Awesome Raspberry Pi projects you can build at home

Being at home during the national lockdown can be a good time to get started on a DIY hacker project – especially if you have a Raspberry Pi lying around.

A Raspberry Pi is a mini-computer which runs an ARM chipset, allowing it to function as the base component for a variety of DIY gadgets.

The latest version of the Raspberry Pi is the Pi 4 Model B – a unit that boasts 4GB of RAM and a quad-core Broadcom processor.

We have detailed five Raspberry Pi projects to try out during the lockdown below.

Home Theatre PC

There are a number of operating systems and applications available for the Raspberry Pi which allow it to function as an Internet-connected set-top box.

You can also use the device to play media off an external hard drive and connect it to your phone to use as a remote control.

The Pi 4 Model B is the best choice for this application, as it is the most powerful version available and is capable of streaming video at 4K.

After installing one of the various operating systems available, you can set up the Kodi content platform on your Raspberry Pi to enhance its selection of add-ons and content.

Read our guide on how to set up your Raspberry Pi as a home theatre system here.

Kodi Main 2

Retro gaming console

Thanks to the RetroPie project, you can set up your Raspberry Pi as a living room console in minutes, although you will need to provide your own controllers.

This software turns your mini-computer into a fully-fledged gaming console, capable of playing thousands of titles from various retro systems, including the SNES, PlayStation 2, GameCube, and more.

Once again, the Pi 4 Model B is the best choice for this project, as its improved hardware will provide better performance.

Games can be accessed in the form of ROMs, although it should be noted that these lie within a legal grey area, and it is illegal to download licensed content which you do not own.

Read the full guide to set up your Raspberry Pi as a gaming console here.

Xbox gaming controller

Wi-Fi access point

This project is easy to complete and requires only basic hardware and software knowledge.

Additionally, there is very little permanent hardware required aside from the board and the peripherals for initial setup.

Users will need to follow a step-by-step guide on how to set up the correct traffic routing settings on their Raspberry Pi, however.

This allows for greater customisation, as users can determine whether to share the Pi’s Internet connection or simply have it act as an access point to the network.

Like many Raspberry Pi projects, this can be completed with the standard Raspbian operating system installed.

For more information, read our full guide here.


Google Home

This project can be accomplished thanks to the public availability of the Google Assistant SDK, which you connect to via your Raspberry Pi.

To provide an experience similar to a Google Home speaker, however, you will require a USB microphone and a standard speaker.

You will also need an active Internet connection to the Pi.

Setting up your Pi as a Google Home requires you to create a Google Developer Project through the company’s cloud portal.

After this, you can open up the Pi terminal and install Google’s Assistant SDK for Raspbian.

While this is a more complex project, it can still easily be completed with minimal developer knowledge.

For more information, read our full guide here.

Alexa Pi header

Spotify Speaker

Spotify offers users the ability to remotely play music via compatible devices.

This functionality is based on the Spotify Connect protocol and is compatible with many TVs and connected speaker systems.

Using the Spotify app as a remote, users can control playlists, volume, and more from their smartphone.

If you have a great speaker system which is not outfitted with compatible connectivity technologies, you can use your Raspberry Pi as a gateway for Spotify Connect.

An open-source library named Raspotify allows you to implement Spotify Connect functionality on your Raspberry Pi.

Installing the client can be done with a few terminal commands, following which you need to connect your speakers to the Pi via a 3.5mm connection or HDMI.

For more information, read our full guide here.

Spotify speaker header 2

Now read: Massive increase in South African network attacks

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Awesome Raspberry Pi projects you can build at home