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Since the Raspberry Pi only has digital I/O, adding analog inputs (like potentiometers) requires the addition of an analog to digital converter chip, such as the MCP3008 (10 bit resolution) or MCP3208 (12 bit resolution).  Another option is to use a microcontroller, which natively supports analog inputs.  Rather using an Arduino, a much cheaper option is to use a Raspberry Pi Pico, which allows 3 analog inputs and 23 digital inputs/outputs.