If you want to build your own projects, develop your coding skills, or start with robotics, the Raspberry Pi is a great piece of kit to have. With its many features, small form factor and low price, it is the ideal platform for countless DIY projects.

But once you have bought a Raspberry Pi, what do you do with it? To help you find inspiration and get you on your way, I have created this curated list of the coolest Raspberry Pi projects.

I will regularly update this page with new projects, so don’t hesitate to bookmark this page and return to it later to see what is new!

The Best Raspberry Pi Projects

Last update: January 2021

By using the filters below you can find projects that match your skill level and the components that you have access to. No matter if you are a beginner or a professional, you will find fun things to build that you can make yourself.

Image Source: Revolutionscan

With this DIY 3D scanner you can scan and digitize objects. To build it, you need 3-5 Raspberry Pi Zeros, an equal number of camera modules and a variety of other electronics components. The external housing is something that you can 3D print yourself.

The end result: a tool that gives you digital versions of your favorite objects! Ideal if you want to make a copy with your 3D printer or if you want to modify them first.

Difficulty: Advanced

Image Source: Tomasz Lewicki

This smart thermometer uses cameras in the thermal (infrared) and visible spectrum range to remotely measure body temperature. It automatically detects people in frame before it then checks the temperature of their skin. All components fit in a convenient package, making it perfect to hang at your front door to check your visitors for fever.

The whole project is open-source, but be aware: because of the FLIR infrared module this is not a cheap project.

Difficulty: Intermediate

If you are curious about the quality of the air you breathe every day, this can be a great project for you. With a Raspberry Pi 4 and a SPS30 environmental sensor you can detect and track the level of small particles that are present in the air around you.

The circuit is easy to build. The hardest part is probably the software setup. With these instructions, however, it should be a breeze.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: Sam Storino

Many cat owners can relate to having their cat beg for food. But what if that is something you can avoid? This Raspberry Pi based cat feeder utilizes a servo to automatically serve your hungry felines their meal. It can be set to release food on demand or by following a schedule.

Difficulty: Intermediate

This project offers you a way to add extra flair to your Christmas tree. With WS2811 RGB light pixels, a Raspberry Pi, and a projector you can create a fancy light show that sets the right mood for the holidays.

It is by no means an easy project, but the end result is surely worth it.

Difficulty: Advanced

Image Source: Maggie Shah

Chromecasts are devices that let you stream online content to your television through HDMI. But instead of buying one off the shelf, you can simply use a Raspberry Pi instead. Both the hardware and software are easy to set up, and will have you enjoy your Android phone’s content on your TV in no time.

Note that using a Raspberry Pi does not give you an exact clone of a Chromecast device, and this method does come with several limitations.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: Tyler Spadgenske

Have you ever wanted to build your own smartphone? This project lets you do just that! By combining a few basic components, like a Raspberry Pi, a cellular module and a PiTFT screen, you will have a device that can make calls and send texts just like any other phone.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi foundation regularly puts out amazing projects, and this is no exception. If you are interested in collecting local climate and environmental data, this DIY weather station is for you. From humidity and temperature to wind speed and rainfall, you can track it all.

This project involves quite some components and tools, but with the detailed instructions this should not be a problem.

Difficulty: Advanced

Image Source: Robin Cole

Doorbell cameras are readily available in stores, but what if you can make one yourself for less? With a couple of cheap components and a bit of your time, you will be able to see who is at your door before you open it.

A big benefit of a Raspberry Pi based doorbell camera is that the video does not pass through any unknown servers, unlike with store-bought models. Ideal if you value your privacy!

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: s_shturma

If you look online, you will find many Raspberry Pi-based digital photo frames. But none of them are as easy to make as this one. Follow the straightforward instructions and you will have a sleek digital photo frame to display your photos in.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: Muhammad Aqib

This door lock automatically unlocks when it recognizes your face. To do this, it combines a RasPi, a solenoid lock and a camera module. On the software side it relies on machine learning to train itself to recognize specific faces. A brilliant use of technology that gives you an automated lock that is easy to use.

Don’t use it for anything important though! The lock also gets triggered by faces on pictures.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Starscream205

If you are a fan of the Fallout series, then this project is for you. It is a full-fledged Pip-Boy 2000 model with working screen and holotape reader. This is certainly one of the coolest Raspberry Pi projects that we have seen.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Steve Does Stuff

Accidentally leaving the garage door open is something nobody wants. So why not use technology to prevent it? This project utilizes a Raspberry Pi and a set of magnetic reed switches so that you can always check the state of the door.

