Arduino vs Raspberry Pi is Development boards, where it has been a staple of every do-it-yourselfers and hobbyist nowadays. Given that there are several kinds of development boards out there. It can be hard to choose and decide which one is best suited for your project.
For this article, we would specifically look at Arduino and Raspberry Pi. These two development boards have garnered a lot of attention from enthusiasts and the engineering community around the world. Because of such popularity, they are now easy to purchase for a low cost. You can get them at almost all electronic stores online.
As for those who have just started learning about development boards, some often mistake one for the other. To help you determine which one you should purchase, we have created this guide for you. By the end, you will understand the core difference between Raspberry Pi and Arduino.
Table of content
- How it started
- Arduino vs Raspberry Pi
- Advantages and disadvantages
- Operating System
- Power Supply
- Programming Languages
- Different models and versions
- Sample Projects
- Raspberry Pi
- Learning curve and community
How it started
Arduino and Raspberry Pi were initially created as a tool to help university students. With its versatility and reduced price, it has made its way into the market and the hands of hobbyists like you.
Back in 2005, Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy started Arduino for non-engineers. The main objective of Arduino was to be a simple, low-cost tool that would help students and non-engineers in their digital projects.
Seven years later, Raspberry Pi entered the scene and made project-making a lot easier for students. With its flexibility and easy-to-understand concept, it has been popular among hobbyists and non-engineers as well.
Today, their initial objective still stands and remains to be relevant. Arduino and Raspberry Pi are now some of the most popular development boards. They often used by students and non-engineers around the world. It is also accessible and can be easily bought online or at any electronic store.
Arduino vs Raspberry Pi
It is worth noting that Arduino and Raspberry Pi are completely different from each other. This guide is only meant to help you understand the difference between the two.
To date, Raspberry Pi is one of the best-selling single-board computers in the market. The Arduino’s simplicity continues to attract the DIY community.
If you simply compare the two development boards, Raspberry Pi is 40 times faster than Arduino in clock speed. These boards can multitask and are powerful enough like your personal computer. It is no wonder why Raspberry Pi is superior to Arduino for software applications.
However, despite Raspberry Pi’s capability, some still prefer Arduino for their single process and hardware projects. Arduino’s simplicity makes it more durable and flexible for any kind of sensor or chips. For comparison, Raspberry Pi usually uses Linux software, where the Arduino IDE is significantly much easier and flexible. The Arduino IDE making it the most ideal and highly recommended development boards for beginners.
Advantages and disadvantages between Arduino and Raspberry Pi
Since Arduino is a microcontroller and Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer, there are several advantages and disadvantages in using one over the other.
With Arduino’s simplicity, you can easily build a project with just a few lines of code; while in Raspberry Pi, you need to know Linux and its command in order to run your project. Arduino is for beginners, you do not need to know a lot of programming languages to run your basic projects. But with Raspberry Pi, you need to be familiar with Linux and you might even need to learn coding languages like Python to fully run basic applications.
Given that Arduino and Raspberry Pi have unique functions and capabilities, we have created this guide to help you determine which one you should use.
Before buying any development board, you need to initially map out your project first. You would be able to determine which board is best suited to carry out the task for your project.
As we previously mentioned, Raspberry Pi is like a fully functional computer. So if your project requires multiple program runs, then it would be best to stick with Raspberry Pi over Arduino. If you are planning to build a more straightforward project that requires little to no complex coding, then Arduino might be most applicable to you.
For instance, if you just want to simply monitor the soil moisture of your plants as well as receive notifications once in a while on when to water it, then you can just simply use Arduino. But, should you want to monitor the soil moisture, check the weather and humidity outside, and only receive a notification when it is necessary to water the plants, then Raspberry Pi may be the best board to use for this project.
So rather than simply looking and comparing the technicalities between the two, it is best to decide based on which board is best suited for your project.
Since Arduino is only a microcontroller, the programming interface is somewhat basic. The physical environment of Arduino is limited so you can only run some of the C/C++ features. On top of that, you might need a computer in order to fully realize its programming platform. Connecting it to the internet is also trickier as compared to Raspberry Pi.
Most Raspberry Pi has a built-in Ethernet port, so you would not have a hard time connecting it to the internet. In contrast to Arduino, it has its own operating system and you can also run different coding languages like Ruby, Python, C++, and many more. Raspberry Pi is designed to be flexible and you can even install third party OS like Android, Ubuntu, RISC OS, and so on.
