Best Raspberry Pi Projects: July 2024

It’s no secret that we here at Tom’s Hardware love the Raspberry Pi and everything else that comes with it. From the official boards made by Raspberry Pi like the newly released Raspberry Pi 5 and third-party creations that use the RP2040 chip, if it’s got a Pi in it, we want to check it out. We cover Pi projects made by the maker community all year round and once a month we like to round up the most exciting projects to catch our attention, and this month is no different.

We’ve got some really cool projects to share with you that range from simple constructions to seriously complex designs. As always, these makers use the best Raspberry Pi accessories and HATs to bring their projects to life. We’ll be sure to gather all the details you want to know about what goes into these projects and how they work so you can either make it yourself at home or just ogle at the amazing work put forth by the maker community. 

Raspberry Pi 5 FrankenPi 5

(Image credit: Raspberry Pi Foundation)

While everyone was busy waiting for news about the Raspberry Pi 5, the social media team over at the Raspberry Pi Foundation was hard at work trying to meet everyone’s demands. This Raspberry Pi 5 Social Media Edition PCB has everything you need including common Python libraries, all of the USB support you’ll ever need and even a bat signal.

Why we love it:

Like we said in the intro paragraph, we’re suckers for official Raspberry Pi hardware. If you see this board and don’t get tickled inside—we don’t know what to tell you. Clearly the team had all of us in the Pi community in mind when putting together this amazing board.

Read: Raspberry Pi 5 Social Media Edition

Raspberry Pi Zero W Animatronic Fox Companion

(Image credit: Katherine "Smalls" Connell)

This animatronic fox head is made using a Raspberry Pi Zero W. It controls servos to wiggle the ear and tilt the head to either side. Some LCD screens are used to animate the eyes. All of the hardware is mounted inside the head which is comprised of a custom 3D printed frame.

Why we love it:

If we could give the late Jim Henson a Raspberry Pi, surely he’d put together something neat like this. It’s one thing to make a virtual assistant but building a fuzzy buddy from scratch like this takes the idea to a whole new level.

Read: Animatronic Fox Head

Raspberry Pi Cinewhoop Drone

(Image credit: Artur Pękosz)

There’s a lot of overlap in the technology behind drones and microelectronics. It should come as no surprise that we came across this cool Raspberry Pi Cinewhoop Drone project put together by Artur Pękosz. It can record video while in flight and also relay it remotely to the operator using FPV goggles.

Why we love it:

It’s always refreshing to be reminded that so many things we take for granted and buy pre-made can be built from scratch. This is a well done example of how the Pi can be used to operate a drone and handle FPV hardware support.

Read: Raspberry Pi Cinewhoop Drone

Raspberry Pi Debuggy Ducky

(Image credit: Addison Waller and Alexander Straub)

Coding can be tricky even for the most experienced. That’s why you need a Raspberry Pi Debuggy Ducky. It uses ChatGPT to help troubleshoot your code using speech to text and text to speech to process the interaction. Unfortunately, he’s not waterproof so no coding in the bathtub.

Why we love it:

This is a very clever project idea and the end result looks adorable. It’s hard to go wrong with a friendly companion like the classic rubber ducky when looking for a home for your ChatGPT virtual assistant.

Read: Raspberry Pi Debuggy Ducky

Raspberry Pi ZeroWriter eInk Typewriter 

(Image credit: Tincangames)

While most everyone else has a smartphone on hand to take notes, Tincangames has created something a bit different to take on the go. This custom word processor is known as the Raspberry Pi ZeroWriter. It’s a typewriter with a keyboard and eInk display for outputting content as you type.

Why we love it:

This is a wonderfully unique project and the execution is so well done. We wouldn’t just like to check this out for ourselves in person, we’d like one of our own! It’s beautiful to look at and works just as well as it looks.

Read: Raspberry Pi ZeroWriter eInk Typewriter

Raspberry Pi FarmGuard

(Image credit: Samith)

Farming is tough business and it only takes one pack of curious animals to wreak havoc on all your hard work. That’s where projects like FarmGuard, created by maker Samith, come into play. It uses the power of AI to monitor for unwanted animals and sends notifications to alert farmers of the troublesome wildlife.

