14 Raspberry Pi Project Ideas & Topics For Beginners in 2020

Raspberry Pi is an inexpensive small computer you can use for a variety of tasks. From building a smart TV to creating Twitter bots, this simple device is capable of many things. 

Whether you are a seasoned developer or a novice, this machine can help you try out your skills and new learn ones. It’s popular because of its versatility. 

To understand it correctly, you should use it in projects. And to help you in that regard, we have created a list of the best Raspberry Pi projects you can work on. After going through this list, you’ll find out how amazing Raspberry Pi is, and you’ll also get some excellent project ideas you can work on. 

Let’s get started.

Top Raspberry Pi Project Topics and Ideas for Beginners

1. Twitter Bot

Twitter is one of the biggest social media platforms out there. And managing a Twitter account can be cumbersome. What if you could use a bot for sending automated Tweets? With a Raspberry Pi bot, it’s possible.

You’ll need to sign up on Twitter and get the Twitter APIs for this project. Twitter has dedicated APIs that let you create such bots on Raspberry Pi. You’ll need to program your pi board with Python for the setup. For this purpose, you can use the Twython library. It’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting projects on Raspberry Pi. 

2. Print Server

Convert a simple printer into a wireless printer with a Raspberry Pi. You’ll be able to use that printer properly through any device you connect it to. It’s undoubtedly one of the best Raspberry Pi project ideas as it lets you try out your skills and understand the working of networking and servers. 

You’ll need to use the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) for the print server. As you’ll need a wireless connection, you should get the latest version of Raspberry Pi, which is Raspberry Pi 3. With Samba, you can connect your print server with Windows devices (such as your PC). 

3. Smart TV

Want to buy a new smart TV but don’t have the money? Well, you don’t need that much money to have a smart TV at your home. You can build one! 

By using Raspberry Pi and a monitor, you can build an entire smart TV that performs all the functions any other smart TV performs. If you have an additional monitor lying around in your home, this is a great way to enhance your home entertainment system. You should use Kodi for this project. 

4. Twitch Bot

Twitch is a popular platform among gamers and hobbyists worldwide. It’s a live video streaming social media platform. Many professionals use it to broadcast their work, performances, and events. If you’ve ever heard of Fortnite, you must’ve heard of Twitch too. 

You can turn your Raspberry Pi board into a Twitch streaming bot with a few modifications. You’ll have the option of live-streaming different gameplays by using your newly built bot. To create the bot, you’ll need to get the Twitch OAuth token from Twitch. Then you’ll use Python for programming your moderator and configure the Raspberry Pi for starting the bot. 

5. NAS File Server

You can convert a storage device into a dedicated server through a Network Attached Storage server (NAS server). And you can use Raspberry Pi to create a NAS server. These servers enable you to transfer large amounts of files at a high pace. 

If you look for a NAS file server in the market, you’ll see that they’re costly. So it’s undoubtedly a great project to test your skills and get a relatively inexpensive NAS file server. You’ll have to configure your pi board for using the SSH protocol and use Samba for setting the network. It’d be better if you format your storage drives with the NTFS format. 

6. Distance Sensor

Who says electrical engineers don’t use programming? If you take an interest in sensors, then you’ll love this project. You can use your Raspberry Pi board for building a distance sensor, just like the one you see in cars and other advanced systems. This project will surely add a significant achievement to your portfolio. 

To create the distance sensor with your pi board, you’ll need an ultrasonic sensor first. You’ll need to control the GPIO pins of the board through the Rpi.GPO module. You’ll also need to use a voltage divider to keep the voltage at usable levels. 

7. AI Assistant

You can create an AI assistant by using a Raspberry Pi as well. For this project, you can use the Google Cloud SDK and Google Assistant. You’ll just have to sign up on Google Assistant and set up the audio for your account. Make sure that your pi board is authorized for this project. You can set up Google Assistant and start using this AI assistant. This is a great project for your portfolio and will give you experience in the basic functionalities of Raspberry Pi. 

It’s perfect for beginners. 

