10 Best Raspberry Pi Projects

In the single-board computer (SBC) space, there are loads of maker boards. These include the Odroid XU4, ASUS Tinker Board, UDOO x86, and Orange Pi Prime. However, the most popular SBC on the market remains the Raspberry Pi. With its various iterations, solid price to performance ratio, and fantastic community support, the Raspberry Pi is easily the top development board available. Since it's such a widely-adopted SBC, the Raspberry Pi features tons of projects ideas. Check out 10 best Raspberry Pi projects!

1. Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi

Because of its simplicity and functionality, retro gaming on the Raspberry Pi is an incredible idea. You can make this as easy or difficult as you please. For a basic set up, a Raspberry Pi arcade merely requires a Raspberry Pi board, case, power supply, and retro gaming software. Choosing a standalone gaming operating system (OS) such as RetroPie, Recalbox, or Lakka makes this as intuitive as mounting an OS to a microSD card. RetroPie, Recalbox, and Lakka each provide unique characteristics.

Snag an awesome Raspberry Pi case such as a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) clone, or Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) shell for a do-it-yourself (DIY) NES Mini or SNES Classic. Alternatively, you may build your own Raspberry Pi arcade cabinet or make a gorgeous enclosure such as a wooden Pi handheld games console with bullet buttons. Ultimately, it's easy to build a retro game console with a Raspberry Pi, though there's room for added complexity. 

2. Raspberry Pi Home Automation Center 

Smart homes and smart home automation are major trends. With a Raspberry Pi, you can cobble together a Raspberry Pi smart home automation center. This project schedules sprinklers, monitors smoke detectors, and operates cooling fans. You'll need a Raspberry Pi, various hardware components, Raspbian or another Linux operating system, and Python. 

Additionally, you may create a Raspberry Pi smart home hub using various software options including Home Assistant. For security, try making the ultimate smart door lock security system with a Raspberry Pi, RFID keyfob, touchscreen, and more. With its abundant array of software, the Raspberry Pi is ideal as the foundation of a smart home project.

3. Raspberry Pi Camera

Because the Raspberry Pi includes GPIO headers, it's compatible with a smattering of accessories including cameras. Using a Raspberry Pi a motion detector and Raspberry Pi camera module, you can create a Raspberry Pi camera capable of filming birds. Alternatively, you can build a Raspberry Pi time lapse camera. Or, make your own selfie stick with a Raspberry Pi. Overall, it's a device well-suited to photography projects. 

4. Openauto - Android Auto Head Unit Emulator for Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi Android projects abound. For instance, you can create a Raspberry Pi Android desktop with the likes of Emteria and Lineage OS. Android Auto takes Android OS features and places them in your car's dashboard. This project emulates Android Auto with a Raspberry. As such, you can build your own head unit for your car. It's compatible with Google Voice Assistant, and boasts tons of functionality. Largely, it's useful for testing Android Auto apps, or making a portable headunit for your car. 

5. DIY Remote Control for Google Home and Chromecast



Smart home gadgets are increasingly popular. With widespread adoption for the likes of Chromecast and Google Home devices, these devices offer many features and integrations. Typically, the Google Home provides only touch and voice control, and Chromecast necessitates a smartphone for comprehensive control. Create a DIY remote control for Google Home and Chromecast. It's ridiculously simple to cobble together, requiring little more than the Pi and a bit of soldering.  

6. Bitcoin Address Monitoring Tool Built With a Raspberry Pi and an LCD Display


Raspberry Pi cryptocurrency mining is totally feasible, and simple to set up. However, while a Raspberry Pi Bitcoin miner is possible, it's not a profitable venture. But an awesome use of Raspberry Pi hardware for Bitcoin is as a Bitcoin address monitoring tool with a Raspberry Pi and LCD display. It's incredibly easy, and requires little more than a Raspberry Pi, display, and a bit of software. If you're into the Raspberry Pi and Bitcoin, this is a fantastic way to track Bitcoin wallets. Moreover, you may set up your Raspberry Pi as a cryptocurrency wallet

7. BalanceRobot Raspberry Pi Project

The Raspberry Pi is useful for loads of projects. While you can build anything as simple as a Linux desktop or retro game console, the Pi is capable as a foundation for robotics projects. With a Raspberry Pi 3, GearMotor half encoder, RPi motor driver board, and BalanceRobot software, you can create your own Raspberry Pi robot. It's a fun venture that's less complicated that it might seem. 

8. Pi-ron Man

Marvel Studios created a juggernaut with its Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's one of my favorite film franchises, and though Captain America and Black Panther are likely my top MCU superheroes, this Pi-ron Man mask is pretty sweet. It calls for various hardware components, a bit of soldering, and a Raspberry Pi Zero W. Since the required computing power is pretty low, it's one of the best Raspberry Pi Zero projects you can build. 

With this DIY Raspberry Pi Iron Man mask, you can create a mask with a heads up display (HUD) that's wearable and allows you to transform into Iron Man. It's a fun idea for cosplay and just geeking out. Maybe next someone can create a Raspberry Pi-based Dum Dum Dugan bowler hat or Blade's sword. 

9. Smart Mirror With Optional Alexa

Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all? Find out with a simple yet robust smart mirror complete with Amazon Alexa integration. It's a low-cost project with tons of functionality. You'll merely need a picture frame, mirrored window film, Raspberry Pi, and some assorted hardware. Then, you can add Alexa for increased smart home use. 

10. World's Smartest Home - Blockchain Chores and Kids Crypto

Blockchain has many uses. It's useful for cryptocurrency, voting, and more. An atypical implementation of blockchain: a smart home automation system for managing kid's chores and allowance with blockchain. Moreover, this fantastic smart home system manages smart tech, real-time vehicle tracking, and more. It's ridiculously comprehensive. Again, the Raspberry Pi here is used for smart home control and automation. 

10 Best Raspberry Pi Projects: Final Thoughts

The Raspberry Pi is arguably the best maker board on the market. It's inexpensive, functional, and boasts tons of support. Since the Raspberry Pi pricing is so affordable, you might consider having multiple Raspberry Pi devices. I own a Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3 B+, though I plan to pick up a Raspberry Pi 3 at some point as an extra Pi. 

Wile these are the best Raspberry Pi projects, there are plenty of other ideas. We love the Windows 98 Wrist Watch powered by a Raspberry Pi. Plus, for a simple and awesome Raspberry Pi project, try making a Raspberry Pi-based home theatre PC (HTPC). Your Pi HTPC can even be combined with retro gaming emulators.

Whether you're a Raspberry Pi beginner or seasoned pro, there's a Raspberry Pi project for you. What are your favorite Raspberry Pi projects?

Moe Long

Moe Long is an editor, writer, and tech buff with a particular appreciation for Linux, Raspberry Pis, and retro gaming. When he's not hammering away at his keyboard, he enjoys running, reading, watching cinema, and listening to vinyl. You can read his writings on film and pop culture at CupOfMoe.com and check out his thoughts on movies on the Celluloid Fiends podcast.


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