If you’re looking to get into electronics as a hobby, there are lots of options out there to choose from. Selecting the right board which supports the correct components, software, and capabilities you’re looking for can be a tough task, but by going for a good all-rounder, you can be sure you can enjoy all the making and coding you want.
Looking at the most popular boards around, Arduino is definitely up there, with the Uno board selling over 10 million units between 2010 and 2021. In this guide, we explore Arduino – what it is, its software and hardware, differences between it and Raspberry Pi, and what makes it so special.
What is Arduino?
Arduino is a simple, open-source electronics platform designed to help users quickly and easily design and create electronics. It’s all based around the Arduino board – a microcontroller that is used as a tool for controlling electronics by reading inputs (such as a sensor) and turning them into outputs (such as turning on an LED bulb).
What hardware does Arduino have?
Arduino boards are open source, which means users can create derivatives of the board. Or even produce a new product based on Arduino’s design. For those that want a solution straight out of the box. There are plenty of boards available: from the Nicla Sense to Portenta H7 Lite, all have their own uses, pros, and cons.
What’s more, Arduino boards are also modular, which means there is a host of components available you can augment the board with. Sensors, modules, shields, robotics – if you have an idea for a project. Chances are, there’s a part manufactured by Arduino that can help.
Arduino is programmed using the Arduino Software Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Which features a code editor, autocompletion, code navigation, and live debugging functionality. That said, it is a bare-bones environment – great for people learning programming. Language-wise, Arduino is coded in C++, one of the most popular types of code out there.
What’s the difference between Arduino and Raspberry Pi?
Raspberry Pi and Arduino are two of the most used coding platforms available to electronics-obsessed makers. But what’s the difference between the two?
The main difference comes from Arduino being a microcontroller that’s about running single programs, while the Raspberry Pi is a single board computer. That means the Pi can run operating systems and handle more complex tasks than the Arduino. That said, the Arduino is less complicated to use, and can arguably be used for a wider range of projects.