As summer winds down, we'd like to take a look at some of the best Raspberry Pi projects we've had the opportunity to feature over the last month. The summer of 2020 has seriously taken a toll on our downtime—but that hasn't stopped the Raspberry Pi community from grabbing it by the horns!
We know you all are working hard and trying to make the best of our current situation. Thank you to all the makers who continue to create, innovate and share your wonderful creations online. Now let's dig in!
Raspberry Pi Clear Cassette Display
This Raspberry Pi project captures the retro aesthetic of '80s and '90s clear hardware. The creator, Martin Mander, managed to cram a Raspberry Pi Zero inside of an old cassette and uses it to power a tiny scrolling Pimoroni LED display, which gets data over the Internet from IFTT (If This Then That) scripts.
Why we love it: We're suckers for old hardware and love to find new things to stuff Raspberry Pis into. It's one thing to make a project that looks cool, but throw in some useful functions and you get instant bonus points.
Raspberry Pi Tricorder
The protoype for this Raspberry Pi tricorder project, created by Gabe Emerson, was housed inside of a plastic Tupperware container—and even that was strong enough to detect a Klingon trailer park. The final build is totally waterproof, has a thermal imaging camera and functions as an RF scanner/player.
Why we love it: It's out of this world! This was Emerson's first Raspberry Pi project and we think it's an excellent example of how portable and functional the Raspberry Pi can be when properly utilized. We'd also like to remind our readers about number 44 of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: "Never confuse wisdom with luck."
Automated Raspberry Pi Air Hockey Table
If you're evenly matched when playing air hockey, it's time to kick things up a notch with this automated air hockey table! It uses a Raspberry Pi to control a striker and play opponents in real-time. This project was originally shared by Marasadu on Reddit.
Why we love it: This is one of the coolest robotics setups we've seen. You don't just watch the machine complete a task, you compete against it and go in for a rematch after it's kicked your butt. This project is a whole lot of fun and took a whole lot of work. Nice job!
Raspberry Pi VR Meeting Headset
Virtual meetings have done more than socially distance us, they've created a communication strain on our relationships. Lorraine Underwood's Raspberry Pi-powered VR setup tackles that issue and makes it possible to feel physically present with your coworkers. With her project, you can look around the room during live meetings using a VR headset that controls a pan and tilt hat.
You can also see Lorraine demonstrate her project on the August 18th episode of the Tom's Hardware Pi Cast where she was our special guest.
Why we love it: This is an awesome use of VR with the Raspberry Pi. Even the staff at Tom's Hardware is feeling the strain of social distancing. Any project that helps fill the gap is a plus in our book. This project is very creative and the timing more than ideal.
Raspberry Pi Staircase LEDs
Chocolate_dingy, as he's known as on Reddit, created this wonderful LED staircase project for his home using a Raspberry Pi. It determines where you are on the stairs and triggers a string of LEDs that correspond with each step.
Why we love it: Home improvement projects are definitely in high demand right now, and this one has a huge impact without requiring too much work. According to the maker, the whole project was set up in about 6 hours total.
Project Zed: A Raspberry Pi Robotic Helper
This robot was created by Joseph Uding and is the most health-conscious robot we've seen all year. It can help with basic tasks, be remote-operated and is easily programmable with custom messages. It even has a camera for real-time visuals.
Why we love it: Who wouldn't want a robotic companion to take on 2020 with? This machine was also made with recycled 3D printer components. Project Zed is great on so many fronts.
Raspberry Pi Game Gear Mod
This retro gaming project comes to us from a maker named Zarcadeuk. He wanted to find some way to use a Raspberry Pi inside of an old Game Gear and wound up manufacturing a custom PCB for the operation. The best part is, you can recreate this project yourself!
Why we love it: I'm a huge fan of modding retro hardware. I absolutely love it when a project takes on a life of its own. That definitely happened here—Zarcadeuk went above and beyond with his work on this Raspberry Pi Game Gear project. Kudos!
Raspberry Pi-Powered Guitar
This guitar project is designed to use a Raspberry Pi to control effects and various features. There are LEDs inside as well as multiple speakers, so you don't need an amp or even a pyrotechnics expert to put on a show.
Why we love it: This project rocks—plain and simple. It has everything you need to function as an all-in-one guitar. The end result looks well-polished and too fun not to play!
GardenPi: The Raspberry Pi Aquaponics System
Richard Sears created the ultimate aquaponics system for his home garden. It not only automates watering his plants, it also pulls water from his ponds to be recycled into the garden. And of course, the whole operation relies on a Raspberry Pi.
Why we love it: This project is a crazy innovative way to add harmony to your garden. Sears also created a smartphone app that makes this project even more polished and incredibly user friendly.
iSight Raspberry Pi Mod for Zoom Meetings
If you've got an old Apple iSight, you can fix it up with a Raspberry Pi Zero like maker Max Braun. This setup not only runs Linux, but it also provides better webcam quality than the original device!
Why we love it: This project is a fun example of what you can do with old hardware. The Apple iSight camera had a short lifespan, but you can extend it with a little bit of work. We appreciate any project that integrates old tech for a smooth, modern user experience.
MORE: Raspberry Pi Tutorials