The Nomad Computer

Ultra-portable/low power computer with retractable 30" screen, full-size keyboard/mouse, and a telescoping projector arm.

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World's Most Compact/rugged off the grid Computer. The goal of this project was to make an ultra-portable/low-energy computer that didn't feel like a desktop compromise. I wanted to make a computer system that I could see being used by campers, or people who needed a large computer screen (30") but could not take a traditional computer with them.

How the Nomad works: A telescoping arm is stored in the main body of the Nomad. Once removed and rotated 90 degrees, the arm can be locked into place with a hitch pin. This places the projector arm in the perfect position to utilize the 30" foldout projector screen, which is roughly 36" from the projector. A raspberry pi 4 powers the Nomad, and a full-size keyboard and mouse can be removed from the storage compartment on the side of the Nomad.


30" foldout projector screen
1080P Micro Projector
Raspberry Pi 4 Computer
Folding mouse
Folding keyboard
8 hr run time with USB battery pack

For the rethink display challenge, I leveraged projector technology in a somewhat novel form factor to create the Nomad.

The Nomad is an ultra-portable mobile computer with a very large retractable 30" screen.

My project will solve the problem of not being able to pack/carry large-format monitors/computers into remote areas. Furthermore, since my system is powered by a Raspberry Pi 4, it's also ultra low power, and very efficient to operate for long periods of time. 


Nomad in use

JPEG Image - 2.98 MB - 06/14/2021 at 05:27



Pin that locks extending arm in the 90-degree position.

JPEG Image - 3.20 MB - 06/14/2021 at 04:46



folding keyboard (folding)

JPEG Image - 4.09 MB - 06/14/2021 at 04:46



Projector arm extending out of tube

JPEG Image - 3.31 MB - 06/14/2021 at 04:46



Nomad in use

JPEG Image - 3.01 MB - 06/14/2021 at 04:46


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  • Full Size keyboard and mouse

    Michael Pick06/14/2021 at 05:44 0 comments

    In keeping with the desktop theme, I wanted a way to fit a full-size keyboard and mouse into the Nomad, while also using the least amount of space possible.

    Below you can see the storage compartment that fits a full-size folding mouse and keyboard. 

  • Nomad total Darkness

    Michael Pick06/14/2021 at 05:22 0 comments

    Here you can see just how awesome the Nomad looks in total darkness. 

  • Nomad at Night

    Michael Pick06/14/2021 at 05:21 0 comments

    Here you can clearly make out the screen even with some lights on. In a totally dark environment (like camping) the Nomad looks even better. 

  • 3D Printed Parts

    Michael Pick06/14/2021 at 05:19 0 comments

    I 3D printed a stabilizing channel that guides the hinge into the pipe, and also allows it to lock into place when fully extended. 

  • PVC vs. Carbon Fiber

    Michael Pick06/14/2021 at 05:16 0 comments

    One thing I'd like to do in future models is to make the main tube of the Nomad out of carbon fiber. I used PVC for this build, but carbon fiber would save on a lot of weight. 

View all 5 project logs

Enjoy this project?



Tom Nardi wrote 06/25/2021 at 04:06 point

Love this concept, looks incredible!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Michael Pick wrote 06/28/2021 at 13:57 point

Thank you Tom! Can't wait to share my next build! It's pretty big. :-)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Michael Pick wrote 06/14/2021 at 05:12 point

Please note this project is a prototype. There are several things I'd like to revise in future updates.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Craig Hissett wrote 06/16/2021 at 15:50 point

I'm really looking forward to seeing what revisions you make to this. I think it's brilliant!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Michael Pick wrote 06/23/2021 at 19:29 point

Thank you Craig! The next version should look a lot more polished. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

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