At first glance, there’s nothing spectacular about Raspberry Pi 4 when looking at it. What with its circuit board and the resemblance of the size of a credit card with extra components. However, Pi is more impressive with the vast range of options, even with its compact size. The Raspberry Pi Foundation, a British Company, developed it, and the little computer is an exceptional value for money. Apart from other factors, Pi has become one of the best-selling British computers because of its low cost. Pi 4 is well suitable for beginners who want to learn the basics of programming and the computer’s hardware structure.
What is a Raspberry Pi?
You might have heard about the Raspberry Pi if you’re interested in home automation, DIY projects, and technology. A Raspberry is a cheap and small computer. Not only that, Raspberry Pi also uses open-source software and has a simple circuit board with the CPU on the board. As much as Raspberry Pi doesn’t have operating programs or systems, a mouse, keyboard, or monitor is not part of it.
The full size of Raspberry Pi is about the size of a credit card. It is suitable for exploring computing and learning program language in Python and Scratch. That is why people use Raspberry for several projects, from playing games, word-processing, spreadsheets, playing HD videos, and browsing. Similarly, people use Raspberry Pi for various digital maker projects, including using it for infra-red cameras or tweeting birdhouses, weather stations, parent detectors, music, etc.
Raspberry Pi 4 Projects
Whether you already have a Raspberry Pi 4 sitting alone in your drawer or you’re in the market for one, you possibly need some cool project ideas. There are tons of options here, and you don’t have to fret about taking up some of these Raspberry Pi 4 projects. Some of the Raspberry Pi 4 projects below are quite simple. Fortunately, they don’t need any in-depth programming experience. You can also find guides on YouTube and Google. A forum like Raspberry Pi 4 Reddit is also relatively popular to get solutions.
You may be wondering if you can’t utilize the low-priced Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ or why these projects are suited for the Pi 4; the fact is everything depends on Raspberry Pi 4 specs. There are three RAM (1, 2, or 4 GB), 4K displays of two micro HDMI ports, a gigabit Ethernet port, four 1.5 GHz Cortex A72 CPU cores with an upgraded Broadcom BCM2711 SoC in Raspberry Pi 4. The previous version is no match to Pi 4 in terms of speed because of the RAM and these specs. Therefore, Your Raspberry Pi 4 projects won’t get the reliability, flexibility, and speed the Pi 4 has if your version of Raspberry is older.
1. How to Build Your Own Raspberry Pi Computer
One of the most underestimated usages and the Raspberry Pi’s most classic is creating a cheap desktop computer. Whether you’re a budding developer who wishes to discover Linux or a great parent who wants to learn a computer, it’s quite simple to build your PC using Raspberry Pi. There are several reasons for building a desktop PC using Raspberry Pi as an individual wishing to create a machine for his home or a school that wants to make a computer room.
1.1 Raspberry Pi 4 Laptop
The main reason for using a Raspberry Pi 4 as a laptop is its ease of setup, compact, and capability to connect to various hardware devices. The possibilities are endless. When you have a portable, Raspberry Pi-powered laptop, you can use it for coding projects and productivity.
Other Required Components
To accomplish your own Raspberry Pi 4 laptop design and use it to develop whatever you want, you will need the Raspberry components, including the screen, keyboard, and camera. Other necessary details are:
- DIY 3D-printed Raspberry Pi Laptop
- Raspberry Pi pocket laptop
- The Kano laptop kit
- Raspberry Pi and Arduino laptop
1.2 Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop
With its superior power, you can use your Raspberry Pi 4 as a daily computer without any significant compromise. There could be some challenges, but it makes sense to go for the RAM size’s top specification. In all, it has matured impressively as an OS. Chromium is the jewel in the crown when it comes to a daily desktop scenario. Most importantly, it makes the whole experience feasible since it has a capable web browser. You will also be impressed with the dual-monitor support even when you are not an expert in GPUs. Conclusively, there’s no detrimental effect on the machine’s performance for this Raspberry Pi project, even with the first time setup.
Some of the things you will need for this project include:
- HDMI, power, mouse, keyboard, Pi 4 wire Internet. You can configure WiFi when the Pi 4 has booted
- Raspberry Pi 4 heatsink, excellent cooling for the Pi 4 since overclocking can generate more heat
- A USB 3 hard drive
- A spare 16GB micro SD card
- The Raspberry Pi Imager tool
- A computer running Windows, Linux, or macOS
- A Raspberry Pi 4
2. Stop-Motion Movies
It can be quite tedious to shoot and combine the thousands of still frames necessary for a stop motion movie. However, with the custom rig of your Raspberry Pi, you can have a smoother production process running. In this era of smartphones and high-resolution digital cameras, anyone can do it. Since you have your Raspberry Pi computer, all you need is the PiCam module, which is compatible with your Raspberry Pi. As a result, instead of typing over SSH using a command into your Pi, you can use a button to take the photos. It only needs a dual-state push button, two male-to-female wires, and a solder-free breadboard.
