Best Raspberry Pi Projects: December 2022

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Raspberry Pi might be hard to get ahold of right now but it’s not hard to find incredible projects and mind-blowing creations from the maker community. From AI-powered systems to retrogaming gadgets that use original hardware—we’ve got the coolest developments to share with you that we hope can inspire your own projects this summer.

These makers pull out the best Raspberry Pi accessories, and Raspberry Pi HATs to bring their clever designs to fruition. We’ve already featured each of these once individually in the past month and we think it’s time to do it again. These projects are the best of the best and deserve a second wave of love from the maker community at large.

Raspberry Pi AI-Powered Plate Balances Ball

(Image credit: Parisiancyclist)

If you’ve had trouble keeping your ducks in a row, this ball balancing project by Parisiancyclist might help you keep things in order. Using a Raspberry Pi and the power of artificial intelligence, it tracks a ball and adjusts the plate underneath it to stop the ball from rolling over the edge. In the demo video, we can see it in action as he pokes the ball before the Pi quickly adjsuts the plate to stop it from falling just in time.

Why we love it:

It never ceases to amaze us what users are capable of implementing with AI on the Raspberry Pi. We’ve seen several tracking projects but never something this well-designed and fast-acting. No doubt there are plenty of use cases for this sort of technology and we’re excited to see a concept like this in action.

Read: AI-Powered Ball Balancing Plate

Raspberry Pi Zero 2 Wii Nunchuck Wireless Mouse

(Image credit: Adrian Papineau)

Can’t afford Google Glass? No problem, Adrian Papineau has you covered with his DIY augmented reality headset but how do you navigate the menu? With an old Wii Nunchuck of course! This Pi-powered Nunchuck can be used as a mouse for his custom glasses while on the go.

Why we love it:

We’re always excited to see old hardware put to good use but this project doesn’t restore the old hardware, it adapts it to be a useful asset for modern technology. According to Papineau, it gets plenty of use on his daily walks so it’s more than a proof-of-concept, it’s a practical tool used in his daily life.

Read: Wii Nunchuck Mouse

Raspberry Pi TV Simulator

(Image credit: Rodrigo Feliciano)

There’s no remote needed for this project. Rodrigo Feliciano’s Raspberry Pi TV simulator can be navigated using the knob on the side. Inside is a Raspberry Pi programmed with custom channels that play videos off the Pi and displays them on the old screen. It even uses the TV to generate static between channels while “tuning” them in.

Why we love it:

This project concept is really fun but the implementation is an absolute winner in our book. It looks fantastic, it captures the look and feel of watching media on an old TV but it also has the Raspberry Pi guts to make a maker happy.

Read: Raspberry Pi TV Simulator

Raspberry Pi Pico PlayStation Memory Card

(Image credit: Daniele Giuliani)

Thanks to Daniele Giuliani’s memory card project, you can officially save your PlayStation games using the power of the Raspberry Pi Pico! This project merges retro hardware with our favorite SBC for the perfect blend of nostalgia and maker’s delight. Sure you could buy an old memory card but where’s the fun in that?

Why we love it:

It’s no secret that we love retro gaming and this project is a great excuse to play some old games again…for testing purposes, of course. If you’re looking for a fun way to tinker while enjoying the content of consoles past, this is a great project.

Read: Pico-Powered PlayStation Memory Card

Raspberry Pi 3A+ More RAM Mod

(Image credit: Pi800)

Like we said before, Pis are somewhat hard to get ahold of right now. But if you can’t find the module you want, you might be able to frankenstein together the Pi you need using old parts. Pi800 has done just that by upgrading a 3A+ to use a 1 GB RAM chip.

Why we love it:

We love any opportunity for makers to dig deeper into microelectronics and this is an inspirational example of how tinkering with the original hardware is not only possible but practical. According to Pi800, his modded Pi 3A+ even had better performance than the 3B+ when testing!

