If you like to tinker with electronics and fancy honing your coding skills, you might want to consider trying your hand at some of these great Raspberry Pi projects. Here we've included seven projects that range from beginner to more experienced Raspberry Pi users.
Trust us when we say the following list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
What can be done with a Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi is an incredibly versatile piece of kit. It can be used, with some other components, to make a myriad of different projects.
We've highlighted a few below, but if you want some more food for thought you might want to consider some of the following projects (courtesy of makeuseof.com): -
- Replace Your Desktop PC With a Raspberry Pi.
- Print With Your Raspberry Pi.
- Add AirPrint Support to Your Pi Print Server.
- Cut the Cord With Kodi: A Raspberry Pi Media Center.
- Set Up a Retro Gaming Machine.
- Build a Minecraft Game Server.
- Control a Robot.
- Build a Stop Motion Camera.
What age is Raspberry Pi for?
The Raspberry Pi has, to a certain extent, helped revolutionize the world of tech. This credit-card-sized single-board micro-computer was specifically designed to make basic computer science learning more accessible to all ages.
"The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to put the power of computing and digital making into the hands of people all over the world. We do this so that more people are able to harness the power of computing and digital technologies for work, to solve problems that matter to them, and to express themselves creatively." - Raspberry Pi Foundation.
There is no specific age restriction for the Raspberry Pi, but the company recommends 12 years plus is probably most suitable. That being said, if you are willing to provide guidance and support, children from the age of 8 are probably ok to use it too.
7 great Raspberry Pi projects you might want to make
If you are looking to learn the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi or are a seasoned veteran, here are some projects you might want to consider pitting your wits against.
1. Build a simple robot buggy
A great introductory project to the world of Raspberry Pi is this robot buggy. This project will help any amateur Pi-user learn how to build a little robot that can be controlled using simple python commands.
The project will teach you: -
- How to set up a motor controller board with two motors
- How to control motors using Python
- How to build a robot chassis
To build it, you will need to following components: -
- Raspberry Pi 3
- Motor controller board
- 2 × 3V - 6V DC motors
- 2 × wheels
- Batteries and battery holders
- Ball caster
- Wire or jumper leads
- A USB battery pack
- And basic electronics tools
2. See like a bat with your Raspberry Pi
Here is another interesting project for anyone who loves bats and Raspberry Pi. In this project, you will learn how to build an echolocation device, that can be worn, to help you "see like a bat".
It will teach you: -
- How to set up a potential divider
- How to set up an ultrasonic distance sensor
- How to calculate range from ultrasonic pulses
- How to use Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) to control a small motor
- How to use functions to solve abstract mathematical problems
For this project you will need: -
- Raspberry Pi 3
- Ultrasonic distance sensor
- Vibration motor
- 1 1.2kΩ resistor (or other - see worksheet)
- 1 2.2kΩ resistor (or other - see worksheet)
- 1 x Solderless breadboard
- 6 x Male-to-female jumper leads
- 2 x Male-to-male jumper leads
- 6 x female-to-female jumper leads
3. Make a smart mirror
In this project, you'll get the chance to build your very own smart mirror. Once complete, your new mirror will be able to display applications and information related to things like the weather, local news or whatever you want.
The project is also modular and can be easily moved around or hung on a wall.
For this project you will need: -
- 1 x Raspberry Pi 3
- 1 x Low profile monitor (or an old led display)
- 12 ft - 1x2 12 ft - 1x3 1 x Wood glue
- 1 x Low profile HDMI cable
- 1 x 18" - 24" Acrylic See-Through Mirror, 1 mm
4. Make an automated gardener
If you are fed up with having to tend to your indoor plants using your valuable time, why not get a Raspberry Pi to do it for you? In this project, you will get to do just that.
On completion, this project will teach you how to make a compact automated Raspberry Pi-powered gardener to water and light your plants. Never again will you ever have to remember to water your house plants.
For this project, you will need:-
- Raspberry Pi Zero × 1
- 12v Peristaltic Pump × 1
- White SiliconeTubing, 1/8"ID, 3/16"OD × 1
- 5v Grow Light × 1
- IRLB8721PBF N-Channel MOSFET × 2
- Jumper wires (generic) × 1
- M4 Bolts + Nuts × 4
- M3 Bolts + Nuts × 2
- M2.5 Bolts + Nuts × 2
- Electrical Tape × 1
- 12v Power Supply × 1
5. Build a Raspberry Pi quadcopter
If you are a little more experienced with building Raspberry Pi projects, you might want to consider this one. Here you get to build your very own quadcopter drone that is controlled by your very own programmed Raspberry Pi.
Apart from a Raspberry Pi 3, Navio Kit and basic electronics tools, you'll need a few more parts than other projects we've listed in order to build the drone assembly. Check out the full guide for more details.
6. Make your own cell phone
For more advanced Raspberry Pi DIY'ers. this project will certainly test your skills to the limit. This project will teach you how to make your very own cell phone - - the Pi-Phone.
The creator of this project managed to scavenge bits and piece together to assemble it for as little as $160. The parts used were as follows:-
• Raspberry Pi Model B
• PiTFT Touchscreen 320×240
• 2500mAh LiPo battery
• SIM900 GSM/GPRS module
• DC-DC boost converter 3.3V – 5V 1A
• Cables, connectors, switches, etc.
7. Make a pocket laptop using a Raspberry 4
It's a little more hands-on than other projects on the list, but will certainly take your skills to the next level.
This setup uses a 4GB Raspberry Pi 4, a Bluetooth keyboard, PCB for Power supply, and a 7-inch display. You can modify the design to suit your own tastes and budget of course.