Five cool gadgets you can build using a Raspberry Pi

The functionality and low price of the Raspberry Pi make it a perfect choice for tech hobbyists and DIY enthusiasts.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B packs a lot of potential due to its built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and it is relatively cheap to begin a project using the board.

One of the Pi’s defining features is its GPIO pins, which allow users to connect and control electronics using a bit of soldering and some basic code.

Both experienced hackers and beginners can easily get started with the Pi thanks to a variety of projects and tutorials available online.

Five awesome projects based on the Pi are detailed below.


Home assistant

Create an alternative to Google Home and Amazon Alexa using a Pi, and build your own home assistant.

The set-up is simple if you use open source software and tutorials, although you will need a bit more expertise to expand your ecosystem with other devices.

There are a few software options for your DIY home assistant, including Amazon’s Alexa and Jarvis.

Jarvis is an open-source voice-controlled virtual assistant which can be modified, although it does require a complex set-up.

Amazon has made its Alexa Voice Services available for developers to use, and while this option is more limited, it is easier to set up.

alexa pi 3


Robots

The Pi can be a great tool for learning about robotics and controlling hardware with code.

From single robot arms to fully-functional vehicles, there are many tutorials on the subject available online.

The free MagPi magazine regularly includes tutorials about building your own robot and interfacing with hardware using Python.


Pi Drone

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can build a remote-controlled drone using a Raspberry Pi.

While the Pi Zero may be better suited to a DIY drone build, it is still possible with bigger boards like the Pi 3 Model B.

Hackers can easily get their Pi in the sky using solutions like Erle Robotics’ PXFMini daughter-board and code.

The Pi also allows for a camera to be connected, meaning you can set your drone to broadcast video to a controlling device.


Smart Mirror

It does require more resources to set up than most small projects, but many Raspberry Pi owners have used their device to create smart mirrors.

A smart mirror allows you to access a number of functions projected onto a standard mirrored surface and can be a great way to inject a smart device into your daily life.

Smart Mirror projects and guides are available on platforms like GitHub.


Home theatre PC

A simple but useful project for beginners is turning a Raspberry Pi into a home theatre PC.

This allows you to create an always-on, low-power entertainment solution with Internet connectivity and endless customisation options.

You can use your Pi home theatre to watch YouTube videos, Twitch streams, read the news, and much more.

This is an easy and rewarding project which requires the installation and set-up of Kodi.

Kodi Main 2


Now read: I built a voice-controlled Amazon Echo using a Raspberry Pi

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Five cool gadgets you can build using a Raspberry Pi