You may need to put together a rostrum, a rig, or stand typically for holding the stop motion PiCam if you want to build the full top-down setup for tabletop animation, such as cel animation. However, you may need a suitable grip for the PiCam and the Raspberry Pi if you are doing side-on style animation. Consequently, there’s a need for a few free programs to download on your Pi with some basic commands apart from a PiCam camera module.
3. Build Your Own Pi Web Server
Users can discover several choices when they want to build their Raspberry Pi web server. Typically, you may need to use Apache with a standard web server. There also will be a requirement for a database, and the most common is MySQL. As a result, one can make the process easier with some tools like PHPMyAdmin when they want to manage and develop a database. Some of the web server software you will need include:
- Raspberry Pi Caddy
- Raspberry Pi Lighttpd
- Raspberry Pi NGINX
- Raspberry Pi Apache
For website software, you will need some of the following:
- Raspberry Pi Nextcloud
- Raspberry Pi OwnCloud
- Raspberry Pi WordPress
For the email software with several features, the Raspberry Pi Email Server (Citadel) is required. Some of the requirements for web security tools include:
- Raspberry Pi Fail2Ban
- Raspberry Pi SSL Certificates (Let’s Encrypt)
For the web administration tools, you will need Raspberry Pi Webmin and Raspberry Pi PHPMyAdmin. Raspberry Pi MYSQL is also essential for the database servers.
4. Raspberry Pi Home Security Systems
You may be thinking of using Raspberry Pi to build your home security system from cameras to motion sensors. And based on an affordable price, you can put an entire home security system together. So, you will make the project into an IoT system by adding wireless capabilities into a Raspberry Pi security system. The project can detect radiation inside your home when you build it in passive infrared sensors. As such, you will know, like the Raspberry Pi controller, when someone has entered a room through the PIR sensors. The controller will notify you through email or text. All of these Raspberry Pi’s features make it an exciting home security system.
5. Home Automation System with Raspberry Pi
You will need a polished and more mature solution like Home Assistant and Mozilla’s WebThings Gateway for a thoroughly lovely setup process for your Raspberry Pi home automation. Suppose you’re not comfortable with the licensing agreements of most commercial hubs on the market. In that case, you can benefit from excellent data privacy since both solutions above leave your data in your hands without sending anything outside your home network. Then, download the system file of your chosen software. Use a free tool such as Balena Etcher to put the file on a microSD card. Start it after plugging the microSD card into the Pi. When the software is ready to connect, use it for door locks and lights. You can also use it for your devices that have Bluetooth and WiFi. Ultimately, match your existing smart devices’ communication protocol using a ZWave USB adapter or ZigBee.
6. Build a Virtual Jukebox
You can use your Raspberry Pi 4 to build a jukebox, a small micro-computer that all your family can access even if they know nothing about Raspberry Pi. This tiny touch screen jukebox in your house can pick, control, and play songs from the network-attached storage or music library on another computer. If you have a few non-geeks in your house, they don’t need to learn a WiFi password or complicated system to get in on the playlist with an easy-to-understand interface. You also don’t need to worry about pairing devices since it all works on its network. Therefore, it is vital to know a bit about the command line to finish this project. Some of the things you need are:
- A case
- Speakers and a stereo to connect your jukebox
- A computer with MP3 files on it and a home server
- A touch screen
- A keyboard for setup, SD card, Ethernet cable (or WiFi card, and a power cable for the Pi
- A Raspberry Pi
7. Create a Social Media Bot
If you’re into digital marketing, you can build an audience of people interested in your niche using the Raspberry Pi 4 project for your social media bot. The bot will add different posts like photos, quotes, articles, and others on your social media at the interval selected. You only need to set the publishing intervals, add text to your photos to build a database, and start posting.
8. Network Monitoring Tool
Your home’s wireless networks and even any other appliances in your house need proper monitoring. With Raspberry Pi 4, you can have a wireless sensor to begin monitoring your wireless home network’s performance. As a result, it is as easy as pie to put your system together. You only need to plug in your microSD card, connect the Ethernet cable, connect your USB keyboard, and connect your monitor through HDMI. You then log in and set it up once it is running. After that, you need to completely patch and update your machine before going live on any network. It will be relatively easy to deal with any known bugs or security issues even though nothing can shield you from zero-day attacks. Update and upgrade Raspberry Pi 4 OS, update the firmware, and reboot.
9. Create and Control Your Raspberry Pi Robot
You and your family can create a simple wheeled robot that can drive around your house using some hardware and a few code lines. With your Raspberry Pi 4, you can easily make these obstacle-avoiding robots. Suppose you are messing around with the hardware peripherals and Python on Raspberry Pi. In that case, you can use this Raspberry Pi 4 project to add object avoidance functionality to your robot using IR modules for detecting objects.
