Gertboard vs. Arduino 32-bit Due


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by randomvibe » Mon May 21, 2012 7:27 am
Plenty of 8-bit and 16-bit microcontroller modules are already on the market. Plenty of 32-bit modules are also established (e.g., Maple, Maple Mini, Maple Native, Netduino, Coridium, FEZ, etc.). Also, the end of the thread below says the Arduino 32-bit Due release is imminent. It will feature the new Atmel SAM3 MCU (ARM Cortex M3). Why should I purchase a Gerboard instead of an Arduino? Shouldn't you focus on building an interface to Arduino rather than reinventing the wheel?

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,88029.0.html
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by rurwin » Mon May 21, 2012 7:49 am
That's even more vapour-ware than the RaspPi ;-)

Personally I don't see the point of the Arduino; if I've got a project for a microcontroller then I stick a microcontroller on a bit of veroboard. It isn't rocket science to wire up an AVR; it's about half a dozen components even with an external crystal.

But the Gertboard does stuff that an Arduino doesn't, like buffering the I/O pins and driving a motor. In fact the AVR is only on there as an I/O expander and front-end processor.

It's been said before, the Arduino is complementary to the RaspPi, but it isn't an exclusive relationship; there's room for other boards.
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by davidmam » Mon May 21, 2012 9:09 pm
The point of the arduino? It provides a microcontroller in an accessible format that someone with only rudimentary electronics knowledge and a little bit of coding can access. It dramatically lowers the entry level barrier.

You may not think that microcontroller processing is hard - but when you are a complete novice, the accessibility of arduino as opposed to veroboard and 'roll your own' is what makes the difference between 'try it' and 'bin it'

Hopefully RasPi will do the same - lower the entry barrier to hardware/software interaction but allow the user to see what is under the hood and to extend and replace the packaging as their knowledge and confidence grows.
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by Phil Spiegel » Tue May 22, 2012 9:09 am
I would suggest that the prime benefit of the Gertboard and similar complimentary range of other Rpi-add on boards is just that: they are designed to simply 'Plug and Play' with the board placed in front of the student - so that they 'become one' - physically and electrically - and provide (in many cases) the appropriate buffering and protection between the 'Pi' and the 'custard' surrounding it - but each chosen for the intended range of experimentation.

The dedicated boards will exactly match the pin arrangment of the 250,000 initial, and soon, millions of Pis in the field.
Physically-designed-to-fit will also offer a smaller overall volume, which in turn will oepn up more application areas.
The Educational, and other Documentation produced to provide learniong support will match the product in front of them.

There is presumably nothing to stop an 'Arduino' board/shield being made to plug onto a Pi?
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by domesday » Tue May 22, 2012 10:03 am
Regarding using Arduino Sheilds with the Pi someone has designed a board http://omer.me/2012/05/introducing-ponte/

I think Raspberry Pi and Arduino have completely different aims and uses but some people just have to use a hammer as a screwdriver to prove that they can.

The original aim of the Raspberry Pi was as an educational tool to replace an expensive desktop/laptop computer. It is something that can be used by kids to experiment with on their own without having their parents complain that they have messed up an expensive computer. The idea being that when playing with software that messes everything up you just re-image the SD card and start again, no harm done. Competing with micro controllers is not something the Raspberry Pi was designed for, the GPIO pins are there mainly so that some basic experimentation can be done using the relatively familiar interface of a computer.

The Arduino, PicAxe, Basic Stamp and the like are all designed to provide an easier path to building embedded systems. If you want to make for example an autonomous system that will water your plants when the soil gets dry then a Raspberry Pi is complete overkill. If however you wanted a low powered device that provides a web interface to a weather system combined with collecting weather forecasts from the internet then the Pi would be a lot easier than a micro controller.

I think the Gertboard will be popular as Gert is close the Raspberry Pi team, but I don't think it is very well suited to general education purposes, especially children. For education something like the http://expeyes.in/ would be far better as it has been packaged together in such a way that makes more sense. I think the Gertboard will appeal more to the hacker as it requires more knowledge to set-up but has a convenient collection of options, including a micro controller all on one board.
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by randomvibe » Sun May 27, 2012 7:31 am
According to Massimo Banzi from Arduino. the 32-bit Due "beta" has been released at last week's Maker Faire in California, and is based on the ATMEL's new 32-bit ARM SAM3X8E mcu. The production version will be released in June. Close-up pictures in link below.

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic ... #msg806457

There is already talk of coupling the Due with the R-Pi. It's already happened with the Beaglebone and other 8-bit Arduino boards.

Recommendation for Gert... be the first to make that R-Pi and Due marriage. You're likely the best person to make that happen.
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by Grumpy Mike » Mon May 28, 2012 4:38 pm
rurwin wrote:That's even more vapour-ware than the RaspPi ;-)

The vapor condenses :-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/robotgrrl/sets/72157629855444076/
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by davr » Wed May 30, 2012 5:10 pm
Grumpy Mike wrote:
rurwin wrote:That's even more vapour-ware than the RaspPi ;-)

The vapor condenses :-
http://www.flickr.com/photos/robotgrrl/sets/72157629855444076/


It seems they're pretty far behind schedule...it was supposed to be fully tested and released by the end of 2011 apparently, but they're just now getting prototypes out to people.
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by Grumpy Mike » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:01 pm
davr wrote:...it was supposed to be fully tested and released by the end of 2011 apparently,


Yes but so was the Pi, your point being?
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by jamesh » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:02 am
Grumpy Mike wrote:
davr wrote:...it was supposed to be fully tested and released by the end of 2011 apparently,


Yes but so was the Pi, your point being?