Read: Raspberry Pi 3A+ More RAM Mod

Raspberry Pi E-Paper Zoetrope

(Image credit: Brian Corteil)

Playing video on a Raspberry Pi is nothing new but animating on a Pi with e-paper displays in the form of a zoetrope is definitely thinking outside of the box! Brian Corteil created this masterpiece to showcase at EMF Camp—an outdoor convention for makers to gather and share all things microelectronics.

Why we love it:

This project did much more than display a simple animation. It also brought people together by providing a Pi-powered scanning system that would read sheets and process them into new animations. Makers could draw their own cartoons and watch them on the zoetrope.

Read: Raspberry Pi Zoetrope

Raspberry Pi Pico Nintendo 64 Flash Cart

(Image credit: Konrad Beckmann)

This RP2040 project, which maker Konrad Beckmann dubs the PiCart64, allows you to create a custom flash cart for the Nintendo 64. Not only does it support existing ROMs but users can also run homebrew ROMs on the actual Nintendo 64 console. Just load up the ROM and pop it in the slot!

Why we love it:

This is a fun excuse to pull out your old Nintendo 64 (as if you didn’t already have it out and connected to your TV anyway). It’s a great example of how the RP2040 can be applied to old hardware and bridge the gap between old software and new with a simple, custom made PCB.

Read: Raspberry Pi Pico Drives $10 Nintendo 64 Flash Cart

Raspberry Pi Zero Prints Giant Pictures with Thermal Receipt Printer

(Image credit: -PJFry-)

Don’t have a full sized printer? No problem! -PJFry- is using a Pi to print out large-scale images using a thermal receipt printer. It creates images one strip at a time that can be lined up to make a full-scale copy. Is it practical? Not excactly but it’s a great proof of concept that adds a little artistic flare.

Why we love it:

The idea of printing smaller images to piece together a larger image is nothing new but we haven’t seen anyone do this with a Raspberry Pi before. It took a fair bit of work to program this to work on the Pi and we always appreciate the time makers take to include the Pi in fun ideas like this.

Read: Raspberry Pi Prints Big Pictures on Thermal Printer

Raspberry Pi Robot Maps Rooms with LiDAR Sensor

(Image credit: S Lab)

S Lab has created a fun way to visualize the LiDAR sensor data from a robotic car by sending the information to Unity. This setup creates a 3D representation of the room it detects and also projects an estimation of the robot cars location in relation to the walls of the room.

Why we love it:

We’ve seen plentey of projects put distance sensors on their robots to avoid obstacles but this is the first time we’ve seen a LiDAR sensor create a digital map of the room it’s in. There are so many practical applications for this technology and it’s incredible to see the concept in action.

Read: Raspberry Pi LiDAR Sensor 3D Map

Raspberry Pi Pico W Projects

(Image credit: Pimoroni, Richard Hayler, Arm, pi3g)

The Pico W is here and we’re beyond excited to share a slew of new wireless Pico W-powered projects from the community! We’ve got tons of cool things to share like a wireless plant monitor, network detector, and even a web server created by several makers including Pimoroni, Richard Hayler, ARM, and Pi3g.

Why we love it:

This is just the start of a new era in Pi projects and we couldn’t help but showcase several great creations together. We want to see what the community is capable of and these projects are sure to inspire a maker or two to heat up their solder irons this summer.

Read: Raspberry Pi Pico W Projects

Tom’s Hardware’s Raspberry Pi Projects

It’s really hard not to make projects of our own after looking at hundreds of creations from the Pi community. So here’s a look at what the Tom’s Hardware staff has been up to complete with guides you can follow along with to recreate these projects at home.

How to Connect Raspberry Pi Pico W to the Internet

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

In this guide, Les Pounder shows us how to get started with using Wi-Fi on the Raspberry Pi Pico W microcontroller. Surprisingly, it doesn’t take much more than a few lines of code to get going. All you need is a Pico W and a wireless network to connect to and you’re well on your way.

Read: How to Connect a Pico W to the Internet 

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
  • 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
  • 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.