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RPi for prototyping, then micro-controller for "deployment"?

Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:28 pm

Hello all,

I am new to RPi, so, apologies in advance the n00b question.

Is it possible to "port" a RPi python project to a more compact embedded micro-controller form factor?

I'm interested in using the RPi as a platform for prototyping and debugging my own embedded projects (sensing, etc).
However, I'm a bit stuck on what comes next.... ie: what happens after I am done prototyping and debugging.

Let's use an example.
I am in the process of building a simple open-fridge-door-sensor with my RPi.
IF/when I complete it... it'll work great .... but I'm sure a few fellas on the board here will empathize when I say this:
the whole setup with the RPi w/ power cable hanging off attached to the fridge door is not something the girlfriend/wife will love. :D :cry:

A bit of googling revealed that "AVR" programming (http://www.avrfreaks.net/) is quite popular...
but AVRs, along with most other micro-controllers execute compiled C code,
whereas RPi executes Python code on top of a a fully fleshed out Linux distro.
Fundamental mismatch there...

SO... my questions are as follows:
1) Is using the RPi as a prototyping platform common?
2) Is it common for people to try and port a RPi project to something a bit more form-factor friendly? (FYI, I absolutely understand that you can't just "port" a RPi project that has hardware specific dependencies to something with much fewer IO pins....)
2a) IF uncommon, is it possible? Any guides/projects people can point me to?
3) Am I completely barking up the wrong tree?

Thanks in advance everyone!

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Re: RPi for prototyping, then micro-controller for "deployme

Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:52 pm

You hit the nail on the head: these are totally different platforms. It's way beyond the scope of a forum reply to detail the advantages/disadvantages of each, but some googling can help you with that. I assume you know that the microcontrollers you have referred to are commonly used in Arduinos, so a search of Arduino compared with Raspberry Pi will get you a bajillion hits.

As far as your form factor is concerned -- pull the Pi off the fridge, put it in a case, and run wires to wherever you want it. They make many pretty cases that will allow you to use your code as it exists without rewriting it for a microncontroller.

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Re: RPi for prototyping, then micro-controller for "deployme

Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:02 pm

Check out


If you limit your development to the subset of Python it executes, and you do not need Linux provided device drivers etc it may work for you.

For low volume / quick turn-around development I tend to use the Parallax Propeller, for high volume, whatever will give me the lowest BOM cost that can run the intended app :)
http://Mikronauts.com - home of EZasPi, RoboPi, Pi Rtc Dio and Pi Jumper @Mikronauts on Twitter
Advanced Robotics, I/O expansion and prototyping boards for the Raspberry Pi

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Re: RPi for prototyping, then micro-controller for "deployme

Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:40 pm

I would use some microcontroller development board instead of prototyping on RPi since they are quite different.
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