Aside from that, it is capable of opening and closing the door itself through a relay and even keeps a log of when the door has been used.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: DanNixon

Internet radio is a great concept, but sometimes it can be a hassle to use your PC or phone to listen to your favorite stations. This project gives you a standalone internet radio player that works with Google Play Music. Its LCD gives information about the currently playing song and playlist, whereas the interface buttons let you control what is playing.

This build is not for the faint-hearted: a solid understanding of electronics and Linux is recommended.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: James Wong

HIIT (high intensity interval training) can be challenging. Especially at the end of sets, where many struggle to keep proper form and a consistent pace. This is where the HIIT workout trainer from James Wong comes in. With a combination of a Pi camera module and machine learning it is able to track and score your workout poses.

This is a great project to do if you think you can benefit from your own digital personal trainer.

Difficulty: Advanced

Image Source: Tim Lindquist

There are many Raspberry Pi game consoles out there, but this is definitely one of the best. Named the ‘NinTIMdo RP’, it uses the RetroPie emulator to let you play thousands of games. It’s not quite the same as a Nintendo Switch, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.

If you want to replay your favorite childhood games on a more modern handheld console, this is exactly what you need.

Difficulty: Advanced

Hosting your own WordPress website might sound scary, but it is actually not that difficult. With this tutorial from the Raspberry Pi foundation you have everything you need to get started. It teaches you to create a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack on the RasPi that functions as a web server. The end result is a WordPress website that you can access from any device on the same network.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation

Worried about sneaky burglars? With this laser tripwire you can rest easy. Simply set up a Raspberry Pi to play a sound through a speaker or buzzer whenever someone breaks the beam from a laser pointer. A simple project, but a lot of fun!

If you want to take things one step further, you can even set the RasPi up to take a picture of the intruder or to send out a tweet.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: Victor Vilches

Drones are awesome. And with single board computers like the Raspberry Pi, you can build one yourself. With a couple of hardware components (motors, autopilot shield, power module) and the software and instructions from the tutorial, you are all set.

The total cost of this project is a bit under $200, making it one of the more expensive options in this list.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Michael Teeuw

Magic mirrors have taken off in popularity recently, giving you a lot of choice. But which one should you build?

You really can’t go wrong with the MagicMirror². This open source smart mirror platform has one of the best feature sets, is well-documented and has great support. No matter if you want your mirror to display the weather forecast, news, Twitter or to respond to your voice, it’s all there.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Sebastian Staacks

The Matrix Cube CPU monitor might be one of the most over the top ways of keeping an eye on your computer’s CPU temperature, but it is also one of the coolest (no pun intended). Through the use of three LED video panels it displays an animation that varies in intensity and color, depending on CPU temperature and usage.

As far as LED cubes go, this one is not only great to look at, but also practical.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Geeksmithing

This Minecraft sign might look like it is just for decoration, but it actually has some clever functionality inside. It checks whether your friends are online in your favorite Minecraft server and uses the LED lights to notify you if that is the case. Never miss out on playing with your friends again!

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: jezsinglespeed

If you buy off-the-shelf products for playing audio in multiple rooms, you can expect to pay a heavy cost. But when you do it based on a Raspberry Pi, it is a lot cheaper. jezsinglespeed on Instructables has done just that. With a RasPi B+, several wireless receivers and the Pi MusicBox software he got everything up and running for under £100 (not including the speakers).

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: MagPi magazine

It can often be a good idea to keep an eye on the devices that are connected to your network. Any unknown devices appearing on your network are a cause for concern. Things like important web servers, on the other hand, you always want to see online.

One way of doing this is by using a dedicated PC, but a more efficient method is to utilize a Raspberry Pi. By installing Nagios open-source network monitor software on your Pi, you have a cheap, small and energy-efficient way of watching network activity.

Difficulty: Beginner

Sure, you could check your phone or computer yourself to see if you have any new emails. But what if you could use a physical device that notifies you automatically? That is exactly what this new email notification light does for you.

By using only a couple of electronics components, this tiny mailbox lights up to notify you of any new mail in your inbox. A great way to make your workday less boring!

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: nj1337

Regular backups are essential, but devices like dedicated NAS servers can be expensive. Luckily, there are ways to make your own DIY server to keep copies of important data. nj1337 on hackster has explained how to do just that. All you need is a Raspberry Pi, the free and open-source NextCloud software and one or more hard drives.

The 3D printed case is useful, but you can place the server it in practically any other case it fits in.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: thejbw

Nixie tubes look great in any build. A good example of this is the UNIAC: The Ultimate Nixie Internet Alarm Clock made by thejbw. It features multiple types of Nixie tubes and has a wide range of features. From a clock with alarm to streaming music from Spotify. It even visualizes the music with IN-13 Nixie VU meters.

