in action.

Read: Raspberry Pi Super Spooky Sweetie Stealer Stopper

Raspberry Pi PCB Streams Game Boy Games

(Image credit: Sebastian Staacks)

Streaming games is nothing new but streaming the video feed from an original Game Boy is definitely out of the ordinary. This maker, Sebastian Staacks, created a custom PCB that plugs into an original Game Boy (or Game Boy Color) and enables users to stream and record game play in real time.

Why we love it:

We love Pi and we love retro gaming—of course we love this project! It’s also very exciting when makers go the extra mile to create their own custom PCBs. This project isn’t just creative in its overall concept but the execution is great and very cool to check out in action.

Read: Raspberry Pi PCB Streams Game Boy Games

Raspberry Pi Radio Transmitter

(Image credit: Hunter Adams)

If you’re looking for a fun project to tune into, check out this Raspberry Pi Radio Transmitter created by Hunter Adams. Using just a Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller, he’s able to broadcast on radio frequencies. The legality of this project varies depending on where you live to definitely take a moment to confirm local regulations before creating it at home.

Why we love it:

It’s always impressive to see how far users can take a few basic hardware components. This project doesn’t need much to transform the Pico into a workable radio transmitter but the end results are exciting.

Read: Raspberry Pi Radio Transmitter

Raspberry Pi VR Headset for Mice

(Image credit: Schaffer-Nishimura Lab)

A DIY Pi-powered VR headset is cool enough but making one for mice? That’s just as impressive as it is bizarre. This Raspberry Pi VR Headset for Mice was created by the Schaffer-Nishimura Lab for neurological studies. It uses a Raspberry Pi 4 along with a couple of round OLED displays for the visual output.

Why we love it:

Making a Pi-powered VR headset deserves plenty of points in its own right but this use case is so niche and well-executed that we appreciate the ingenuity behind it all-around. The team even designed custom world maps for the mice to explore using Godot that can run on the Pi.

Read: Raspberry Pi VR Headset for Mice

Raspberry Pi Pico Rolling Blackout Logger

(Image credit: Dmytro Panin)

Dmytro Panin is at it again with another Raspberry Pi Pico-powered creation to help make life a little bit easier. This time, he’s created a Raspberry Pi Pico-powered Rolling Blackout Logger. Living in Ukraine, Panin is dealing with rolling blackouts. This project makes it easier to log and track each blackout. The data helps Panin predict future blackouts.

Why we love it:

This is a very useful system to have on hand for anyone living under these circumstances. Panin made the project open source for anyone who needs to make one at home. You can find the source code for it over at Github.

Read: Raspberry Pi Pico Rolling Blackout Logger

(Image credit: Dr. David Pride)

Dr. David Pride has made our list twice, this time with a hilarious Raspberry Pi-powered Crying Twitter Logo. Whenever a user leaves Twitter with the hashtag #RIPTwitter, his laser cut Twitter logo cries a single tear using a Pi-powder hydraulic system consisting of a servo and syringe plunger filled with water.

Why we love it:

This project is very well-designed and definitely brings out a laugh or two. It’s really clever overall but, more specifically, we appreciate the design Dr. Pride put together for the crying mechanism. We just haven’t seen anything like this project before and it’s absolutely worth the recognition.

Read: Raspberry Pi Crying Twitter Logo

Raspberry Pi Holographic Anime Virtual Assistant

(Image credit: Jess Peter)

This project, created by Jess Peter, uses a conical acrylic sheet to create a holographic effect for her amazing Raspberry Pi Holographic Anime Virtual Assistant. Not only does she look adorable, she functions as a voice interactive system that can play songs, check the weather and more.

Why we love it:

This is an amazing way to take voice assistants to the next level. It’s a neat concept but the execution is very well done. Maria is a cute little helper whose design is one of the most impressive we’ve ever seen.

Read: Raspberry Pi Holographic Anime Virtual Assistant 

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.

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

    you can get it here
    https://raspbian-x.com/
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • mrv_co
    Wow, judging by what I've seen on Reddit, I thought the only possible RPi projects were 'smart mirror' projects.
    Reply
  • jtremblant
    @Tomshardware, It's "Pi Labs", you have a typo in your article
    https://twisteros.com/
    Reply
  • DotNetMaster777
    Nice review
    Reply
  • mamasan2000
    If you want a static IP on your RPI and you have it at the same spot (at home for example), go into your router and find Lan Setup or similar. Tie the RPIs MAC-address to an IP. It will always get that IP, even if you have DHCP on. Same goes for all the other devices you set up that way. So you can wipe the PC, RPI, whatever and they will always have the same IP.
    Reply