It’s no secret that we love Raspberry Pi projects and today we’re excited to share not one but three custom creations put together by maker and developer Omer Hasanov. This family of portable electronics was created entirely from scratch and features custom 3D-printable shells that are easy to make at home using the best 3D printers.
The collection includes three devices, each with distinct designs and purposes. One of the handhelds is based around an ESP32 microcontroller, a popular choice for makers. It has a screen and buttons on the front that can be used for input. The second ESP32 based device is a wireless Bluetooth controller which works great with the third device—a Raspberry Pi 4 handheld. A system with enough power to emulate many classic consoles and computers, and it can also be a competent computer.
The housing for these devices is custom, developed just for this project. According to Omer Hasanov, he decided to use Fusion360 to design the 3D-printable models. To make sure the electronic components fit inside, he found replicas of the hardware he’s using over at GrabCAD and used them for a virtual test fit.
The Raspberry Pi 4 handheld is fairly robust which makes it ideal for casual computing, watching videos or gaming while on the go. It’s complete with a screen, battery pack and external access to crucial ports. The ESP32 controller has a shape that somewhat resembles Microsoft's Xbox controller. It has a D-pad, two analog joysticks, left and right bumper buttons and standard ABXY buttons next to start/select.
As far as software goes, you are spoilt for choice. Raspberry Pi OS would work great with individual emulators, but for the best emulation experience you will want to choose Lakka. Recalbox or in Hasanov's case, RetroPie. These bespoke emulation operating systems are very easy to use and can be controlled from the comfort of your couch thanks to controller support. Hasanov was also kind enough to share the code used for the ESP32 controller which you can find over at GitHub.
If you want to get a closer look at this cool Raspberry Pi project (and ESP32 devices), check out the video shared to YouTube by Omer Hasanov and be sure to follow him for future developments or any updates to these creations.
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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.