Raspberry Pi Vs. Arduino


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Most people find it difficult to differentiate between pi and an Arduino. What most people do not understand is that a Raspberry Pi is a microcomputer while the Arduino is a micro-controller. This article is about laying out those differences and simplifying each bit by bit. Most probably some of you might have used a Pi and never used an Arduino.  

Follow Raspberry Pi series​Chances are you haven’t used either of them and you are in a dilemma on what to pick between both for your projects. Of course, both devices are like faithful pets to professionals and students. Yet when it comes to a majority of beginners a confusion arises. You begin to judge them as enemies yet they can be friends and work hand in hand. To see how an Arduino can work alongside a PI check this

link.  We are not different than any of you because in this article you will encounter enough reasons as to why to choose one of them and leave the other.


The raspberry is a fully functional computer whereas the Arduino is not a full computer. sounds weird, doesn’t it? Where the rasp will run on a fully fledged operating system the Arduino will execute direct code which is simply interpreted by its firmware. The lack of an operating system means the Arduino will come with less of the basic tools required for running a complex program. For instance, the raspberry is endowed with a dedicated processor, memory, and an HDMI output graphics card. whereas the Arduino will come as a collection of three utilities( and not entities); hardware prototype platform, libraries, and the Arduino language.  

The Raspberry Has an Inbuilt Network connectivity Whereas the Arduino is not Built for Networking.

The Raspberry PI3 has an ethernet port and pre-installed wireless network connectivity which allows efficient network access to a network with having to go through lots of configurations. The Arduino on the other side lacks an ethernet port and USB wifi connectivity. While the Arduino lacks an ethernet port it also has one USB cable which is only connected to a PC. This, therefore, accounts for the Arduino’s lack of support for USB wifi via dongles. To get network connectivity on the Arduino it will require a few steps of configurations, some tinkering, and an external ethernet chip. For you to connect to the internet on a Rasp it is only a matter of the operating system and you get linked to web servers or run a connected browser.  

It is Simpler to Interface an Arduino with sensors and devices Than Effectively connecting a PI to sensors and devices.

arduino setup project

An Arduino can easily interpret a wide range of analog sensors. Just by interpreting the code you run on it, the Arduino can easily respond to sensor data which makes it easy to record and adjust the devices. For the raspberry to effectively respond to a sensor it requires a software which most probably if programming is not your thing acquiring such software may be expensive and quite pointless for some experiments. For example, you want to read data from switches and change the values of your thermostat. You will require no software for this hence making the Arduino your best choice.  Let’s say you wish to create a project that regulates a greenhouse’s conditions by responding to data from the weather and climate website. This will be quite complex thus need for a software which makes a rasp your perfect choice.  

The Raspberry can be Programmed using a Variety of Languages Whereas You are only Limited to Two languages for programming the Arduino.

python on raspberry pi

The Raspberry will come pre-installed with a variety of languages, python, c++/c, and ruby. It is possible to also install more but the recommended language for PI is python. On the other hand, the Arduino allows you to code it using Arduino C/C++.

Therefore the Arduino supports only one language while the rasp supports a variety of languages. And that is just that!  

The Raspberry is Suitable for Software Oriented Projects Whereas the Arduino is Suitable for Hardware-Oriented Projects.

raspberry pi project

I would prefer the Arduino for a project that involves a lot of communication with analog sensors and external hardware like motors, resistors, and switches. The Arduino will connect to a very high number of peripherals due to its wide array of compatibility and run them natively. This is impossible for a PI especially without incorporating a very complex logical software more like a kernel to interact with such a number of devices. Arduino input is analog and this account for its compatibility since many devices support analog interfacing. Most times it will require a rasp a level of networking to connect it to some devices and run them natively.

The raspberry is suitable for software projects. With just plug and play. You do not need to learn a lot of electronics to get aboard. However, to build a rasp project it is recommended to acquaint yourself with some programming knowledge.  


Sometimes it is recommended to use both boards where your project is complicated and needs some hardware interactions as well as software logic. Both boards could be ideal used side by side. Ever thought of bringing together two Hollywood stars into one movie. That’s how it sounds. For more information about these two devices check the next part of this article. 5 similarities you never spotted between pi and raspberry.

In order to make a good decision between both boards, you have to stay tuned for part II of this article. We will point out the similarities between the Arduino and the Raspberry.

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