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In this article we are going to discover what is the difference between Arduino and Raspberry PI. Before starting, we must specify that Arduino and Raspberry PI are not competitor. As referenced by Raspberry Pi Foundation in their Get Started with… Arduino presentation, Arduino is a Microcontroller and needs a separate computer to be setup. On the other side, Raspberry Pi is a micro computer capable of running complete Operating System. It is also able to control and setup microcontrollers.
I ussually sugget to use add boards in your favourite ecommerce shopping chart while reading. This allows you to compare prices and specifications and decide at the end if proceeding to buy or give up (removing them). With following pictures, you can reach Amazon direct products pages for Arduino and Raspberri PI.
What Is Arduino
Following Arduino official website description, Arduino is an open source electronics platform able to read external input / triggers, execute some pre-configured actions and give Outputs. Inputs can be sensors triggers, software conditions or external computer commands. Outputs can be activating external hardware (motors, switches, lights, etc) or executing software functions (like publishing something online, etc).
A worldwide community of makers – students, hobbyists, artists, programmers, and professionals – uses Arduino for thousands of projects and collaborate in Arduino official forum.
Ecommerce websites are also plenty of books explaining how to getting started with Arduino for beginners.
The first Arduino board was introduced in 2005.
What Is Raspberry Pi
Following Raspberry Pi official website description, Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer able to run a complete Operating System. You can connect it to a monitor, using keyboard and mouse, and use it as a complete Personal Computer. Furthermore, you can use Raspberry Pi to interact with external world by using its built-in GPIO. Raspberry Pi is also able to execute small home server to create advanced private services. This blog is plenty of Raspberry Pi projects that can be found in Raspberry Pi category.
Ecommerce websites are also plenty of books explaining how to Getting started with Raspberry Pi for beginners.
The first Raspberry Pi board was introduced in 2012.
What Board Should I Buy?
Here comes the great question mark which drove you to google Arduino vs Raspberru PI. It is really hard to answer if you have not still planned where to begin your fantastic experience with these small boards.
If you want to realize projects which foresee a single output in response to defined triggers, then you could opt for Arduino. It focuses on implementing low level programs for single tasks. So, it requires power usage only to run these functions.
If you want to realize complex projects which can foresee multiple output in response to multiple triggers, then you should opt for Raspberry Pi. Furthermore, you can use Raspberry Pi with a desktop environment, which helps beginners to move first steps in electronics.
Consider that Arduino and Raspberry Pi have a wide range of boards from simpler ones to more powerful ones. Regarding RPI, you can refer to this Raspberry PI comparison between latest models.
All boards work with 5V power supply, so their power consuption is ridicolous. Consider, for example, that a Raspberry Pi 4 model B uses about 3A at full power consuption…
Regarding my personal experience, I started with a Raspberry PI Zero W because this board is really cheap, complete (it can run a complete OS), able both to provide simple to medium complexity projects (like providing a WordPress website) and interface external world (like controlling a stepper motor). If you opt for this solution, you will need also a 5V Power Supply (also a micro usb Smartphone power supply with at least 2A can be ok), a Micro Sd card. Or you can buy a complete Raspberry Pi Zero W starter kit.