9.1 Build a ROS Robot Using Raspberry Pi
Setting up the ROS environment on your Raspberry will allow you to create and run a Simulink model on the Raspberry Pi board to send and receive ROS messages, and this works with data in ROS messages. That is to say, a robotic system’s components exchange information in the form of a message using ROS’s communication layer. As such, you will verify applications on ROS-enabled hardware like Raspberry Pi 4 through the interface provided by the ROS toolbox between Simulink and MATLAB and the Robot Operating System, ROS.
9.2 Control Robot Arm with Gestures
How cool would it be to wave your hand to control a robot? Well, it is quite possible when you use 3D Gesture Tracking Shield for your Raspberry Pi 4 for controlling your uArm robot and transfer from one location to another. On the other hand, you will need hardware components like Seeed uArm metal, Seeed Raspberry Pi 3B+, and Seeed 3d Gesture & Tracking Shield for Raspberry Pi. Based on Microchip MGC3130 chip, the shield enables the Raspberry Pi for motion tracking function and gesture recognition. It supports tap and double click, touch sensing, and do proximity sensing.
You can use your Raspberry Pi 4 to create your robotic cat from scratch, including adding Alexa integration and realistic movements. Your open-source cat-shaped robot will be able to detect obstacles, recover from falls, balance, crawl, and pose. As advanced AI-enhanced and STEM education services, the highly maneuverable and programmable robotic cat can detect faces and even stream videos.
9.4 Hexapod Robot
Your Raspberry Pi will power this walking robot. It will have an autonomous mode that enables it to avoid obstacles and even run all by itself. As a result, it will have three movements; turn left, turn right, backward, and forward. You will have to tilt the robot to the left or right when you want to achieve any movement.
9.5 Crowdsourced Robot
You might have heard about a little multifunction mobile device that has human feelings and thoughts called Noodle. It can monitor your physical environment and uses decisions, sounds, images, and words to react to the setting changes. With your Raspberry Pi 4, you can connect all the electronics to create the enclosure. In other words, you can use it to watch your front door and determine whether a visitor looks scary or friendly and either call for help or let them in anytime someone arrives.
9.6 Raspberry Pi 4 Robots: Powered-Up Automatons
Several benefits abound when you use your Raspberry Pi 4 for your robot’s brain. Whether by a code or remote, you will enjoy better control with the improved network connection and faster processing speeds. So, consider your needs because it eats a little more power than the previous Raspberry Pi versions.
10. Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Tablet
There’s no need to break a bank when you want to have your tablet. You can now have a tablet that doesn’t cost a lot when you have the Raspberry Pi 4. You can use your tablet to watch videos, play games, and several other fun activities on it.
11. Raspberry Pi Home Media Center
You can turn your Raspberry Pi 4 into a practical and cheap home media center. If you have heard of Kodi, it is all you need for your media center solution. You will find it quite suitable and install on your Raspberry Pi 4. You can then turn it into a world-beating home media center once you’ve done that.
12. Build a Game Server Using Raspberry Pi
With Cat6 Ethernet cable – 1 Meter, remote SSH connection, your preferred game copy, and micro SD card with card reader – 32 GB 9Class 10, you can have your server. So, run several game servers with your Raspberry Pi, including Terraria, Doom, and Minecraft. Then, you can further upgrade and improve your server with the Raspberry Pi 4.
13. Create Pi-Network Attached Storage (NAS) Device
You can create this project if you are not ready to pay for a NAS device, and you don’t want to run into drive failure because of several files like music, movies, documents, videos, and photos lying around your hard drive. So, create a perfect Network Attached Storage with a few spare drives and a Raspberry Pi 4. Therefore, you will get an excellent speed boost from the Raspberry Pi 4 compared to the Raspberry Pi 3 when you have proper Gigabit Ethernet and a super-speed USB 3.0 ports.
14. Raspberry Pi Wireless Bridge
Do you lodge at a hotel that uses an Ethernet cable without a WiFi, or you want a faster internet network? Raspberry Pi 4 will give you all of these and more. In other words, enjoy a secure and much faster internet on an open system since it acts as a wireless bridge. And using Raspberry Pi 4, you don’t have to worry about slow internet anymore.
15. Control a Monitor Using Artificial Intelligence
With your Raspberry Pi 4, you can now use online APIs for voice recognition with a lot of network speed and power. All you need to control a robot using your voice is Google AIY Voice Kit. As such, you will find it relatively easy to assemble since you will have everything in fancy cardboard with an arcade-style button on top.
