17 Replies Latest reply on Oct 12, 2016 7:27 PM by theenggprojects

    What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?

    sil29nyc

      I’m a father for 11 years old carious boy and I would like to introduce him to some “electronic” based projects and code writing (he’s taking java coding at school). What is the recommendation to start with, Raspberry Pi micro-computer or Arduino micro-controller? Also are there any good projects to start with to gain experience and keep an 11 year old engaged? I’m looking to get help and ideas on how to jump start our journey.

      Thanks.

        • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
          clem57

          IMHO, I would check out the Raspberry Pi. It can do electronic interfacing, but also teach software like Python/Scratch. Also he can use it to learn HDMI which the Arduino cannot without a shield. Either way, you cannot go wrong. Try to get a book or have him enroll here to see all the projects. Work with him would be best if you can set aside some time.

          Clem

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
            gadget.iom

            I guess it depends on wether you/he want to focus on computing or do some electronics as well. For electronics based learning I would recommend the Arduino over the Raspberry Pi.

             

            There are some excellent resources online for getting started.

            I would also look at some of the educational kits that are available, many of them include a book of educational Projects and the components needed to complete them.

            Arduino make a starter kit that is available here: K000007 - ARDUINO - STARTER KIT, ARDUINO, WITH UNO BOARD | Farnell element14

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
              tamer

              Hi,i asked my friend who worked with both of them and said that it depend on what you are working on.

              in my case i'll build a 3D Printing Machine from Open Source HW site.

              • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                Christopher Stanton

                Shahar Zeevi wrote:

                 

                I’m a father for 11 years old carious boy and I would like to introduce him to some “electronic” based projects and code writing (he’s taking java coding at school). What is the recommendation to start with, Raspberry Pi micro-computer or Arduino micro-controller? Also are there any good projects to start with to gain experience and keep an 11 year old engaged? I’m looking to get help and ideas on how to jump start our journey.

                Thanks.

                 

                Hello,

                It depends on what you're wanting to teach him.

                 

                Your son is already learning, what is considered to be a high-level programming language. He doesn't have to worry too much about how much memory he is using, how to allocate it, what the limits are (since he's using a computer) and he isn't doing anything time-critical. Java is also mainly object-oriented with methods and classes, depending on how he has been programming it.

                 

                Using a Raspberry Pi would be very familiar to him, it is basically a computer, with limited connectivity to connect low voltage electronics. So he can flash an LED, turn something on or off and with add-ons expand it into audio recording, motor control, have its own screen, etc. He could use Java to do this, or transition to Python, which is another high level and potentially object oriented programming language, or he could use C/C++ or lower level languages. The Pi is also very much a standalone computer with connectivity to a screen.

                 

                If you're wanting to teach him about electronics, specifically, then an Arduino or equivalent micro-controller would be more appropriate. While the Raspberry Pi uses an operating system, the Arduino does not. It has tight memory constraints and mainly uses the C++ programming language, which is object oriented but it is lower level and more sensitive to memory handling and timings. That isn't to say that there aren't ways of talking to an Arduino using Java. It's just the Arduino IDE by default doesn't use it.

                 

                The advantage of using an Arduino is that it is your bare-bones electronics prototyping platform and acts in real-time, rather than with a Raspberry Pi having to wait for the operating system. It also has greater electronics features, such as Pulse Width Modulation for analogue output (if you wanted to have fun with audio or analogue signals for gradients/dimming/fan control/etc) along with a protocol called i2c (which the Pi does have) and SPI (which the Pi also has) you have more general purpose input/output pins than the Pi has (most of the 40 pin block on the Pi 2 / B+ are not connected to the ARM processor).

                 

                The arduino can also be complementary to the Raspberry Pi, it's entirely possible to connect it to one via the serial pins and whatever the Arduino is doing, to communicate back to the Pi and then the Pi act on it. This means in early stages you could just load sketches someone else had made onto the Arduino and then code in Java on the Pi. However, while the Arduino can be programmed and then autonomously perform the code it is encoded with, it is not a single board computer, it is more of a development kit and it does not have connectivity for a screen, (though people have managed to make it output NTSC format graphics).

                 

                Which would I advise?

                 

                If you're wanting to slow transition to electronics, go for the Pi, however you will be limited in what it can connect to depending on what you want to do. If you're prepared to push through the learning curve of another language and start early with C++ then go for the Arduino, especially if you want him to learn more about electronics. It depends what projects you're/he's wanting to work on.

                 

                Best case scenario, you get both, because they're complementary and they aren't designed to perform the exact same functions at all.

                • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                  John Beetem

                  There are some good comments on Arduino versus RasPi at this poll: Arduino vs. Raspberry Pi

                   

                  From the OP's description, I would suggest RasPi since his son is already coding.  There are good project ideas at The Magpi magazine The MagPi and at Adafruit https://learn.adafruit.com/

                  • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                    pi-nerd

                    I am 15 and started with Arduino which is a good platform to start with to get started with electronics(the RasPi is a bit bad with electronics and less fail-safe) and all that stuff, for the more coding kid I recommend a RasPi, and start then first with Python, so he will have a good basis, like good indentation and better understanding of if/for/while and such control-flow things.

                     

                    Arend-Jan

                    • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                      shabaz

                      Hi Shahar,

                       

                      I agree with all the previous comments, and I'd also suggest the same kit mentioned by gadget.iom - I had a chance to briefly provide a review of the kit (click here).

                      The user guide with that kit is extremely good.

                      • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                        Andy Clark (Workshopshed)

                        Neither platform is particularly targeted towards Java programmers so you may not find many examples of say controlling I/O on a Pi with Java (I'm sure some exist).