Sourcing the components for this project can be tricky, as Nixie tubes aren’t produced much anymore and are becoming more scarce.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Niles Fromm

The NoLoop Synthesizer is a granular synthesizer that creates sound from field recordings and sampled audio. It features a visual display, master controls, a touch bar and even controls for individual samples. Musical projects like these are what show the versatility of the Raspberry Pi.

There aren’t any instructions available on how to build one yourself, but it was too cool not to include in this list.

Difficulty: Advanced

Image Source: Arsenijs

Just like the other phone project on this page, this build lets you call and text using a self-built device. One major difference is that this phone costs significantly less to build. For less than $50 you can get up and running. It doesn’t have a fancy touch screen, but other than that it has most functions you would expect from a smartphone.

Its low price, repairability and focus on privacy are one of the reasons we love this project!

Difficulty: Advanced

Image Source: Team Petoi

If you are allergic to cats but still want to have one, this robotic cat might be the solution. It can walk, roll, detect obstacles, recover after falling and more. A Raspberry Pi 3 is responsible for the higher level logic whereas an Arduino takes care of controlling the servos.

Fully open-source, this is an excellent project for STEM education. It is fairly complicated, however, so expect to put in a decent bit of work if you decide to build one for yourself.

Difficulty: Advanced

Image Source: Adrien Castel

The Pi Commander Flight Simulator combines an old toy with a Raspberry Pi 3A+ to create a retro gaming system. To get things working, its maker, Adrien, had to replace the original screen and joystick. After making additional enhancements to the sound system and buttons, the end result is something to behold.

There are no instructions to make your own, but it can still serve as inspiration to upgrade your own old toys with a Pi.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Dominick Marino

This possessed portrait is a great way to scare your visitors. Its canvas is actually an LCD screen, playing a video with a jump scare once the Raspberry Pi with motion sensor detects someone passing by.

For the best effect, you can even add speakers that play the sound that comes with the video.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: MagPi magazine

If you live in an area with seismic activity, this seismograph might be of use to you. It uses a geophone sensor attached to a Raspberry Pi to detect earth tremors. Once you have built it, place it in a remote location in your home or office and wait for the earth to move. It collects non-stop data, which you can explore using the web interface.

The project is simple to build, but you do need to be careful to handle and level the parts correctly.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Raspberry Pi Foundation

Steam Link is a service that allows you to wirelessly stream games from your PC to a display of choice, without having to run a long HDMI cable. Previously, you would have to buy Valve’s Steam Link device for this, but since the release of the Raspberry Pi Steam Link app, you can use a Pi instead.

Getting up and running only takes a couple of minutes and can be done by executing a single line of code!

Difficulty: Beginner

Raveberry is a music server that lets its users democratically pick songs. Anyone can request songs and their order changes based on the ratings that the users give.

Raveberry can add a fun interactive element to your parties. It supports both Spotify and Youtube as music sources.

Difficulty: Advanced

Image Source: Martin Mander

The Raspberry Pi High Quality camera is a nice piece of kit, but for the best results it is important to get the focus right. To remotely focus the HQ camera, you can use Martin Mander’s project.

The setup utilizes a continuous servo and a hacked LEGO piece to allow you to focus the camera with your phone or tablet. A perfect solution if you are interested in using the camera for observing wildlife, for example.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: RetroPie

The RetroPie is one of the most popular arcade/emulator software solutions available, and for a good reason. It allows you to turn a Raspberry Pi into a full-fledged retro-gaming machine. With support for over 100000 games on 40+ emulated consoles, RetroPie gives you endless entertainment.

You can use it with a wide range of interfaces. From classic joysticks to present-day Xbox and Playstation controllers.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: 3Dprintedlife

If you need some help getting dealt a good hand, look no further than this card sorting machine. It has the ability to read the playing cards in the deck and organize them exactly the way you want as they are being shuffled. Through a combination of machine learning and clever hardware design, you can always get the cards you want.

Don’t worry, it also has a near true random shuffle for when cheating is not your thing.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: MagPi magazine

You don’t necessarily need a PC or a console to run Minecraft. You can also run it on a Raspberry Pi! It is recommended to use a faster model Raspberry Pi for this, like the Pi 4.

Setup of Minecraft: Pi Edition is super easy and you will be enjoying the Classic game mode before you can say ‘Pi’.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: Wayne from Devscover

If you play Scrabble but your skills are lacking, this cheating device will help you out. It automatically gives you a list of words to choose from based on your current tiles. It only needs a Raspberry Pi and a HQ camera module, the rest is done in software.

