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Internet of Things

Internet of Things – Three Popular Development Boards

The Internet of Things (IoT) is developing at a rapid pace, as a result of the availability of small, inexpensive computing hardware. IoT development boards combine micro-controllers, processors, wireless chips, and other components in a pre-built, ready-to-program package.  Development boards come in various configurations and here are three popular ones.

Arduino Uno

The Arduino UNO is an open-source microcontroller development board based on the ATmega328P(datasheet) which has:

  • 14 digital input/output pins
  • 6 analog inputs
  • A 16 MHz quartz crystal,
  • A USB connection,
  • A power jack,
  • An ICSP header and
  • A reset button

The Arduino Software (IDE) runs on Windows, Macintosh OSX, and Linux operating systems. The Arduino IDE supports the languages C and C++ using special rules of code structuring.

Applications:

 Few applications of the Arduino Uno boards are: 

  • Robotics and Control Systems
  • Home and Industry Automation
  • Traffic Light Countdown Timer
  • Underground Cable Fault Recognition
  • Controlling of Electrical Appliances using IR
  • Parking Lot Counter
  • Weighing Machines
  • Medical Instrument
  • Emergency Light for Railways
  • Auto Intensity Control of Street Lights
  • Biotechnology
  • Agriculture

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Cross-platform
  • Simple, clear programming environment
  • Open source and extensible software and hardware
  • Large support of community

Cons:

  • Memory limitations
  • Less powerful
  • Processing power is weaker than the microcontroller
  • Requires effort to accomplish some tasks such as scheduling and database storage 

Transform your industry and disrupt the competition with IoT

Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi is a fully functioning credit card-sized computer, which runs on a customized Debian Linux called Raspbian. Like a computer, a Pi has a memory, processor, USB ports, audio output, a graphic driver for HDMI output.

Pi is a powerful platform based on a Broadcom BCM2837 SoC with a:

  • 2 GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor
  • 1GB RAM

Raspberry Pi 3 is equipped with:

  • 4 GHz WiFi 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 10/100 Ethernet port

Advantages of Raspberry Pi over Arduino:

Raspberry PiArduino
Multitasking and suitable for complex projectsRuns one program at a time, used for repetitive work
Suitable for software projects

Suitable for hardware projects

No limiting to programming languageLimited to Arduini, C/C++
Built-in Ethernet port for networkingNeed to connect external hardware and implement coding
Act as a server and communicate to other computers, connected devices.Excels in controlling small devices like sensors, motors, and lights

Applications of Raspberry Pi:

  • Media Streamer
  • Arcade machine
  • Tablet computer
  • Home automation
  • Carputer
  • Internet radio
  • Controlling robots
  • Cosmic Computer
  • Hunting for meteorites and Coffee
  • Raspberry based projects

Pros:

  • Super powerful with lots of memory and processing capabilities. Expandable memory.
  • Linux based OS and now even Windows 10 can be run on top of it to make processing more user-friendly.
  • A lot of GPIOs available, and the more the GPIOs, the more sensors you can interface.
  • If you have experience with Linux, it’s very easy to get started with it, otherwise it will take some time to get the hang of it.
  • Python, C, C++, Ruby, Go and many more can be used to program the Pi exactly the way you can code any computer.
  • People have successfully used Pi to run Open CV , data mining algorithms etc. and connected the results to various applications.
  • In terms of cost, better than an Arduino with Ethernet shield.
  • Great on-line community and endless possibilities of what can be done using it.

Cons:

  • You need good knowledge of Linux systems to get things moving
  • The processing power will be an overkill processing-wise for most of the applications since we will use it only to send data across.
  • Closed source.
  • Power hungry.

NodeMCU

The NodeMCU is an open source firmware, built around a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) called the ESP8266, and features:

  • Wi-Fi capability
  • Analog pin
  • Digital pins
  • Serial communication protocols

Applications of NodeMCU:

  • Geolocation using ESP8266
  • ESP8266 based wireless server
  • Pressure Sensors on Railway Tracks
  • Air Pollution Meter
  • Humidity and temperature monitoring
  • Wi-Fi controlled robot
  • Temperature logging system
  • M2M using ESP8266
  • Make your personal assistant 

Pros:

  • Provided inbuilt WiFi functionality
  • Cost-effective
  • Integrated support for WIFI network
  • Low energy consumption

Cons:

  • It is a 3.3V device, so it may not be compatible with some peripherals
  • Lack of official documentation
  • WiFi code takes a lot of CPU power

Trigent helps global companies to apply IoT Command Control and Coordination systems to solve real-world business problems. To know more visit: https://www.trigent.com/technologies/emerging-tech/internet-of-things.html.

Glossary:

ATmega328P – Single-chip microcontroller created by Atmel in the megaAVR family

BCM2837– Broadcom chip

ESP8266 – A low-cost Wi-Fi microchip capable of either hosting an application or offloading all Wi-Fi networking functions from another application processor.

References:

Hiten Mukesh Shah

Hiten Mukesh Shah

Hiten Mukesh Shah has been with Trigent Software for the last 12 years and he now works as Senior Business Analyst. With over 15 years of experience, Hiten has strong expertise in business analysis, software testing, quality assurance and project management.

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