Less of a point making exercise, more of a fact imparting one I would have thought.
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by randomvibe » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:29 pm
The 32-bit Arduino Due is finally here, as promised at the World Maker Faire in New York in Septemeber. This could be the end for the gertboard. And even the raspberrypi itself - I hope not. I think a dedicated library to communicate with the Due would be extremely beneficial and full of possibility.

Interesting thread regarding the Due below. Even Massimo Banzi has chimed in.

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic ... #msg966219
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by domesday » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:29 pm
What is the point in comparing the two ??

Does the Arduino Due have on-board ethernet? errm no!, does it run Linux ?

Does the Raspberry Pi handle real-time applications? have lots of IO ? Errm, no!

You are comparing apples with grapes.
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by jamesh » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:35 pm
randomvibe wrote:The 32-bit Arduino Due is finally here, as promised at the World Maker Faire in New York in Septemeber. This could be the end for the gertboard. And even the raspberrypi itself - I hope not. I think a dedicated library to communicate with the Due would be extremely beneficial and full of possibility.

Interesting thread regarding the Due below. Even Massimo Banzi has chimed in.

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic ... #msg966219


Not seeing how a 32bit 84Mhz board is going to impact on the Raspi itself,or indeed the Gertboard, which of course is simply an add on for the Raspi. Nice bit of kit, but very different markets.
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by alexeames » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:46 pm
I'd just like to point out that in the month since building a Gertboard, the chances of me buying an arduino at some point in the next few months have risen from somewhere near zero to somewhere a lot nearer 70%.

The Gertboard is fantastic for learning - that's what it was designed for. There's so much on there it would be ludicrous to use it in an embedded system - but you could if you wanted to.

Look at it another way, the Pi costs about the same as an arduino ethernet shield. The Gertboard costs about as much as an original arduino (if you buy from Tandy).

Anyway, what's with this either or mentality? Can't we have both? :lol:
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by panik » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:34 pm
From store.arduino.cc:
Price: $58.42
VAT not included

Also, about the countless 'Arduino compatible' shields (not mentioned in this topic, but I'll say it anyway); I'd much prefered it if the Arduino was 'standard 0.1" breadboard/veroboard compatible' in the first place. Then all shields would be compatible with everyting else. Finding that out (the hard way) felt like a kick in the nuts. One of the biggest missed opportunities in the world of open source hardware, if you ask me (I know, nobody asked).

On the other hand, the awkward positioning of the pins drove me to straight avr-gcc. I now use my Arduino sometimes as an AVR-programmer. It's in the 'spare parts' box. :D
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by Gert van Loo » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:51 pm
I have had a short look at the Arduino 32-bit but it seems it has the same problem as all other shields:
You can not program it stand alone. You still need a development platform. So even if your final application
is a stand alone-shield you still have to fork out money before you get there. I think the Raspberry-Pi fills another
gap where you can develop your ATmega programs for a fraction of the cost of a PC.
So to me not one nor the other is a solution. BOTH are the ideal combination. If not in running, definitely in development.
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by randomvibe » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:20 am
If you have an Arduino board then you likely have a computer already. If not, let's be realistic. A person looking to buy a computer, a very low cost computer, will likely go with a netbook or used laptop rather than an RPi. The RPi $35 cost plus keyboard, mouse, MONITOR, enclosure/case, etc. is about as the same as a new netbook or used laptop. And you cannot download apps and other useful software on a RPi. I haven't seen RPi's in computer stores. I see them at electronic component sites and kit sites like Adafruit that sell Arduino, Parallax, etc.

Gert - I agree with you in one aspect. The RPi and Arduino DUE is an ideal combination. The maker community would greatly benefit from using Python to control the DUE pins: 54 digital input/output pins (of which 12 can be used as PWM outputs), 12 analog inputs (12-bit resolution!!!), 1 Vref or analog inputs, 4 Hardware UARTs, 2 DAC (digital to analog), 2 TWI, and SPI. Are you planning on making this happen, or will you only focus on the gertboard, or perhaps both?
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by demcanulty » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:15 am
I don't see a big fisticuffs here. As someone who programs mcu's for a living, and who periodically prototypes with arduinos, and who is digging the amazingly cheap and interesting combination of desktop and prototyping platform that is the raspberry pi, this does not seem like a bustup bound to happen. They seem like they have very different strengths. I've never had a microcontroller that could live and breathe in the environs of a modern operating system, and I don't yet know what I would or wouldn't do with that kind of opportunity. I'm not going to find that out with an arduino, no matter how many GPIOs its got. So that's why, in my free time, I'm fooling around with the rPi, since it seems like it's got something interesting to teach me. ps. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a gertboard in the states.
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by rurwin » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:33 am
But the target market for the RaspPi is not people who already have a computer and want to get into physical computing. It is kids who do not have unrestricted, or even any, access to a computer. Everything else is a bonus.
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by panik » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:05 am
randomvibe wrote:[...]Are you planning on making this happen, or will you only focus on the gertboard, or perhaps both?[...]

I'm not sure what it is you want to be done. Is it hardware? What would it look like? People will take their Pi's and Due's and hook them up. That's for sure.
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by Grumpy Mike » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:12 am
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by RaTTuS » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:20 am
you'll have to tell us what is like Grumpy Mike .... ;-p
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by Grumpy Mike » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:57 am
Yes I am supposed to be getting a free one :) but I don't know when it will arrive.
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by randomvibe » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:49 pm
Is the R-Pi foundation working on hardware and software to link to the Arduino Due?
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by scruss » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:17 pm
You should be able to run Arduino 1.5 (which supports the Due) on the Raspberry Pi.
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