The only problem: the entire setup is a bit difficult to disguise at the table.

Difficulty: Beginner

The amount of robotics projects you can make with a Raspberry Pi are endless. One of the coolest ones is this self-balancing robot with legs. It is based off of the Boston Dynamics Handle robot and has extremities to increase its agility.

The entire build uses off-the-shelf hobby parts that are easily sourced. The rest of the parts are 3D printed.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: Hacker Shack

This smart security camera automatically sends you an email with an image of any objects it detects. No longer do you have to wonder who is at your door, or worse, who stole your package. It is a simple to make project that will make you feel a lot more safe.

The dimensions for the MDF housing are posted in the instructions, but if you are feeling adventurous you can try 3D printing it instead.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: koff1979

Sometimes you don’t have a permanent power source available but you still want to run your Raspberry Pi. For situations like this, you can run your RasPi off of solar power. No more dealing with power adapters. Just follow these instructions and make a self-contained unit with a solar panel, a battery to store the charge and the Raspberry Pi itself.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: Chris Crocker-White

This Raspberry Pi based Geiger counter is one way to make sure that you are never exposed to excessive radiation. Its combination of a functional meter with a steampunk design is really something to behold. It uses an electromechanical counter as well as Nixie tubes to show you the amount of radiation you are exposed to.

Let’s just hope you will never really need it!

Difficulty: Advanced

Image Source: 8bitsandabyte

If you find yourself swearing too much, this teddy bear might be able to help you out. It listens to your conversations and uses AI to detect profanity. After it has caught you swearing, it immediately lets you know through the built-in speakers.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: 3Dprintedlife

This robot always gives you someone to play Tic-Tac-Toe with. By combining image recognition and an articulating arm, this device is able to calculate its next move and execute it independently. The downside? It always wins, even by cheating if necessary.

For this project you will need a Raspberry Pi, servos, a camera module and access to a 3D printer to print several of its parts.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: rickadam

As with many projects on this list, building your own version of something is usually cheaper than buying it off the shelf. This especially goes for time lapse rigs. Professional rigs cost a lot and a DIY option is often more than good enough.

rickadam on Instructables has built his own time lapse dolly and shared the instructions. With a Raspberry Pi, a motor and a variety of hardware components you too can get started making beautiful time lapses.

Difficulty: Beginner

Having to position your printer close to your PC in order to be able to plug it in can be a hassle. Wireless printers don’t have this issue, but unfortunately not all printers are wireless. Luckily, you can get around this. With a Raspberry Pi and a wireless dongle you can turn basically any printer into a wireless printer.

The instructions of this project are simple to follow and the hardware cost is low. Nothing can stop you from freeing your printer from cables. Except for the power cable, of course.

Difficulty: Beginner

Image Source: Reginald Watson

This easy to build project is a great way to get familiar with biometrics. It uses a Raspberry Pi, a fingerprint scanner and a USB to serial converter to provide you with an easy setup to capture fingerprints.

After that, it is up to you to decide what to do with it. Add an extra layer of security to a motorized lock? Improve the security of other hardware devices? Because you are using a Raspberry Pi, the sky is the limit.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Image Source: Donald Bell

MakerDonald made this amazing robot bartender for the Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge, an annual cocktail machine event in San Francisco. This Blade Runner-inspired machine mixes a drink to your liking by dispensing liquids from a variety of bottles. Its design is top notch and it is hands down one of the best Raspberry Pi based builds we have seen.

Bring yourself into the future and build your own drink pouring robot!

Difficulty: Advanced

Image Source: derwassi

Sunrise alarm clocks are gaining popularity as of late, offering you a way to wake up without an alarm nagging you. Instead, these devices wake you by simulating a sunrise. Because they can be costly and hard to configure, derwassi on Instructables decided to build his own and share the instructions.

With a Raspberry Pi, RGB LEDs, a speaker and a bunch of other minor components, you can build one too. An excellent project if you want to improve the way you start your day.

Difficulty: Intermediate

A poor WiFi signal can be a big nuisance, but with this Raspberry Pi based WiFi extender you can fix that. It utilizes a Raspberry Pi and  two WiFi adapters to give you a cheap and power efficient method to increase the range of your WiFi network. If you use a RasPi with built-in WiFi, like the Pi 3 or 4, you only need one additional WiFi dongle.

This method does reduce network speed. But if you are okay with that, then this is an excellent way of extending the range of your wireless network.

Difficulty: Beginner

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