Top 12 Raspberry Pi 4 Projects
Looking for ideas for more exciting things you can do with the latest version of Raspberry Pi? Look no further—we’ve got you covered. This roundup will keep you coding and building for many fruitful hours, and hopefully serve as an inspiration and springboard for launching your own ideas, whether your tastes run anywhere from the more practical to the whimsical.
What can I do with Raspberry Pi 4?
A better question might be, what can’t you do with it?
While Raspberry Pi may have been originally developed primarily to help kids learn electronics and programming, the very qualities that make it such a good tool for that purpose also make it capable of so much more.
The following list attempts to give a broad range of possibilities, but still only scratches the surface of the potential uses to which Raspberry Pi 4 could be put; with this incredibly flexible, portable, accessorizable—in a word, adaptable—hardware and your programming skills, the only limit to what you can do is your imagination.
Here’s a taste of some of the top Raspberry Pi projects to get you started.
Build a (not so?) retro gaming console
Earlier versions of Raspberry Pi could only emulate early generation gaming consoles very well, but the more powerful Pi 4 can do much more: learn more at RetroPie’s site. Or you can use it to play Minecraft with the free Pi edition, and learn to program while you do! Or you can take it to the next level and…
Make your own mini “Picade” machine
That’s right, build your own desktop arcade unit—but one that can run any number of games—with authentic controls, speaker, and an 8” or 10” display. Find all the accessories, instructions, and software you’ll need here.
Games aside, Raspberry Pi 4 is also a great platform for creating bots that you can interact with in the physical world, not just on a screen, from remote-controlled and autonomous cars to more humanoid robots. You can find lots of examples online—here’s a simple one to get you started, and something a bit more advanced.
Social media bots
You can, of course, make purely virtual bots as well using your Pi—such as this photo-tweeting Twitter bot. Just do us all a favor and put them to a good use, unlike most of the useless social spambots. Thank you.
Make an AI assistant
...that isn’t just a way for large companies that sell their own to gather ever-more intimate data about you. Turn your Pi 4 into a natural language recognition device with Google’s AIY voice kit. (Actually, Amazon also provides instructions for building your own Alexa connected devices, including with Raspberry Pi.) And speaking of data-gathering…
Shut your Pi-hole
You can use Raspberry Pi to run an ad-blocker across your entire network, and even on your mobile devices. ‘Nuff said. Pi-hole.
More AI Pi
Of course, you can use Raspberry Pi not only to recognize voice commands, but also to make a detector that learns to recognize objects using Google’s Object Detection models and Teachable Machine, such as this smart camera you can use to train your Pi 4 to recognize your own custom objects. Like your cat! Seriously, how cool is that?
Stop your roommate from raiding your fridge and stealing all your hummus
Use Raspberry Pi to rig up your own home security system. Again, there are many options and possibilities here, but here’s one approach using a computer vision-enabled security camera. (Laser tripwires are also fun.)
Set up a state-of-the-art home theater
Raspberry Pi 4 can replace many of the other devices you might buy to put together a home theater system, like streaming sticks or boxes such as Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire, or even be used as an upgrade to your existing smart TV’s OS with Kodi.
And of course, it can stream video, music, or any kind of media from the web via services like Disney Plus, Netflix, or Amazon Prime Video (with the appropriate subscriptions, of course, as well as free content from sites like YouTube).
Impress your friends, and when they ask where you bought your home theater system and how much you paid for it, just smile and say, “Thanks. I built it myself.”
Host your own website or LAN parties when you server up some Pi
Whether you want to share files and store backups across your local network with a Samba file server or to host a website on an intranet Apache HTML web server, Raspberry Pi 4 can handle the task with alacrity, thanks to its USB 3.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet.
You can even run game servers for all your network gaming needs, or as an actual web server to host your internet site online (and avoid paying hosting costs to someone else!).
Extend your WiFi access
Set up your Pi 4 as an Access Point and use it as a WiFi router, or piggyback your internet access onto another wireless signal.
Ditch Mac and Windows
And last, but certainly not least, you can of course use Raspberry Pi 4 as the basis for building a home desktop or laptop computer. Raspberry Pi runs on Raspbian, a Debian variant built on Linux. So now you can build your own PC without Apple or Microsoft.
What can’t you do with Raspberry Pi 4?
The real fun begins when you start putting ideas together in new ways come up with new possibilities of your own.
You could combine the security system with the Teachable Machine and the Twitter photo bot to tweet pictures of your cat whenever they trip the camera’s AI cat-detector. Or you could install the natural language recognition capabilities and computer vision-enabled camera on your robot to enable it to learn to recognize voice commands and navigate its environment autonomously.
You get the idea. Now what’s yours?
Check out the Vilros blog often for more news and ideas about Arduino and Raspberry Pi!