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Best Raspberry Pi Projects

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

With the largest and most enthusiastic community of all SBCs, the Raspberry Pi drives a ton of creativity. Today we’re highlighting some of the best Raspberry Pi projects we’ve come across over the past month. This is the cream of the crop, guaranteed to inspire and excite even the most inexperienced of makers.

The developers of these projects make use of the best Raspberry Pi accessories and HATs around to pull off some truly clever creations. If you want to recreate these projects, be sure to check out the sources for more details and links to the hardware you need to get started. 

Hundreds of Raspberry Pis Used in Marvel’s Black Widow 

(Image credit: Marvel, The Scan Truck)

Marvel is one of several companies to take advantage of The Scan Truck’s incredible, Raspberry-Pi powered photogrammetry rig. It uses over 200 Pi’s and DSLR cameras to capture subjects for various 3D-related needs.

Why we love it:

This hardly needs explanation! There are so many Pis used in this project and it’s exciting to see the Raspberry Pi in a professional environment. We love hobby-based Pi projects but appreciate the versatility of using the Pi in a business setting, as well.

Read: Hundreds of Raspberry Pis Used in Marvel’s Black Widow

Raspberry Pi Marine-Based Network Rig

(Image credit: Zoomerli)

Does your boat need Wi-Fi? What boat doesn’t? Unless you’re escaping to an off-grid adventure, you’ll need to create your own Marine-ready network rig like this Raspberry Pi-based one created by Zoomerli. It relies on a huge, omnidirectional antenna from RadioLabs known as the Wave XL WiFi antenna.

Why we love it:

This project proves, once again, how valuable a low-cost SBC can be to makers in a pinch. Not only does this rig provide network access, it also functions as a PC thanks to the Raspberry Pi OS desktop.

Read: Raspberry Pi Marine-Based Network Rig 

Raspberry Pi Smart Glasses with AI Hand Gestures 

(Image credit: Teemu Laurila, Teukkaniikka)

If you’ve ever wanted to control something with the wave of your hand, then this project may be just what you need. This Pi-powered pair of smart glasses uses AI to recognize hand gestures and trigger anything you want using Python.

Why we love it:

It’s hard not to be amazed at how complex technology can be adapted so easily into projects like these. This project could easily help users with disabilities or makers with an itch to create something fun and new!

Read: Raspberry Pi Smart Glasses with AI Hand Gestures 

Raspberry Pi Zero Powered with USB-C 

(Image credit: Mcllrn)

There’s no telling when we’ll see a new iteration of the Raspberry Pi Zero but one thing’s for sure, makers are ready for some upgrades. Until then, you’ll just have to settle for Mcllrn’s Raspberry Pi Zero USB-C power mod!

Why we love it:

Be the change in the world you want to see has never rang more true. Mcllrn wanted to power the Pi Zero with USB-C and made it happen with the help of a JST connector. It’s a simple hack with a practical end result.

Read: Raspberry Pi Zero Powered with USB-C 

Raspberry Pi Spectroscope 

(Image credit: Les Wright)

Need to calibrate your lasers? Neither do we but should push come to shove, this Raspberry Pi Spectroscope should help get the job done. It uses a commercial-grade diffraction-grating spectroscope in tandem with a Raspberry Pi camera module. Python is used to analyze the data and output a wavelength graph in real-time.

Why we love it:

Lasers are cool but it’s always cooler when you can throw a Raspberry Pi into the mix. Sometimes it just makes sense to go with a low-cost DIY solution and we’ll always appreciate that effort.

Read: Raspberry Pi Spectroscope 

Raspberry Pi 'Auto-Arm’ 

(Image credit: James Bruton)

This maker not only built a Pi-powered robotic arm, he’s using AI to help program the movement. With the help of machine learning and a motion capture suit, this arm is learning how to move naturally for the wearer.

Why we love it:

When the Raspberry Pi helps make the world a better place, we consider that a victory in our book. Projects like these help pave the way to more efficient, open-source solutions in the prosthetics field.