16. Raspberry Pi 4 Gaming
There are more opportunities now for you to do much more with your Raspberry Pi 4, such as creating a game with new blocks for Sense Hat and Scratch 3 on it. You can also play Minecraft and Retropie on your Raspberry Pi 4.
16.1 Pi-Based Retro Gaming System/Raspberry Pi 4 Retropie
There’s been the popularity of using the Raspberry Pi as a retro gaming machine. With your Raspberry Pi 4, you can now run games that were previously beyond Pi’s capacity because of its better performance and faster processing speeds.
You have the chance to learn programming skills while playing Minecraft on board with your Pi 4. However, you will need the in-game features since this game type is not Minecraft’s basic version. After that, it will be easy to manipulate things in the game world using programming language and breaking open the code.
17. Control Servos
Because of its fast performance power and processing speed, your Raspberry Pi 4 is ideal for controlling robots. You will also have a much easier process of managing a robot with CircuitPython. Some other things you will need include Blinka software, breadboard clear, breadboard jumper wire pack, Europe-standard USB wall power supply 5VDC 2.1A-CE Intertek GS, Grove – Servo, MT3620 Grove Breakout, and 16-channel Servo driver.
18. Machine Learning on Raspberry Pi 4
Suppose you’re interested in doing machine learning with your Raspberry Pi 4. In that case, you will need Coral USB Accelerator when you want to speed up the Pi 4’s inference speed, Micro HDMI cable, Micro SD Card with class 10 Card Reader-32 GB, Pimoroni Pan-tilt HAT Kit, Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2, and Raspberry Pi 4 with 4 GB. With your Raspberry Pi 4’s speed and power, all these tools will allow you to build artificial intelligence and machine learning on the board. Therefore, you can also track with TensorFlow using face detection with this project.
19. Pi Weather Station
Get ready to create a dependable weather station to get local climate and environmental data using a few peripherals and sensors. Some other components you will use to find out what the weather is like outside apart from your Raspberry Pi 4 are;
- 8.2 x 5.3 cm breadboard clear
- 200mm and 500mm of Breadboard Jumper Wire Pack
- Waterproof enclosure
- MCP3008 analog-to-digital convertor integrated circuit
- Rain gauge
- Wind vane
- 5mm-pitch PCB mount screw terminal blocks
- 2 x 4.7 KOhm resistors
- DS18B20 digital thermal probe
- Humidity sensor, temperature, and BME280 pressure
20. Smart Mirror
With the future upon us, it may be time for you to build yourself a revolutionary smart mirror touchscreen with facial-detection integrated features that can play Minecraft, stream music, and display news. Some of the things you need are TV/monitor, IR frame, two-way Glass Mirror, Raspberry Pi 4 power supply, SD card, keyboard, mouse, HDMI cable, Smart home systems like Alexa, Raspberry Pi 4 case, and Raspberry Pi 4 camera module.
21. Pi Workout Partner
Your Raspberry Pi will be quite useful if you need some help with your workout. You can get feedback from your workout accuracy and track movements using a machine learning workout partner. Though you can add your desired exercises, this project can only support some activities, including jumping jacks, toe taps, and push-ups.
22. Raspberry Pi Voice Assistant
Do you fancy having a flexible and low-cost voice assistant like Google Home and Amazon Alexa? Then, you can accomplish this with your Raspberry Pi 4. People have been able to create a flexible and powerful voice product that integrates Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, etc., using a microphone expansion board.
23. Solar Power Your Raspberry Pi
When you need to power your Raspberry Pi for your outdoor projects using sunlight, some of the things you will need include wires, battery, USB car power adapter, car power socket, and a solar panel. Therefore, your Raspberry Pi 4 will perform well enough on a 5V/3A power source since the battery will first have to store all the energy.
24. Laser Tripwire Security System
You can easily create a simple tripwire system with your Raspberry Pi 4 and a laser pointer to build your security system. The Raspberry Pi will use a speaker or a buzzer to sound the alarm anytime a stealthy intruder breaks the laser beam.
You won’t need to have any client-side software installed before you can protect yourself from unwanted content using the Pi-hole, a DNS sinkhole. Since Pi-hole is relatively easy to install, apart from being free, it will be easy to deal with analytic tools, trackers, and ads on your home network. You will need a micro SD card, Raspberry Pi 4 power supply, and Ethernet cable.
There are several projects you can work on using your Raspberry Pi 4. However, you will get your brain juices flowing with some of these Raspberry Pi 4 project ideas. Anyone can also experiment with Raspberry Pi 4’s exceptional processing performance and speed power. With that, you will find these projects flexible for you to manage, and you can also use your Raspberry Pi 4 to expand them. If you have not built any project with your Raspberry Pi 4, you can get started with some of the project ideas above. For those that have built some projects before, kindly share some of the Raspberry Pi 4 projects you have recently built in the comment section below. Also mention some of your preferred Raspberry Pi projects.