Why we love it:

This is a really cool use case for AI-powered image recognition on the Raspberry Pi. It’s a well designed project with a really useful end product. You can also tweak the model to suit whatever animal you want to keep an eye out for and tailor it to your environment.

Read: Raspberry Pi FarmGuard

Raspberry Push Notification Mailbox

(Image credit: Guy Dupont)

This Raspberry Pi push notification mailbox lets you decide when you receive push notifications. It works by blocking specific IPs associated with push notifications, only allowing them through if the mailbox detects that your smartphone has been placed inside.

Why we love it:

This project is as close as you can get to checking the mail without checking your mail. It’s a really clever idea and the implementation lends to a useful and somewhat novelty creation. If you’re tired of push notifications, this might be the project for you.

Read: Raspberry Push Notification Mailbox

Raspberry Pi Detects Ghost Aircraft Using SDR

(Image credit: Angelina Tsuboi)

This Raspberry Pi aircraft ghost detector project is designed to detect hackers. It scans for nearby aircraft and uses AI to determine if there are any abnormalities in its reading that would suggest it might otherwise be a fake aircraft placed virtually by a malicious party. The maker behind this project, Angelina Tsuboi, is a pilot and took it for a real life test run in an airplane.

Why we love it:

Wrapping your head around a project like this is kind of hard to do. You have to have not only a niche set of interests but special access to really put this device to the test. This is a really neat idea and it’s cool to see it airborne.

Read: Raspberry Pi Detects Ghost Aircraft Using SDR

Raspberry Pi Doom Air Hockey Table

(Image credit: Downing's Basement)

This air hockey table does so much more than let you play air hockey. It has a Raspberry Pi powering the whole operation so you get the added benefit of an entire desktop alongside the tabletop features. This means you can play Doom on the Doom air hockey table.

Why we love it:

We like the Raspberry Pi, we like Doom, we all knew where this was going. A custom built air hockey table is cool enough on its own but this one is decked out with all the right theming and hardware to get us excited.

Read: Raspberry Pi Doom Air Hockey Table

Raspberry Pi Plant Watering Robot Dog 

(Image credit: B-AROL-O)

Forget to water your plants? Don’t worry about it! This Raspberry Pi-powered robotic dog will walk around and water them for you. It identifies whether or not a plant needs to be watered using image recognition and artificial intelligence.

Why we love it:

This project is next level cool! There are so many obstacles to overcome from the hardware and locomotion design to the software and model building for the AI system. Overall this is a really cool idea and very well executed project.

Read: Raspberry Pi Plant Watering Robot Dog

Tom's Hardware Projects

We love the Raspberry Pi so much that we’re usually nose deep in wires and solder building projects ourselves. It’s hard not to get the creative juices flowing when we get to cover so many cool Pi projects throughout each week. Here are a few cool projects the staff here at Tom’s Hardware have put together lately.

How To Reduce Raspberry Pi 5, 4 Standby Power Consumption

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

In this guide, Les shows us what you can do to reduce the power consumption of your Raspberry Pi 5 or Raspberry Pi 4 when idling in standby mode. This is useful for projects in which the Pi isn’t used consistently throughout the day.

Read: How To Reduce Raspberry Pi 5, 4 Standby Power Consumption

How to turbo-charge your Raspberry Pi 5 with an NVMe boot drive

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

You read that right, we’re giving the Raspberry Pi 5 the boost it deserves using an NVMe boot drive. In this guide, Les goes over all of the steps and hardware you’ll need to duplicate this project for yourself at home.

Read: How to turbo-charge your Raspberry Pi 5 with an NVMe boot drive

Ash Hill
Contributing Writer

Ash Hill is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.

  • 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
  • dmijaj9
    Well explained about the Raspberry-pi topic. Could you please add something about the CAN Protocol interface with raspberrypi? I want to have it with deep from basic to deep about CAN BUS.
    Reply
  • wbfox
    How does that submarine simulator end?
    Reply
  • wbfox
    dmijaj9 said:
    Well explained about the Raspberry-pi topic. Could you please add something about the CAN Protocol interface with raspberrypi? I want to have it with deep from basic to deep about CAN BUS.
    They don't have a built in CAN controller or transceiver. You want something else for deep.
    Reply