Skip to main content

Best Raspberry Pi Projects

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

We're more than excited to see what the Raspberry Pi community has to offer in 2021. To get things started, we're sharing some of the best Raspberry Pi projects we've had the honor of featuring over the last month.

The maker community is full of incredible potential, creating everything from serious projects with life-saving uses to hilarious novelty machines crafted out of sheer wit. These projects aren't ranked in any particular order and are just part of what the community has been up to as of late. 

Raspberry Pi 400 Ortholinear Mechanical Keys Mod 

(Image credit: 40% Keyboards)

This project comes to us from 40% keyboards. It's a mod for the Raspberry Pi 400, adding mechanical keys in place of the original keys in an ortholinear pattern. This required the creation of a custom PCB for the new keys.

Why we love it:

It's one thing to be a keyboard snob but throw in a Raspberry Pi 400 and you're ticking all the right boxes on our list. This project required a notable amount of work to pull off and the end result is hands down one of the coolest Pi 400 mods we've seen so far.

Read: Raspberry Pi 400 Mod Uses Mechanical Keys

Automated Chicken Coop 

(Image credit: Rgtj)

With the help of a Raspberry Pi, this maker was able to automate the door on his chicken coop to help protect the little critters at night. It relies on a series of timers to open the door in the morning and close it at night.

Why we love it:

This project both adds an extra layer of security by protecting the chickens and frees up a little time that can be used to focus on other tasks. It's a clever idea with a nice final execution.

Read: Raspberry Pi-Powered Chicken Coop 

Web-controlled house lights 

(Image credit: Ryder Calm Down)

Interacting with your neighbors at a distance is easier than before with this Christmas lights project by Ryder Calm Down. It uses a Raspberry Pi to monitor input from a Flask web server and adjust strings of LEDs in real-time according to the input.

Why we love it:

We were lucky enough to have Ryder join us for an episode of our Pi-themed show, the Pi Cast. In it, we had the opportunity to explore the creative process behind its creation. This project is very well-designed and is one of the coolest holiday Pi projects we've ever seen.

Read: RaspberryPi Christmas Lights 

Raspberry Pi Crust Cutter 

(Image credit: 3DPrintedLife)

Bread crust? It's outta here. This incredible sandwich cutting project comes to us from 3DPrintedLife and uses our favorite SBC, the Raspberry Pi. It does exactly what it sounds like --  cuts your sandwich crust for you.

Why we love it:

This is one of many projects 3DPrintedLife has created. He recently joined us on an episode of the Pi Cast and showed off his tic-tac-toe playing robot. This sandwich cutter has undergone a few modifications. We admire the dedication towards refining the technique of such a critical machine.

Read: Raspberry Pi Sandwich Cutter  

RoboScan Film Scanner 

(Image credit: Benjamin Bezine)

Developing old film is getting trickier as technology continues to change. This project, known as RoboScan, uses a Raspberry Pi with a DSLR to not only capture images from old film but also automate the process to record an entire roll of film into a folder of individual digital images.

Why we love it:

Old tech meeting new tech? What's not to love! It's also exciting to see a Raspberry Pi crossover into the photography world. Overall, this is a useful creation with a stellar use of Lego bricks.

Read: RoboScan Automated Film Scanner 

Raspberry Pi Server Rack 

(Image credit: Uptime Labs)

Raspberry Pi clusters aren't always the most efficient but they are almost always fun to play with. This project is a custom, 3D-printed server rack that can use up to 14 Raspberry Pis and 14 2.5-inch SATA SSDs.

Why we love it:

This is one of the cleanest Raspberry Pi server rack designs we've come across this year. The SSD integration just adds the little extra kick you need to make a winning project design. It looks just as fun to put together as it does to use.

Read: Raspberry Pi SSD Server Rack

Pi Zero Nintendo Christmas Ornament 

(Image credit: Retrocution)

Mini NES consoles are all the rage of late but we haven't seen one this small before! This maker, known as Retrocution, put a Pi Zero inside of an NES Christmas tree ornament. It connects to a CRT TV and can be played using Bluetooth controllers.

Why we love it:

It's retro gaming in a micro-package! We love the idea of turning a casual decoration into a functional piece of gaming hardware. It looks fantastic and the end product is spot-on. Nice work, Retrocution!

Read: NES Christmas tree ornament 

Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server Case 

(Image credit: ehisforadam)

This glowing, LED Minecraft ore block is actually a functional Minecraft server! Inside is a Raspberry Pi 4 along with a 128GB SSD running Paper MC SMP. The outer shell was laser-cut to look like the classic block.

Why we love it:

Running your own Minecraft server is at the heart of multiplayer and what better way to go about it than with absolute style? It took a lot of work to pull this project off and we appreciate every minute that went into it.

Read: Raspberry Pi Minecraft Ore Block Server Case

Raspberry Pi SNES Controller Handheld with Screen 

(Image credit: Josh, Restore Technique)

We've seen SNES controller consoles before but never one with its own screen! Inside this controller is a Raspberry Pi Zero with a Waveshare GamePi15 HAT which provides both a screen and input for the controller buttons.

Why we love it:

This handheld is part SNES, part Linux and part Game Boy. It has everything you need to take your favorite retro games on the go. It's tricky to carve holes into plastic, especially on actual vintage hardware. The final product came out looking excellent!

Read: Raspberry Pi SNES Controller with Screen 

Raspberry Pi Plays Full Movies With Floppy Disk 

(Image credit: GreedyPaint)

Want to watch movies at 4 FPS with stereo audio? Did we mention the whole movie is compressed onto a single floppy disk? This Raspberry Pi Floppy player, called the LimaTek Diskmaster, was designed to act like a VCR but reads floppies instead of VHS tapes.

Why we love it:

This is one of the coolest combinations of both retro and modern hardware we've ever seen. We know it was tricky to figure out how to get everything working together to create the seamless experience seen in the demo. The custom boot animations with the LimaTek Diskmaster logo look fantastic and like the title screen of an old VHS. Great job, GreedyPaint!

Read: Raspberry Pi Plays Full Movies Using Floppy Disks

MORE: Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinout: What Each Pin Does

MORE: How to Use Raspberry Pi as a VPN Gateway

MORE: Raspberry Pi Tutorials

  • 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