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Best Raspberry Pi Projects

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The holidays are over but the Raspberry Pi projects are ramping up as we start 2022. We’re excited to share with you ten wonderful creations from the maker community over the past month and hope they inspire more projects into the new year.

These makers pulled out all the stops to design some of the most noteworthy Pi-based projects we’ve seen yet. Using the best Raspberry Pi accessories and HATs, the projects range from gaming platforms to hardware mods for the Pi itself.

Raspberry Pi 2-Player Cyberdeck Arcade

(Image credit: Crookdmouth)

Old school computing meets old school gaming with this impressive Raspberry Pi cyberdeck arcade project created by maker Crookdmouth. It’s inspired by an old TRS-80 MC-10 computer they had growing up and has a similar form factor with a 2-player arcade twist.

Why we love it:

Not only does the design of this project look fantastic but the execution is too nice to ignore. This housing is constructed from wood and features a built-in mechanical keyboard for the tactile feedback you would expect from a vintage machine.

Read: Raspberry Pi Cyberdeck Arcade 

Raspberry Pi PiCrawler Edge Detecting Mod

(Image credit: Disastrous-Cry-6452)

This project is built using Sunfounder’s PiCrawler kit. The maker of this mod created a system that can detect edges and prevent the PiCrawler from running over the edge. It uses a couple of IR sensors to determine when the floor is too far away for a safe step forward.

Why we love it:

There’s nothing worse than losing all of your hard work to the cruel hand of gravity. This is a clever mod to a popular kit that demonstrates how a little ingenuity can provide some of the best solutions in life.

Read: Raspberry Pi PiCrawler Edge Detecting Mod 

Raspberry Pi Closed Captions Project

(Image credit: Theloosearrow)

If you’re playing around with old CRT TVs, it might be worth looking into this closed captions project created by Theloosearrow. It takes the subtitle data for a video and processes it for output on a TV as CC text in real time.

Why we love it:

The idea for this project is clever and the end result looks fantastic. This is an excellent project for anyone looking to recreate the look and feel of TV captions while streaming video using a Raspberry Pi.

Read: Raspberry Pi Closed Captions Project 

Mico: An RP2040 USB Microphone

(Image credit: Mahesh Venkitachalam)

Tired of the background noise from his existing USB microphone, Mahesh Venkitachalam created an RP2040-powered USB microphone from scratch known as Mico. The end result is a custom PCB with some sleek logo graphics visible on top. According to Venkitachalam, the new mic works just as intended and records with better quality than the original.

Why we love it:

This isn’t just a cool RP2040-powered USB mic, it’s a great example of how well hard work can come together to realize a specific goal. The Mico looks fantastic and delivers just what it needs to, performance-wise.

Read: Mico RP2040 USB Microphone 

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W External Antenna Mod

(Image credit: Brian Dorey)

The Pi community is still buzzing about the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W and the new changes it brought to the table. Still makers are determined to make it their own like Brian Dorey and his external WiFi antenna mod.

Why we love it:

It didn’t take long for the community to start taking apart the new Pi Zero 2 W board. Overall, this is a fun modification deserving of extra recognition. If you want to upgrade the WiFi on your Pi Zero 2 W, this is one project you should take a closer look at.

Read: Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W External Antenna Mod 

Raspberry Pi RP2040 Pip-Boy

(Image credit: John Edgar Park)

You’re not ready for the wastelands until you’ve got yourself a Pip-Boy. This wearable prop resembles the original device found in the Fallout franchise. It’s RP2040-based and relies on the Adafruit Feather Joywing for navigation.

Why we love it:

The Fallout franchise is classic and this project is a great shoutout to the series. It features an original design that we can appreciate, including 3D printed assets and a custom script for managing the display.

Read: RP2040 Pip-Boy 

Raspberry Pi Sugar Cube Launcher

(Image credit: Equals Engineering)

Until the robot uprising, it’s important to remember that the machines we have in life work for us. Such is the case with this sugar cube launching project created by Equals Engineering. Using a Raspberry Pi, it can locate the distance of a cup and launch a sugar cube straight into your tea.

