There are many practical applications for the Raspberry Pi, ranging from personal projects to professional tools. Today we have a simple yet useful Raspberry Pi smart shopping cart system created by Mohammed Ali on Circuit Digest.
If this is your first time hearing about it, Circuit Digest focuses on sharing electronics projects using some of our favorite boards, including, of course, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, ESP32 and more. It has grown over time into a community of developers and engineers who share their projects and experiences along the way.
This project is basically a custom point of sale (POS) system. Its design is basic and uses a Raspberry Pi as the main driver, a barcode scanner to tally items for orders, and a thermal receipt printer to share the final order total and a QR code used to pay for items. The creators will need a few components to recreate this project themselves. Circuit Digest uses a Raspberry Pi 3B+ but there’s no reason you can’t upgrade to a Raspberry Pi 4 or use something lighter like a 2W Raspberry Pi Zero.
The Pi is hooked up to a USB barcode scanner, and at the GPIO we see the thermal receipt printer and the 20 x 4 LCD panel (20 characters per line, 4 lines) that displays details of each scanned item. In the tutorial, Ali uses cardboard for the housing, but you can use anything to create a custom shell. We’ve seen projects made with 3D printed enclosures, wooden panels, and even milled metal, but if you’re doing it for fun, cardboard will work just fine. Cardboard is the rapid prototyping material of choice for the time-pressed manufacturer.
Ali demonstrates how to create and manage a product journal using a Google Spreadsheet. The USB barcode scanner is used to identify the products on the list which the Pi then uses to display the item details on the LCD screen. When an order is completed, the invoice is printed on the thermal printer as a receipt.
Check out the full tutorial at Tour Summary to see how it all fits together and maybe even recreate it yourself. Ali shares lots of information to get you started, but you might want to check out our Raspberry Pi setup guide for additional help, especially if you’re new to using the Pi.
To see this Raspberry Pi smart shopping cart POS system in action, watch the demo video shared by Circuit Digest over at Youtube and be sure to follow them for more cool Raspberry Pi projects.