                         

                        However you should be able to get the Pi up and running with a screen and programming Java fairly easily for things like UI and internet based projects. So from a coding perspective that might be the better choice. It would also be a better choice if you want to experiment with things like webcams or graphics.

                         

                        To help with the electronics side, to make it a bit more friendly I'd suggest adding a I/O card for it that protects the PI from accidental sort circuits etc.

                         

                        Projects you could look at include robotics as that is always a fun area and line following or ultrasonic sensors are good add-ons.

                         

                        Perhaps you could look at electronics separately and look at things like amplifiers, transistor switches etc.

                         

                        I come from a C background so I personally use the Arduino for a lot of my projects, my Pi has sat on the shelf since it arrived.

                        • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                          peterjcs23

                          This is a good comparison of a number of small computer borads.https://learn.adafruit.com/embedded-linux-board-comparison/overview

                           

                          So for example, if you want to read analog sensor signals the Arduino has inputs but RasPi has none. The RasPi processor is described as "full HD, multimedia applications processor for advanced mobile and embedded applications that require the highest levels of multimedia performance" but the Arduino is not.

                           

                          Etc.

                           

                          Peter

                          • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                            sheepdog.tk

                            I'm glad you asked!...

                             

                            I wrote an essay on the subject...

                             

                            Arduino or Pi... or other? - hh9bardupi

                             

                            My "authority"? Twenty years of teaching science and computing, to learners from 10-18, in UK schools.

                             

                            Oh... and GTS (Geek Tendency Syndrome)

                             

                            The page cited also leads to various tutorials I hope you and your learner will find useful.

                             

                            Picking up on what you said... curious/ learning Java at school:

                             

                            I really don't think it will over-strech his capabilities to divide his attention between Java at school, Java or Lazarus at home, on a PC, to do PROGRAMMING, and Arduino (or Pi), but NOT with Java, to learn computer controlled electronics. Yes, in a "perfect world", (for him) someone would do a Java programming environment for the Arduino. Not necessary, though! The "new" language, to access the Arduino Not a Big Deal.

                              • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                                shabaz

                                The Information there is too dated.

                                For example:

                                If you were my child, I'd give you an Arduino... in addition to showing you things you could do with "just" a laptop. But the Pi has things to commend it, too.

                                It would appear that the new multi-cored Pi has reasonable performance to the point that it could realistically be used as an alternative to a desktop or laptop PC.

                                 

                                Secondly, perhaps community size no longer makes sense for Arduino or Pi, both are huge:

                                Re-read what I wrote about the Arduino, and infer the complement: Arduino- mature/ Pi- less mature; Arduino- big community/ Pi- smaller community. Etc.

                                 

                                Also, lets not forget that the Pi runs Linux - one of the worlds most popular operating systems (not talking about desktop computing) - so there is a massive community for Linux.

                                 

                                Anyway, back to the poster's original question, I'd really check if it actually was Java, or JavaScript that the child is currently learning if he/she is 11.

                              • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                                clem57

                                I have a good solution here! I found a pcDuino Model 3 that costs around $60 dollars.  Google around and you can catch them on sale And you can use the same board to run normal Arduino IDE to program the interface. The best of both the Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

                                bigbanner

                                 

                                Here are the specs:

                                Hardware Specifications

                                ItemsDetails
                                CPUAllWinner A20 SoC, 1GHz ARM Cortex A7 Dual Core
                                GPUOpenGL ES2.0, OpenVG 1.1, Mali 400 Dual Core
                                DRAM1GB
                                Onboard Storage4GB Flash, microSD card (TF) slot for up to 32GB
                                Video OutputHDMI 1.4 with HDCP support
                                OS
                                • Ubuntu 12.04
                                • Android 4.2
                                Arduino extension interfaceArduino sockets, same as Arduino UNO
                                14xGPIO, 2xPWM, 6xADC, 1xUART, 1xSPI, 1xI2C
                                Network interface
                                • USB WiFi
                                • Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps
                                Audio out
                                • 3.5mm analog audio interface
                                • I2S stereo digital audio interface
                                LCDLVDS
                                IRIR receiver
                                SATASATA Host socket
                                CameraMIPI
                                BatteryLi-Poly Battery Interface
                                USB1 x USB host, 1xUSB OTG
                                Power5V, 2000mA
                                Overall Size

                                121mm x 65mm

                                Cheers,

                                Clem

                                • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                                  sil29nyc

                                  Thank you all for the valuable information, apologize for not responding in a timely manner.

                                   

                                  My son and I took the route of investigation together, reading many of your posts and reviewing the details. We decided to start with the Pi, as it is more a “PC” based and familiar platform. And as we get comfortable with our skills, needs and wants will branch out as needed.

                                   

                                  Appreciate all the time and efforts you put to provide us with guidance,

                                   

                                  Thank you!

                                   

                                  Shahar 

                                  • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                                    markhaysharris777

                                    Start with the Arduino Uno.  ( Period )

                                     

                                    The RPi uses 3v3 logic (its more finiky about sensor voltages, etc). The Arduino works with 5v logic which matches most sensors out there. 

                                     

                                    The RPi does NOT have analog to digital converts on-board;  the Arduino DOES have analog to digital converts on-board; and this is a big deal for many sensors and things he'll be interested in doing.

                                     

                                    The Arduino is forgiving, the RPi is not. The Arduino IDE is easy;  the RPi Python interface is not-so-much. He's young and he's smart, so he'lll be able to learn either one... but, the Arduino will be the better platform to start with for learning electronics prototyping.

                                    • Re: What should I start with (Raspberry Pi or Arduino)?
                                      theenggprojects

                                      I think you should have a look at this comparison Arduino Vs Raspberry Pi. It will help you in selection.