Raspberry Pi hat camera views the world from your perspective

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Jacob David C Cunningham)

Many of the Raspberry Pi boards are well known for having a notably small form factor. The Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is a tiny, yet powerful board o it's not surprising that when maker Jacob David C Cunningham needed something small and lightweight to power his hat clip camera project, he chose it. This device works by clipping to the bill of your hat (not your usual Best HATs for Raspberry Pi) and captures both images and video using an official Raspberry Pi camera module connected to the Pi.

The main board powering the hat clip camera is a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W connected to a Raspberry Pi Camera Module 3. It's powered by what appears to be a LiPo battery but the exact output isn't specified. In the thread showcasing the project, Cunningham explains that an AP web controller was developed at one point but in the end scrapped.

The final product is still really fun and impressive. Just clip the camera to your hat and everything you face can easily be captured. Because it's so much smaller than the previous model, you don't have to worry as much about weight while it's being used. The idea is plenty exciting with plenty of room for future modification.

According to Cunningham, this is a follow-up project to a larger version, with both serving as a machine learning (ML) system that can identify RC planes in real-time. Plans are in the works to create another system with a base stationed on the ground with a tripod dedicated to the ML functionality so you don't have to wear the module that requires so much more computing power and electricity. Today's project, however, has everything contained in one SBC as a portable device.

Cunningham explained that the device, while functional, is still a work in progress and has room for improvement. There are also components that have yet to be fully utilized, including a Waveshare ESP32-based LCD touchscreen module that has additional features, like an integrated IMU, Cunningham has yet to tap into. 

To get a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project, check out the original thread shared to Reddit or the GitHub where you're also free to peruse the source code.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer 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.

  • Sam Hobbs
    Other than being geeky, I see no value in having the entire device on the hat. It would be much more practical to have just the camera on the hat with a cable to somewhere else.