Arduino vs. Raspberry Pi: microcontrollers and single-board computers

If you love a spot of DIY but are also interested in coding, do-it-yourself software projects are becoming even more popular. Hobbyists from all over the world are trying their hand at useful everyday helpers such as remote controls for their garage doors, temperature measuring devices as well as more fun projects like drones, robots and even their own games consoles!

These projects have both a creative and technical focus and are great for people of all ages. But which is better? Would you prefer a microcontroller or a single-board computer? Let’s explore the advantages of both.


Arduino is an open-source electronics platform that’s based on easy-to-use hardware and software. With the ability to do a wealth of things including reading inputs and turning them into outputs, you’re able to tell the board what to do by sending it a set of instructions. This makes the possibilities for use pretty endless.

Over the years, Arduino has been the brain of thousands of projects, from everyday objects to more complex applications. Thanks to its simple and accessible nature, it’s the perfect software and coding platform for beginners.

The main driving factor for people choosing Arduino is that the boards are relatively inexpensive compared to other microcontroller platforms. Plus, it can be run on a number of operating systems such as Windows, iOS and Linux, whereas other microcontrollers are limited to Windows only.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV. It’s a device that is capable of an incredible amount of things and allows people of all ages to explore the wonderful world of computing and coding. Whether you want to browse the internet, play movies and TV shows, play games and even create innovative gadgets, Raspberry Pi can open your eyes to the digital makers world.

Depending on whether you buy a full kit of just the board, a Raspberry Pi can come in from £25 if you choose one of the earlier models, to around £70 if you opt for the latest model. Full kits come in all shapes and sizes and can vary in price, so it’s important to figure out what project you’re going to try first to see what you need.

With so many advantages to both, it can be difficult to know which to choose. It’s worth noting that while Raspberry Pi is a powerful piece of kit, Arduino is a more cost effective option that’s easier to use for beginners. These factors may help you in determining which one you’ll end up purchasing for your next project.