Why we love it:

This is an excellent use of image recognition and real-time calculating for a humorous and somewhat practical application. It not only identifies a cup but manages to determine the most ideal trajectory to land the cube into the cup.

Read: Raspberry Pi Sugar Cube Launcher

Raspberry Pi Time Machine Radio

(Image credit: Byte-rider)

This time machine radio project takes users through time by offering a dial in the corner with a selection of decades. Choosing a decade will “tune” the Raspberry Pi inside to music exclusively to the era selected. The hardware is housed inside of a vintage radio.

Why we love it:

Some of the best Raspberry PI projects are made with others in mind and this one was created to be a gift. It’s a beautiful project and the mysterious question marks on the dial are perhaps the most endearing feature.

Read: Raspberry Pi Time Machine Radio

Raspberry Pi Drives Car With Hand Gestures

(Image credit: Mohammad Reza Sharifi)

We’ve seen tons of custom controllers over the years and have even made some of our own. That said, this is the first one we’ve come across that uses hand gestures to send control signals. Mahammad Reza Sharifi has created a driving application for his Raspberry Pi-powered car that relies on hand signs with the help of image recognition.

Why we love it:

This is a clever demonstration of how image recognition can be used to change the way we interact with hardware. The applications of this concept are versatile and could be applied to much more than driving a car.

Read: Raspberry Pi Hand Gesture Robot Car

GLaDOS Robotic Voice Assistant

(Image credit: Henri Rantanen, Nerdaxic)

This Raspberry Pi GLaDOS voice assistant brings the antagonist to the Portal video game franchise to life not just in audio but as a physical unit. Henri Rantanen of Nerdaxis has created a huge GLaDOS head that looks and sounds like the classic villain with the help of a Raspberry Pi.

Why we love it:

Even if you’ve never heard of Portal, it’s easy to appreciate the amount of work that went into designing and animating this robotic head. Many of the components are 3D printed and took a great deal of time to refine and finish.

Read: Raspberry Pi GLaDOS Voice Assistant

Tom’s Hardware’s Raspberry Pi Projects

We don’t just write about Raspberry Pi projects, we make some of our own. Here are a few things we’ve created lately along with tutorials so you can recreate them yourself. There are tons of Raspberry Pi boards to tinker with and it doesn’t cost much to get started with one of these exciting projects.

How to Create Digital Dice with Raspberry Pi Pico

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Looking for a project suitable for tabletop gaming night? Les shows us how to create a digital dice using a Raspberry Pi Pico along with a small display module. By pressing the button, a number will be displayed taking the place of a roll.

Read: Raspberry Pi Digital Dice

Raspberry Pi Pico Powered RFID Lighting

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

If you’ve ever wanted to play around with RFID, now’s your chance! This project, created by Les Pounder, uses the Raspberry Pi Pico to create some cool lighting effects. Overall, this is a great example of how easy it can be to trigger custom code using RFID triggers.

Read: Raspberry Pi Pico RFID Lighting 

How to Build a Tweeting Weather Bot with Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Ryder Damen shows us how to make a custom weather reporting bot that sends details to Twitter in the form of status updates. It can take a picture and provide sensor data for things like temperature, humidity and more.

Read: Raspberry Pi Tweeting Weather Bot

Raspberry Pi Holiday Advent Calendar

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Countdown to the holidays (or some other important date) with the Raspberry Pi-powered countdown calendar created by Ryder Damen. The new year might be upon us but there are plenty of holidays to prepare for and this project is perfect for building up hype.

Read: Raspberry Pi Holiday Advent Calendar

How to Control DMX Lights with Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We’re not saying every DJ needs a Raspberry Pi in their kit but it might not be a bad idea to have one on hand. In this case, Ryder shows us how to use a Raspberry Pi to control DMX lights.

Read: Raspberry Pi Controlled DMX Lights 

Ash Hill
Ash Hill

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
  • 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