Read: Raspberry Pi 'Auto-Arm’ 

Raspberry Pi Hal 9000 

(Image credit: Cheat_Steve10)

If you’re going to create a custom voice service device, you might as well go all out. That’s exactly what maker Cheat_Steve10 seems to have done with this eerie Hal 9000 Raspberry Pi voice assistant project. It relies on Alexa Voice Service and even has NAS support thanks to Samba.

Why we love it:

This project isn’t just fun, it’s extremely practical. Voice-controlled devices can be handy on their own but the NAS features add dual-functionality that’s too useful to ignore.

Read: Raspberry Pi Hal 9000 

Musical Raspberry Pi Cyberdeck 

(Image credit: Benjamin Caccia)

This is no ordinary cyberdeck—this is a musical Raspberry Pi cyberdeck made for playing live concerts. It features a piano keyboard and synthesizer, powered by Patchbox OS. SunVox provides synth tools while MODEP is used to program effects for a guitar pedalboard.

Why we love it:

This project is very niche but well-designed with a fun end result. We like to see Raspberry Pis in the wild and the idea of using one live on-stage for a concert is super exciting! Ultimately, a Pi isn’t necessary for this project but we appreciate its use in this case and wouldn’t mind seeing more Pi-based instruments.

Read: Musical Raspberry Pi Cyberdeck 

Raspberry Pi Metal Arcade 

(Image credit: Jamhamster)

Jamhamster created this incredibly sleek metal Raspberry Pi arcade with just $88-worth of components. Everything is custom made from the joystick knob to the round, metal frame. Inside is a Raspberry Pi 3B+ powering the touchscreen.

Why we love it:

This is one of the most beautiful, hand-made Pi-based arcade cabinets we’ve ever come across. Jamhamster has a serious knack for design and this project showcases that skill.

Read: Raspberry Pi Metal Arcade 

Raspberry Pi-Based Simpsons TV 

(Image credit: Buba447)

This maker recreated the famous Simpson’s family TV set and 3D printed it to house a Raspberry Pi Zero. It has a working screen and plays random episodes from the first 11 seasons of The Simpsons.

Why we love it:

This is one project that caught the attention of makers very quickly. The Simpsons was incredibly popular during the 90s so it’s no surprise the community responded with so much admiration for the creation.

Read: Raspberry Pi-Based Simpsons TV 

Tom's Hardware Raspberry Pi Projects 

After covering so many great Raspberry Pi projects, we couldn’t help but create a few of our own. Here are a few tutorials created by the writers here at Tom’s Hardware. If you’re looking for something to work on this fall, these are guaranteed to keep you busy for a few weeks. 

Customize the Raspberry Pi Splash Screen 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Raspberry Pi splash screen is the first thing you see when your Pi first boots. Did you know you can change things up with a custom image? Les shows us how it’s done and also demonstrates how to add a splash screen video to the bootup process.

Read: How to Customize the Raspberry Pi Splash Screen 

Build a Person-Detecting Doorbell 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Don’t give visitors time to think—this doorbell automatically rings the moment a person is detected. Ryder Damen shows us how to use a Raspberry Pi with machine learning to detect people when they approach your door.

Read: How to Build a Person-Detecting Doorbell 

Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Teleprompter 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Now you can give presentations like a pro with this Raspberry Pi 4B-powered teleprompter! The housing is 3D printed and props up like a commercial teleprompter with the screen below reflected for the user to read from. Liz Clark breaks down how you can create one from scratch.

Read: How to Build a Raspberry Pi-Powered Teleprompter 

Stream Live Video From Your Raspberry Pi Camera 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Did you know your Raspberry Pi can be used to stream live video? Video streaming is a must for robotic drone projects—at least, in our opinion it is. If you want to get started, check out this guide created by Les and start streaming video feeds from your Pi.

Read: How to Stream Live Video From Your Raspberry Pi Camera 

Build a Raspberry Pi Alarm that Sprays Porch Pirates

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Tired of package thieves? So is Ryder. Now you can blast them with flour and scare the pants off of them with alarms, sirens, lights and more—all powered by a Raspberry Pi. Build at your own risk and check out how it works in greater detail.

Read: How to Build a Raspberry Pi Alarm that Sprays Porch Pirates 

MORE: Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinout: What Each Pin Does

MORE: How to Use Raspberry Pi as a VPN Gateway

MORE: Raspberry Pi Tutorials

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