Readwrite has a great article that will help you choose which DIY platform is right for you.
If you’re at all familiar with do-it-yourself (DIY) electronics, you’ve probably heard about the comparable merits of Arduino and Raspberry Pi. You may have even, like I did, assumed they were competing hardware platforms solving similar problems.
Actually, Arduino and Raspberry Pi are quite different. For starters, Raspberry Pi is a fully functional computer, while Arduino is a microcontroller, which is just a single component of a computer.
Here’s a primer to differentiating Arduino and Raspberry Pi, and to determining which of the two DIY hacking devices best fits your needs as a maker.
Raspberry Pi and Arduino were both originally designed to be teaching tools, which is why they’ve become so popular—both devices are very easy to learn to use.
Raspberry Pi hails from the United Kingdom. Inventor Eben Upton and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory were frustrated by the dwindling number of students, and the poor skill levels of those students, entering the program. Raspberry Pi was designed to be a cheap, hackable computer for improving tinkering skills. While Upton worked on prototypes from 2006 onward, the first shipment of Pis became available in April 2012.
Arduino, on the other hand, was born in Italy. It was named after the bar where inventor Massimo Banzi and his cofounders first forged the idea. Banzi, a teacher at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, wanted a simple hardware prototyping tool for his design students.
As teaching tools, both Arduino and Raspberry Pi suitable for beginners. It’s only when examining their hardware and software that it becomes apparent they’re used for very different types of projects.
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!