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Best Raspberry Pi Projects

Best Raspberry Pi Projects for July

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

It's hard to believe but we are halfway through the year and already have tons of cool Raspberry Pi projects to show for it. July is here and that means it's time to highlight some of the most notable creations to grace our headlines over the past month.

These projects showcase the talent, vigor, and hard-earned skills of tinkerers and makers across the community. They implement some of the most useful HATs and  best Raspberry Pi accessories to bring their most ambitious endeavors to fruition. If you want inspiration, prepare to spring off the Raspberry Pi dive. 

Raspberry Pi Pico Drone 

Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Ravi Butani)

Drones have come a long way over the years and thanks to this project, you can build your own with a small, Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller. These little Pico Drones are controlled using a custom Android-based application. Just tap the screen to move the drone up, down, and any other direction!

Why we love it:

We loved this project so much we invited Ravi to show off his Raspberry Pi Pico drones on an episode of our Raspberry Pi-themed podcast, The Pi Cast. These little buggers are awesome! They don't take much power and can zip around like it's nothing. Thanks to Ravi's code and mobile interface, anyone can pilot these without the use of a special controller.

Read: Raspberry Pi Pico Drone 

Raspberry Pi Detects Satellites With GPS Module 

(Image credit: Andrew Healey)

This project was created by a maker looking to make use of extra tools. This led to a custom, Windows 98-themed dashboard that implemented a variety of sensors including a GT-U7 GPS receiver module, an AM2302 temperature and humidity sensor and a POS58 printer. One of the most notable design elements of this dashboard is the satellite detection app that uses the GPS module to detect passing satellites.

Why we love it:

It's always good to use your components instead of letting them sit in a drawer or box for too long. This project is well-designed and shows what a little ingenuity can do to use up those modules collecting dust.

Read: Raspberry Pi Detects Satellites with GPS Module 

Raspberry Pi Portable LED Matrix Cube 

Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: M4ngolicious)

We love matrix panels here at Tom's Hardware and combining them just seems to multiply that love. This project uses six 64 x 64 panels to construct a portable, Pi-powered LED matrix cube.

Why we love it:

This project uses over 24,576 LEDs, so of course we love it! One of the first things most makers learn on a Pi is how to blink an LED. Now take that concept and animate Nyan Cat with thousands of them.

Read: Raspberry Pi Portable LED Matrix Cube

Raspberry Pi RP2040 Palm-Sized Robot 

(Image credit: Chris Parrott)

The RP2040 is a powerful, exciting chip and we're starting to see it in even more projects like this tiny, hex-shaped robot known as the Hex Mecanum. It has rows of omnidirectional wheels mounted to three sides which are great for navigation and fun to look at, too.

Why we love it:

The RP2040 is definitely a capable processor and this little robotic drone shows us that potential! Custom PCBs are becoming more common in Pi projects like this one. We're super excited to see where things go from here.

Read: Raspberry Pi RP2040 Palm-Sized Robot 

Raspberry Pi Pico VGA Output Library 

(Image credit: Miroslav Nemecek)

This developer has managed to create a Raspberry Pi Pico library that can output high-res video via VGA! This is some seriously impressive output for the little board. The library, known as PicoVGA, is already available for anyone who wants to try it out.

Why we love it:

This is macro output for a microcontroller. We love seeing makers push the boundaries when tinkering and this project scratches that itch. If you think your Pico project will benefit from VGA output, check out the PicoVGA library. 

Read: Raspberry Pi Pico VGA Output Library 

Raspberry Pi Pico Bop It Minecraft Controller 

(Image credit: Seth Altobelli)

Some makers have to twist, pull, and bop their way through the development process, like Seth Altobelli who managed to create a Bop It! controller for Minecraft using a Raspberry Pi Pico.

Why we love it:

We always insist it's better to ask "Why not?" with Raspberry Pi projects but this one leaves us wondering why this project was made at all! It's a hilarious idea and very well put together.

Read: Raspberry Pi Pico Bop It Minecraft Controller 

Raspberry Pi BMO RetroPie Handheld 

(Image credit: Lazuardi Rinaldi)

This Raspberry Pi BMO handheld brings a little bit of the cartoon Aventure Time into the real world. It's totally portable and actually plays retro games using RetroPie!

Why we love it:

I'm a huge sucker for cartoons, animation and everything in between. This project is not only a fun shoutoutto  Pennington Ward's classic creation but also showcases some quality design work from the sleek exterior to custom buttons.

Read: Raspberry Pi BMO RetroPie Handheld 

Raspberry Pi PiMac 

(Image credit: PJ Evans)

We love it when makers use old hardware and this project uses a 2004 - 2006 era iMac G5 case along with a Raspberry to create an Apple-themed Pi desktop.

Why we love it:

This project isn't just inside the old iMac case, it's using the original hardware, as well. Video output for the Pi is even set up to use the original screen.

Read: Raspberry Pi PiMac 

Raspberry Pi RP2040 Game Boy Cartridge 

(Image credit: Martin Refseth)

We're excited to see the RP2040 popping up in custom PCBs. This project is using the chip to power a custom Game Boy cartridge. It's designed to work with original Game Boys when plugged into the handheld.

Why we love it:

This is a really cool use of the RP2040 and shows off Martin Refseth's impressive PCB design skills. The Game Boy is a classic console and we think it's great to see it get more love.

Read: Raspberry Pi RP2040 Game Boy Cartridge 

Raspberry Pi Game Boy 

(Image credit: Jeroen Domburg)

This project uses so much original Game Boy hardware it's insane. It looks 99% untouched but inside is a Raspberry Pi that lets you play Doom on the original screen.

Why we love it:

We shouldn't have to explain ourselves here. It's Doom on an original Game Boy DMG-01. We didn't know it was an option and now it's all we can think about.

Read: Raspberry Pi Game Boy 

Tom's Hardware Raspberry Pi Projects 

These projects are so inspiring they have us busy with our own creations! The staff here at Tom's Hardware loves to tinker just as much as you guys do. Here's what we've been up to along with some tutorials you can follow along with.

Build a Raspberry Pi Pico-Powered Camera Button 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Using CircuitPython, Les shows us how to program your own camera button with the help of a Raspberry Pi Pico. This is a great beginner project that can be adapted for other uses.

Read: Build a Raspberry Pi Pico Camera Button 

Install Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you haven't heard about Windows 11 yet, crawl out from under your rock and check out this guide by Les to install it on your Raspberry Pi 4. You read that right--we've already put Windows 11 on the Raspberry Pi.

Read: Install Windows 11 on Raspberry Pi 4 

Use an I2C LCD Display With Raspberry Pi Pico 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Pico is powerful enough to control an LCD screen. Want to use one in your project? Check out this guide by Les to set up an HD44780 module via I2C on the Pico and get started.

Read: Control LCD Display with Raspberry Pi Pico 

Build The Stranger Things Christmas Lights with a Raspberry Pi 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Season 4 of Stranger Things is just around the corner. Check our Ryder's awesome (and a little spooky) Raspberry Pi-powered Stranger Things Christmas lights project to get back in the spirit of the show. They actually work, too! Your friends and even strangers can send you messages through the lights.

Read: Stranger Things Christmas Lights

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