4 min read

Arduino Uno and Raspberry Pi 3 are the go-to options for IoT projects. They’re tiny computers that can make a big impact in how we connect devices to each other, and to the internet. But they can also be a lot of fun too… At their best, they do both. For example, Arduino Uno and Raspberry Pi were used to make a custom underwater camera solution for filming the Netflix documentary, Chasing Coral. They were also behind the Autonomous racing robot.

However, how are the two microcomputers different? If you’re confused about which one you should start using, here’s a look at the key features of both the Arduino Uno and the Raspberry Pi 3.This will give you a clearer view on what fits your project well, or maybe just help you decide what to include on your birthday wishlist.

Comparing the Arduino Uno and Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi 3 has a Broadcom BCM2837 SoC with it can handle multiple tasks at one time. It is a Single Board Computer (SBC), which means it is a fully functional computer with a dedicated processor, memory, and is capable of running an OS–Raspberry Pi 3 runs on Linux. It can run multiple programs as it has its own

  • USB ports,
  • audio outputs,
  • a graphic driver for HDMI output.

Arduino Uno, is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega328, an 8-bit microcontroller with 32KB of Flash memory and 2KB of RAM, which is not as powerful as SBCs. However, they are a great choice for quick setups. Microcontrollers are a good pick when controlling small devices  such as LEDs, motors, several different types of sensors, but cannot run a full operating system. The Arduino Uno runs one program at a time. One can also install other operating systems such as Android, Windows 10, or Firefox OS.

Let’s look at the features and how one stands out better than the other:

Speed

The Raspberry Pi 3 (1.2 GHz) is much faster than Arduino (16 MHz). This means it can complete day-to-day tasks such as web surfing, playing videos, with greater ease From this perspective, Raspberry Pi is the go-to choice for media centered applications.

Winner : Raspberry Pi 3

Easy time interface

Arduino Uno offers a simplified approach for project building. It has easy time interfacing with presence of analog sensors, motor, and other components. By contrast, the Raspberry Pi 3  has a more complicated route if you want to set up projects. For example, to take sensor readings you’ll need to install libraries and connect to a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Winner : Arduino Uno

Bluetooth/ Internet connectivity

Raspberry Pi 3 connects to Bluetooth devices and the internet directly using Ethernet or by connecting to Wi-Fi. The Arduino Uno can do that only with the help of a Shield that adds internet or Bluetooth connectivity. HATS (Hardware Attached on Top) and Shields can be used on both devices to give them additional functionality.

For example. HATs are used on the Raspberry Pi 3, to control an RBG Matrix, add a touchscreen, or even create an arcade system. Shields that can be used on the Arduino Uno include a Relay Shield, a Touchscreen Shield, or a Bluetooth Shield. There are hundreds of Shields and HATs that provide the functionality that you regularly use.

Winner : Raspberry Pi 3

Supporting ports

The Raspberry Pi 3 has an HDMI port, audio port, 4 USB ports, camera port, and LCD port, which is ideal for media applications. On the other hand, Arduino Uno does not have any of these ports in the board. However, some of these ports can be added on the Arduino Uno with the help of Shields. Arduino Uno has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button.

Winner : Raspberry Pi 3

Other features

Set-up time

Raspberry Pi 3 takes longer to set up. You’ll also probably need additional components such as a HDMI cable, a monitor, a cable, and a keyboard and mouse. For the Arduino Uno you simply have to plug it in. The code then runs immediately.

Winner : Arduino Uno

Affordable Price

Arduino Uno is much cheaper. It’s around $20 compared to Raspberry Pi 3, which is around $35. It’s important to note that this excludes the cost of cables, keyboards, mouse and other additional hardware.As mentioned above, you don’t need those extras with the Arduino Uno.

Winner : Arduino Uno

Both Arduino Uno and Raspberry Pi 3 are great in their individual offerings. Arduino Uno would be an ideal board if you want to get started with electronics, and begin building fun and engaging hands-on projects. It’s great for learning the basics of how sensors and actuators work, and an essential tool for one’s rapid prototyping needs. On the other hand, Raspberry Pi 3 is great for projects that need an online connection and have multiple operations running  at the same time. Pick as per your need!

Read Next

How to build a sensor application to measure Ambient Light

5 reasons to choose AWS IoT Core for your next IoT project

Build your first Raspberry Pi project

You can also check some of our exciting books on Arduino Uno and Raspberry Pi.


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