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Raspberry Pi Pico W Projects to Inspire Your Inner Maker

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Pimoroni, Richard Hayler, Arm, pi3g)

The Raspberry Pi family has grown today and now includes a $6 wireless microcontrollers, the Raspberry Pi Pico W. We’ve already had the chance to check it out and have a full Raspberry Pi Pico W review available for anyone interested in the new board. In short, we’re head over heels for the new development and it looks like we’re not alone!

Several makers have had the opportunity to check out the new boards and have even shared some new Pico W projects with the community that demonstrates its potential. Today we’re taking a look at a few of them to get you excited and hopefully springboard some new ideas with their inspirational creations.

Raspberry Pi Pico W Wi-Fi Network Scanner

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Raspbery Pi Foundation Programme Manager, Richard Hayler is using the Pico W to power this network scanner. An LED strip is thrown into the mix to signal how many Wi-Fi networks are nearby and what kind. According to Hayler, the green lights symbolize secure networks, red lights are used for insecure open networks, and the amber LEDs are for hidden SSIDs.

Wireless Garage Door Sensor

With the help of MicroPython, Jeff Geerling has created a wireless sensor for his garage door. This project is intended to integrate with his home automation system and uses a magnetic switch to toggle the state of a GPIO pin, the state of the pin is then communicated to the home automation system. More updates are expected soon on this project which can be found on his official website.

Pico W Web Server

Nathan with pi3g has built a Pico W-powered web server using MicroPthon. With it, users can connect to the Pico wirelessly and, in his demonstration, control the onboard LED. The Pico W handles serving both the HTML for a browser session, and the backend GPIO control that turns the LED on and off.

Pico W Plant Notification System

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Arm is using a Pico W to power a plant notification system. With the help of a Pimoroni Grow HAT Mini, it sends mobile notifications with fun messages and reminders to water the plant when the moisture sensor detects low levels. You can see it in action over at the official Arm profile at Twitter.

New Pimoroni Pico W Products

It wouldn't be a new Pi release without a slew of Pimoroni products to go along with it! Users have a few new boards to get excited about including the Galactic Unicorn which features a matrix panel that can be operated by the Pico W, along with two new wireless boards—the Inventor 2040W and the Automation 2040W. You can get a good look at these new developments on the official Pimoroni YouTube page.

Be sure to check out our list of best Raspberry Pi projects for more inspiring creations from the maker community. We’ll be sure to cover more Pico W projects as they make their rounds online so heat up your soldering irons and snag a Pico W for yourself!

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.