With just the OS alone, Raspberry Pi has more to offer than Arduino. However, if your project does not necessarily require complex coding and programming, Arduino is still more durable than Raspberry Pi in the long run.
Raspberry Pi does not have an SRAM and it mainly relies on SD card for their primary boot drives; while Arduino UNO already has a built-in 32KB flash memory for its bootloader.
But as we previously established, Arduino and Raspberry Pi are completely different. So even if Raspberry Pi has a larger storage that can go over 2GB when you insert an SD card, it does not necessarily mean that it is better than Arduino in storage. Sometimes, the 32KB flash memory of Arduino is already enough for simple projects that only need a microcontroller and not a fully functional computer. In addition, Raspberry Pi does not necessarily need a built-in SRAM like Arduino because most of the memory on the Raspberry Pi is DRAM.
It is important that you understand the difference between the two so that you can choose the right development board to purchase.
Generally, both development boards are low-power devices. But in this case, Arduino is far more flexible than Raspberry Pi. Projects that require microcontrollers like Arduino can run seamlessly with a battery pack and the power can be supplied via USB port, DC barrel jack, or VIN pin. With a USB, Arduino Uno can pull a maximum of 500mA.
As for a single-board computer like Raspberry Pi, it requires a higher voltage battery pack or a continuous 5V power supply to remain on. Its power consumption is higher than Arduino so it may or may not run with a battery pack. Since it requires a higher voltage, you would need a wall adapter most of the time.
With Arduino IDE, your programming language options are somewhat limited and other standard libraries may or may not work. But in any case, you can still treat C/C++ as your core language in order to use this microcontroller. Apart from that, you can also use and pass data with YQL or JSON. We suggest you use Arduino over Raspberry Pi if you are still learning the ropes of development boards and you have little to no background in programming or coding.
Both development boards have a great selection of external hardware that you can use. Through this external hardware, you can expand the capacity and improve the functionality of your board.
As we previously mentioned, it can be a little tricky to connect your Arduino to the internet. Thanks to external hardware called shields, you can now enable your Arduino’s internet connectivity by installing Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and others.
Since Raspberry Pi can be used to carry out complex projects. You can also add several external hardware called HATs to upgrade and make your projects a lot better. For instance, if you are working on a project that focuses more on the digital display. Then, you can add HATs like Touchscreen, RGB Panels, and so on. Aside from that, there are also add-ons like camera modules that you can use alongside your Raspberry Pi.
With that, you should carefully map out your entire project as well as the additional hardware that you would need. This way, you would not face any problem when you are starting to work on your project.
Generally, both development boards are not that expensive. Based on the information above, it is no longer news why Raspberry Pi can be a bit costlier than Arduino. Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer that allows you to create complex projects. Arduino, on the other hand, just does not have the same amount of computing power. However, Arduino is more durable and less costly if you only need to run one program repeatedly for your project.
Different models and versions
Arduino is less costly and more accessible in the market because it is designed and produced by different companies. There are several brands and Arduino clones that you can easily purchase at any electronic store. One of the most popular Arduino boards in the market is the Arduino UNO R3.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation mainly produced the board and most of it is made in a Sony factory. Given its popularity, most online electronic stores now sell the most popular version like the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B and other.
We have listed some of the most popular projects created with an Arduino and Raspberry Pi
- Lie detector
- Pool controller
- Voice control light system
- Fingerprint door lock
- Universal remote
- RTC clock
- Automated plant watering system
- GPS data logger
- Trash collector
- Wi-Fi extender
- Smart mirror
- Gaming console
- Network Monitoring Tool
- Intercom assistant
- Smart camera
- Touchscreen tablet
- Smart speaker
- Air quality monitoring system
Learning curve and community
In conclusion, Raspberry Pi can multitask while Arduino is a device that can perform one task effectively. That being the case, Arduino is perfect for those who are just starting to learn to program. The Raspberry Pi is great for hobbyists who already know a few coding languages.
Regardless of whether you choose Arduino or Raspberry Pi as a beginner, there are several forums and communities where you can discuss and ask questions about your project. Arduino has a forum for tutorials and even project guidance. Raspberry Pi also has a rich community where you can get join forums to discuss your project.
All in all, choosing the best development board would ultimately depend on the type of project you want to work with.
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