Anyone interested in programming and development is likely familiar with the internet of things. This is essentially where two or more devices connected to the internet, provide data to each other, or a network. Some necessities include the internet, processor boards, Bluetooth, RFID, NFC chips among others. No longer are these technologies limited to large corporations and industries. Small businesses and even home networking experts can take advantage of this new and emerging technology.
If you are considering using the IoT to upgrade your home or office, you will want to consider which processor board to use. There are two commercially available options currently, Arduino board vs Raspberry Pi. Both are heavily used in the internet of things devices and development.
The scale and scope of the project will ultimately decide which board you use. Often times, they are used together. The Arduino board is good for handling simple processing tasks. They have very little memory and can get overloaded quite easily. These boards are excellent at reading things like temperature, humidity and executing basic code. On their own, Arduino boards do not typically have internet, Bluetooth or WiFi capabilities.
Raspberry Pi boards, on the other hand, come standard with those connections. You can add cameras, sensors, Ethernet to both boards. Both of them have the ability to expand the memory, and require software to run. Raspberry Pi boards offer the most processing power and memory between the two. Arduino boards are open source, Raspberry Pi is not. They can both run on most operating systems and can be made compatible with any custom platform.
Both of these boards use very low power and are efficient to run and use. Knowing what they do though is only part of the equation. Knowing how to use them both effectively is the key. Let’s use the example of a farmer. In the field, there are sensors on Arduino boards that record temperature, humidity and soil moisture. Arduino would send data to a Raspberry Pi controlled irrigation system. This would then water crops when dry and send an alert to the farmer.
What is Your Favorite Pi?
Trial and error are fine if you are doing a small, DIY at home project. The boards are both fairly cheap (under $50.00) and will afford you the time and energy to experiment. For a large scale operation, however, call in the professionals. You will get the expertise to know which boards to use, and when. A company like Digiteum, are a great example. After your project is analyzed, a plan will be created. This will typically include new hardware/software, database upgrades, increased network bandwidth among others. A network will be setup for the devices to communicate with each and perform the desired functions. In this instance, the boards may be the cheapest part of the project. However, once implemented there will be massive gains in automation, time and cost reduction, and process efficiency. These are the things that provide gains year after year after the initial investment is made.