Innovation

Raspberry Pi powered by Arduino: Now you can program the Pi using Arduino Sketches

The new feature will allow Pi owners to write Arduino Sketches to interact with sensors, motors, electronic boards and other hardware attached to the Pi's GPIO pins.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Arduino Sketches can now be used to program the Raspberry Pi, marking a moving together of two of the biggest maker platforms.
  • The cloud-based Arduino Create platform is designed to simplify the creation of Internet of Things applications.

Want to use the $35 Raspberry Pi computer to build your own hardware but only ever used Arduino boards? Well you're in luck.

If you know how to write programs to control hardware using Arduino boards you can now use the same language to control hardware attached to the Pi, the co-founder of the Arduino Project Massimo Banzi announced this week.

Banzi revealed a new feature in the cloud-based Arduino Create service that will compile Arduino Sketches — programs typically used to interact with Arduino boards and attached hardware — into a form that can be run on a Raspberry Pi.

The feature will allow Pi owners to write Arduino Sketches to interact with sensors, motors, electronic boards and other hardware attached to the Pi's GPIO pins.

"The idea is there's a tonne of people that know how to use Arduino and they can take their knowledge and apply it to this," Banzi told the Embedded Linux Conference 2018 in Portland in the US.

SEE: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Alongside the Pi, other single-board computers like the BeagleBone series and a variety of Intel-based offerings are also able to run Arduino Sketches via Arduino Create.

"The idea is that it's going to make it very easy for people to use devices like Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone and a bunch of Intel-based, single-board computers. It will become very easy to use and to program at the edge," said Banzi.

Adding a board to Arduino Create is relatively straightforward, Banzi said, requiring the user to enter the board's local IP address, create an account and follow a setup wizard.

Once a board had been added to Arduino Create, the service can be used to manage these boards remotely via a control panel, allowing the user to carry out tasks such as triggering Arduino programs, installing software packages and configuring Wi-Fi networks.

Arduino Sketch is basically a simplified version of the C++ programming language, and requires some basic knowledge of programming constructs, such as variables, functions, loops and constants. However, there is also a lot of pre-built code for common tasks, such as writing to storage or controlling servo motors, which you can drop straight into your program by importing libraries.

Arduino plans to continue expanding Arduino Create's features in the coming months, with a view to further simplifying the process of creating Internet of Things applications.

The announcement coincides with yesterday's launch of the latest Raspberry Pi board, the $35 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, the fastest board yet in the Pi family.

screenshot-from-2018-03-15-14-08-22.png

Co-founder of the Arduino Project Massimo Banzi walks through the setup process for the Raspberry Pi on Arduino Create.

Image: Arduino / Linux Foundation / YouTube

Read more about single-board computers

About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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