Raspberry Pi Vs Arduino: How these two giants stack up against each other

There are lot of options when it comes DIY (do-it-yourself) electronics. However, Raspberry Pi and Arduino are two of the most popular DIY options. Raspberry Pi is budget friendly and simply put a fully functional computer. Arduino on the other hand is a microcontroller, a small component of a computer.

How they originated?

United Kingdom is the birthplace of Raspberry Pi. It was invented by Eben Upton and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge. As the students entering the program had poor skill sets, this was developed for improving their tinkering skills. Though the work on this began in 2006, it become available in the year 2012.

On the other hand, Arduino hails from Italy. It was invented by Massimo Banzi and his cofounders. Being a teacher at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Massimo Banzi wanted to create a simple hardware prototyping tool for his design students.

Hence both these tools were developed originally for teaching purpose. Both of them are easy to use.

Raspberry Pi Vs Arduino

Both Arduino and Raspberry Pi look quite similar to an untrained eye but they definitely have different purposes to serve. So let’s compare both of them and see how different they are.

Raspberry Pi Arduino
Meaning Raspberry Pi is fully functional independent mini-computer. It can run an actual operating system in Linux. Simply put, it has the ability to function like a personal computer. Arduino is not a mini-computer but a micro-controller. A micro-controller is a small part of the computer and hence Arduino’s functionality is also a subset to the functionality of Raspberry Pi.
Functionality The Pi being a complete OS on an SD card has audio and video output. It has HDMI, Ethernet output, internet browsing, gaming and all the features of a computer. And all this at a very cheap price. Arduino is a programmable microcontroller. It works the way the user has programmed it for. Arduino can read data from sensors, compute data, and send it to a computer like Raspberry Pi.
Uses Raspberry Pi fits in very well for software applications. Arduino on the other hand suits well for pure hardware projects.
Flexibility When it comes to flexibility, the Pi is not as flexible as Arduino as to read analog sensors Pi needs assistance of extra hardware. Real-time and analog capability allows Arduino to be flexible thereby letting it work with any kind of sensor or chips.
Ease of use Raspberry Pi requires knowledge of Linux and other programming languages like python in order to write and execute programs. Arduino is much simpler in comparison as this tool has not been designed to run any OS or software. It can be simply plugged in to any computer and you can get started.
Ability to multitask Raspberry Pi has the ability to multitask processes. It has the ability to run multiple programs at the same time. Arduino is not designed in a way to mutitask. Once plugged in, it will perform a single process.
Networking The built-in Ethernet port in Raspberry Pi allows an easy access to any network. Arduino on the other hand does not have in built feature for networking but it can be done externally with the help of an extra chip with an Ethernet port.
Shutdown procedure It is important to use proper shutdown for the Pi as unplugging it can damage the Pi set-up Arduino works on a battery and hence it can be turned on and off at any point in time by the user.

 

So which one is better?

So which tool best suits you. Well that primarily depends on your project. Both, Raspberry Pi and Arduino have different functionalities and advantages, hence they should be used based on the requirement of the project. For instance, if the task to be performed is reading data from sensors then Arduino would work well. On the other hand if you wish to connect to internet or view any kind media then Raspberry Pi would be your choice as internet connectivity is in-built in it.

So choosing one over the other in not required in case of Raspberry Pi and Arduino. As both of them accomplish different tasks, they should be used based on the need.

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IoT India Magazine is India’s very first online magazine dedicated solely to ‘Internet of Things’. It is an exclusive platform in India established with the motto of exploring areas related to Internet of Things.