8. Retro Game

Remember when your parents used to gift you retro games? Many people used to spend hours mashing those buttons. You can recreate that joy by turning your Raspberry Pi board into a retro gaming console. If you were an avid gamer in the good ol’ days, then this project will suit you perfectly. 

You’ll need to install RetroPie and configure it so you can control it through a USB controller. You can use your PS 3’s controller (or PS4’s). You can also use the Xbox 360’s controller. 

9. Weather Station

Out of all the Raspberry Pi projects we’ve discussed here, this one is the best one for beginners. You can configure your Raspberry Pi board to become an entire weather station. With this project, you get to learn about the capabilities of this technology and gain experience with its programming. 

You can get the Oracle Raspberry Pi Weather Station for its APIs. It’s perfect for this project. You’ll need a BME280 sensor for analyzing temperature, pressure, and other indicators of weather. 

10. Smart Home

Do Amazon Alexa and Google Home fascinate you? Then this project would be perfect for you. You can automate multiple home appliances by using Raspberry Pi. It might seem a little challenging, but once you’ve completed the project, you’ll have something “super-cool” to show-off to your peers. 

For building a home automation system, you should have ample experience in development. It’s a project for experienced developers. You can empower your order by modifying Raspberry Pi with an Arduino board. You’ll need to set up a Relay circuit and use thingspeak’s APIs for this project. 

You can build Interesting machine learning projects by using raspberry pi.

11. Network Monitor

When you use multiple servers, you have to use a network monitor for performing a variety of tasks such as tracking the status of your system, warnings of failures, etc. For systems with multiple servers, it’s a necessity. With Raspberry Pi, you can create a network monitoring tool that lets you perform all of these tasks with convenience. 

There are many kinds of Raspberry Pi projects, but this one will give you experience in networking and network systems. You’ll get to use your knowledge of computer networks while working on it. In this project, you’ll have to connect a display, configure the monitoring settings of NagiosPi (a server monitoring distro). 

12. Desktop Computer

Raspberry Pi is a small computer, imagine building a complete Desktop computer out of it. PC building is an exciting hobby, and many enthusiasts build new PCs by using different components. You can make one too by using Raspberry Pi. 

If you take an interest in computer systems and components, this is the best project for you. You’ll get to build a complete desktop PC from scratch. You’ll need an HDMI monitor, keyboard, and mouse as they are necessary for a desktop. You’ll need to add a cooler to avoid heating issues with your Raspberry Pi. 

Also machine learning technology in these days is growing which can help to improvise the project building using raspberry pi .

13. Camera with Time Lapse

Time Lapse images are stunning and fascinating. With your Raspberry Pi board, you can create a time-lapse camera for capturing such images. By using the Blinkt addon, you can build a time-lapse camera quickly. It’s undoubtedly one of the best projects on Raspberry Pi you can work on. 

You can connect the camera to a wearable so you can see what the camera sees whenever you like. You can use a Pi Camera for this project and combine it with your Pi board. You’ll need to perform some Python programming for configuring the camera. 

14. Security System (Motion Capture)

You can build a motion-sensing security system by using your Raspberry Pi board. We aren’t talking about a simple detection system here. We’re discussing a complete HD surveillance system that can capture live events whenever it senses some movement. You can use a Pi camera (just like in the time-lapse project) and build an advanced security system for your home or room. 

You can add the feature of live-streaming the feed to your mobile or browser at all times. You should use the Raspberry Pi Camera Module for this project. If you want to make this project more interesting (and challenging), you can add a feature that causes the camera to send you a notification whenever it senses any movement. 

Concluding Thoughts

We’ve tried to keep it comprehensive and straightforward. We’ve also tried to include projects for all skill levels, i.e., from beginner level to expert. You can choose a project depending on your skills and interests. 

You can find more of such detailed and informative articles on the upGrad blog. 

If you’re interested to learn more about machine learning, check out IIIT-B & upGrad’s PG Diploma in Machine Learning & AI which is designed for working professionals and offers 450+ hours of rigorous training, 30+ case studies & assignments, IIIT-B Alumni status, 5+ practical hands-on capstone projects & job assistance with top firms.

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