Whether you are a rising programmer or an antiquarian geek with a fondness for tinkering and DIY tech projects, the single-board computer is one of the best things you can have for yourself. And even though there are various of them to pick from, the Raspberry Pi series of single-board PCs remains the most popular among the single-board computers.
The Raspberry Pi is the hobbyist pick for DIY electronics projects. The raspberry pi zero w projects, with a size of a stick of gum and retailing for a paltry $5, has it’s own exceptional use cases, though. It comes with a 1GHz single-core CPU, as well as 512 MB RAM.
With this tiny amazing stuffy, you can start a whole lot of raspberry pi zero projects. Below, we are going to collate a list of best raspberry pi zero w projects.
Advantages of Raspberry Pi Zero W
Some of its key benefits are listed below;
- The pi size is much smaller than the Raspberry model B version, which means it will lead to smaller and lighter projects such as Raspberry pi zero w powered drones.
- The accessories that may be needed, like an HDMI adapter, micro SD card, etc. the price is still lowest than a genuine Arduino UNO.
- With such a lowest cost, it has a whole lot of features, including HDMI out, 512 MB of RAM, 1 GHz processor, making it quite a functional computer.
Best Raspberry Pi Zero W projects
Below is a list of best raspberry pi zero projects;
Raspberry Pi Zero Drone
Drones are taking much more space in our lives, whether as for work or as a hobby, they are more and more used. But they are so expensive, and not everyone can afford them. Here we will build a cheaper drone with multiple smart abilities, and the best way to do this is to use a Raspberry pi zero for the drone’s brain. Below is the list of material that we will use in this project;
- Erle Robotics PXFmini
- Raspberry pi zero
- Hobbyking Spec FPV250
- Power module compatible with Erle Robotics PXFmini
- APM flight stack
- Debian-based Linux file system
- Soldering iron
Once you get all tools as mentioned above, start by assembling your drone by below stated steps;
- Put the black frames together and place the motor on top
- Fix Electronic Speed controllers to the frame by using tape and link them to the motor
- Put the power and ground ends of the ESCs into the particular cable and fix each thing underneath the structure.
- Adjust power module connectors to the battery, and you can do this by cutting the connectors and solder battery and power module together; this process will make it easy to connect the battery power module to the drone.
- Place the battery power module pack underneath, and use the Velcro included in the package to do so.
- Link the PXFmini shield on top of the Raspberry pi zero. We are almost done but still need to get the correct software on the PXFmini and Raspberry pi zero sets. This should include the flight stack, as a suitable kernel, enables daemons that auto-launch on boot, and extra goodies.
Luckily, if you bought the PXFmini from Erle Robotics, you will get access to their Debian images, which contains all this so you can fetch a PXFmini compatible Debian image and flash it into a microSD card.
- Mounting the autopilot Raspberry pi zero and PXFmini in the drone can be done using multiple methods. Pick one of them and link the JST GH cable from the power module to the PXFmini. This will power the autopilot once the battery gets connected.
Second is mounting the PWM channels in the autopilot. Get your ESC cables and connect ESC1 to PWM channel 1, ESC to 2nd PWM, and so on.
Propellers have two types that are clockwise and counter-clockwise. You have to put the clockwise propellers in three and four motors, while the counter-clockwise propellors in first and second motors.
Below are two ways to control your drone that include;
- Wifi-Gamepad: Have the autopilot create its wifi network with a Dongle and use a standard gamepad to control the drone through a ground control station.
- Wifi-ROS: You can use a ROS node to visualize the flight mode, state, and control the drone.
- Traditional RC: As an alternative, you can buy an RC controller with a PPMSUM-enabled receiver and link it to the autopilot.
Below are some other best raspberry pi zero w projects that can be created easily using this tiny tool.
Raspberry Pi Zero W USB Hub
While the compact form factors make it instantly convenient, it also means that the Zero has minimum connectivity options comparing to the Pi2 and Pi3. Raspberry pi zero features only one USB port, which makes connectivity peripherals, such as wifi dongles and keyboards, a chore. By this small, easy project, you can easily combine a four-port USB hub with it. It is quite an easy project, and you can do it by yourself.
Raspberry Pi Zero W Self-Driving Car
Another one of the best projects of Raspberry pi zero w is to creating a self-driving car. For this project, you need a whole lot of components, including cameras, wheels, LiPo batteries, and various other materials. This project will use Python to code things out, so you should have a basic knowledge of Python. It is one of the best and most exciting things to do with a raspberry pi zero w, not just learning about machine and camera vision, but for bragging rights.
Raspberry Pi Zero AirPlay Receiver
Apple’s AirPlay protocol offers a nifty little way of wirelessly streaming all kinds of media, including photos, audio, and video, form iOS devices to other devices that are compatible with AirPlay. If you have got an iOS device, you can build a raspberry pi zero powered AirPlay speaker to listen to music. To make a raspberry pi zero AirPlay speaker, you will need below material;
For hardware, you will need
- Raspberry pi zero
- pHAT DAC
- Wifi Dongle
- Two 100 ohms resistors
For software, you will need;
- Raspberry Pi Raspbian
Raspberry Pi Zero W Smart Environment Monitor
If you care about the environment and the planet, then this is another best raspberry pi zero w project. The basic idea of this project is to use a Raspberry pi zero w to power a device that will monitor various parameters, such as humidity levels, temperature, atmosphere pressure, and more.
This is exceptionally essential for tasks, such as finding less and more polluted areas in a particular city in a specific time and triggering alarms when the pollution hits the harmful level. For a software configuration, you will need a bunch of sensors for this project, including Humidity and temperature sensors. From region to the measurement interval, each thing can be configured. Components that are used in this project are listed below;
- Raspberry pi zero w
- Adafruit humidity and temperature sensor
- Adafruit TSL 2561 Digita Luminosity Light Sensor breakout
- Adafruit Electric Microphone Amplifier with adjustable gain
- Adafruit MPL 3115A2 – I2C Barometric Pressure, Altitude, Temperature sensor
- Adafruit MCP 3008 – 8 – Channel 10-bit ADC with SPI interface
- AWS IoT
Raspberry Pi Zero W Electric Skateboard
If you are searching for a fun and exciting weekend with a Raspberry pi zero w project, consider making your electric skateboard. The components required for this project are pretty simple, including a skateboard, battery that can power the whole setup, motor, and mount for it, etc.
Full list of components that will use in this project are listed below;
- A skateboard
- Motor and mount for it
- Motor controller
- Wiimote that will be connected with the pi through Bluetooth
- Raspberry Pi zero w to act as a brain for the whole setup
These are some of the best raspberry pi zero w project ideas that are fun to create. You can do a whole lot of other projects with this little tool at a minimum cost.
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Some of the most asked questions by multiple users are below;
Q: What is Raspberry Pi zero W used for?
Ans: Raspberry pi zero W is useful for creating embedded IoT projects. It is designed to be as compact as possible with mini connectors and enables users to use only what their project requires.
Q: What can you do with a Raspberry pi zero W?
Ans: You can do a whole lot of things with it, including a Raspberry pi zero W drone, Retro gaming system, smart environment monitor, etc.