We’ve written about a whole bunch of ESP32 projects this year. Although the end of 2023 isn’t yet upon us, it’s fast approaching. And we thought it was about time to collect our list of the best ESP32 projects of 2023.
So if you missed them, here’s your opportunity to catch up.
But first, let me explain a bit about ESP32, just in case you aren’t familiar.
The ESP32 series is a series of microcontroller chips. They are developed by Espressif and serve as the successor to the ESP8266 chips.
ESP32 chips have built-in 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (although there’s ESP32-H2, which has wireless, but not Wi-Fi). They’ve typically got dual-core processors, support for interfaces like UART, SPI, I2C, and PWM. And they’re compatible with the Arduino IDE and MicroPython.
Because ESP32 chips are so cheap and adaptable, they’re a staple in countless projects.
And so here, we’re covering the best projects that have made use of the ESP32 in various boards that we’ve found.
1. An ESP32 Portable Music Player
Miss your old iPod? Looking to make something to replace it? Then this is the project for you! It’s a portable music player and it’s guaranteed to kick your nostalgia into high-gear.
There’s a customized PCB for this project that is currently based on an Espressif ESP32-S3 SoC. So if you want to see some of the capabilities of utilizing an ESP32 without a pre-made development board, this is a great project to see!
2. An ESP32 8-Bit Keyboard
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Work smarter, not harder.” But if you’re an electronics enthusiast, then you know that we all live by the phrase, “Work harder if it’s more fun.”
With that in mind, this project is endless fun and ingenious – it’s an 8-Bit Keyboard.
At the heart of this keyboard is now an ESP32-WROOM, and our article shows how you can make one yourself.
3. An ESP32 AI Generative Keyboard
I had my eye on this project for weeks before writing about it. It’s a keyboard that uses AI to learn how you type and then mimics your style to produce text. It also helps create prompts for ChatGPT to upgrade your AI game. It’s an AI generative keyboard and it’s easily one of the most impressive projects of the year!
Of course, this project is so creative and so complex, so it takes a number of components. The keyboard relies upon an STM32 as the main microcontroller, with an ESP32 as the co-microcontroller.
4. The Worst Smartwatch Ever
Sometimes in life, the worst is the best. And often with maker projects, the most fun way to do something is also the worst way. That’s undoubtedly the case with this atypical Paragon Project: the worst smart watch ever, put together by one of our favorite tech YouTubers – Low Level Learning.
The project revolves around an Arduino UNO R4 WiFi, which features an ESP32 module for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
5. The Best Smartwatch Ever
And, of course, if we’re featuring the worst smartwatch, we’ve got to talk about the best smartwatch! It’s entirely open-source and designed to be entirely customizable.
The watch revolves around an ESP32 WROOM module. And since it’s based on the ESP32, you can program everything in the Arduino IDE and hook it up to both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
6. An ESP32 Microcontroller Computer
This is an awesome little Linux computer made with microcontrollers. Based on an Arduino Nano ESP32, this little computer is a great little project to get up and running – especially if you’re looking to set it up for home automation projects or just to play around with Linux!
This project calls for an Arduino Nano ESP32, an Arduino UNO R4 WiFi, and an ArduinoEZ One breadboard. So get your Arduino products together, because this little computer is a blast!
7. An ESP32 Plant Moisture Meter
Looking for a quick and painless solution to keeping your plants hydrated? Then you’re going to want to check out this Plant Moisture Meter. Best of all, this is a fantastic project for beginners, as the project doesn’t require any coding.
Admittedly, the project is designed with an ESP8266, but you could of course use an ESP32 for it. Not only is this a super easy and accessible project – but it’s also extremely cheap!
8. An ESP32 Weather Display
Every morning, I find myself scrambling to determine the weather before I get ready. If you’re anything like me, then this project can help us both. It’s an E-Paper Weather Display made with an ESP32 microcontroller.
In terms of hardware, it revolves around Drobot’s FireBeetle 2 development board, which uses an ESP32-E microcontroller, which uses an ESP32-WROOM-32E chip. But certainly another ESP32 microcontroller would work just as well.
9. DOOM on an Arduino Nano ESP32
There’s a classic question in the universe of gaming. That question challenges any claim to the power of a gaming computer: Can it run Crysis? However, in the world of microcomputer games and microcontrollers, we have a slightly different question: Can it run DOOM? And the answer here is: yes!
The estimation that this project will take you 5 hours. But I’d say you could probably get it done a lot faster. And then you’ll be able to play DOOM on the go!
10. An ESP32 3D-Printed Gaming Console
There are actually three projects in this article. The first is an ESP32 handheld gaming console, the second is a Raspberry Pi portable, and the third is a ESP32 controller that connects to the Raspberry Pi portable for a complete RetroPie console.
So if you’re into gaming, 3D-printing, and ESP32 chips, then you ought to take a look at these projects. Never again play Pokemon on something you did not yourself create!
So there are our favorite ESP32 projects from 2023.
Stay tuned – there’s still one more month left, of course!
If you want to see all of our Paragon Projects, you can click here to see them!
And if you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe to our Newsletter to keep up with all the cool projects we feature.
What’s your favorite ESP32 project from 2023?