Build an App That Makes Phone Calls from Raspberry Pi

This project was contributed by Andy Fundinger, a professional Python developer and trainer. Andy built this integration as a way to teach his students how to make calls to their mothers on Mother’s Day, using Plivo and a keypad attached to a Raspberry Pi.


Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer that comes with

  • A Linux-based operating system
  • 700 MHz ARM11 CPU
  • 256MB (or 512MB) RAM
  • SD card storage
  • 2 USB ports
  • Composite and HDMI video out
  • Stereo audio out
  • 8 GPIO pins
  • Wired Ethernet

Build a Raspberry Pi call button

1. RasPi Circuit Diagram and inputs flow via GPIO

I hooked up a four-button keypad to four of the Raspberry Pi GPIO pins as inputs,  then run a continuous loop to check whether the buttons have been pushed.

Circuit diagram #1


Circuit diagram #2

Circuit Schem

2. Call flow via Plivo Voice API

Plivo normally expects that you’ll be using it for a web app, so I had to fake that somewhat. Rather than building a full web app, I had each student create a single page that had at least the minimum viable XML to dial a specified number in response to the call being answered. We also played with having a little more in that XML file. But basically we told Plivo that it was a web service and Plivo was OK with that.

params = {
'from': "14245550100",
'to': '12015550164',
'answer_method': "GET"

Then you execute a script that makes an HTTP GET request for “answerThenCallMom.xml”, which could be as simple as:


Get the code for my Raspberry Pi project on GitHub.

Contributed by Andy Fundinger