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Getting Started With the Internet of Things Using an IoT Prototyping Board

Working on an IoT project? Here are a few prototyping boards that could help you get off on the right foot.

· IoT Zone

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This post describes a set of IoT prototyping boards that are useful for developing IoT projects. As we're aware, IoT is the next big thing in the near feature. Interest has been growing fast. As already described in the article Getting started with IoT, if you want to start working on an IoT project, you need to have an IoT prototyping board. When working for the first time, you might have trouble selecting the right IoT prototyping board. Here are some hints to help you get started.

iot prototyping board


Cloud IoT platforms

In the IoT ecosystem, IoT cloud platforms play an important role. They are able to store data in the cloud or automate some processes. Moreover, they are useful because they "move" the business logic outside of the devices so they don't need too much computing power. All the data collected by these platforms are analyzed and can be used to make a prediction using a machine learning.

In this scenario, IoT prototyping boards (or development boards) play an important role. These boards are microcontrollers and microprocessors with chipsets to handle wireless connections. These development boards, with cloud IoT platforms, enable a fast prototyping process.

Moreover, the spread of these IoT prototyping boards is helped by their low price. Hobbyists and creators can use them in their IoT projects without investing too much money. For this reason, I think it is helpful to have a list of development boards ready to use in IoT projects.

Arduino Uno

The Arduino Uno is definitely one of the most used development boards. It is an open-source development board based on ATmega328P.

IoT diy building project

The main features are:

  • 5V (operating voltage).
  • 8-bit.
  • 16MHz.

It has, moreover, analog and digital pins. The interesting aspect of this board is it can be expanded using shields. A shield is another board that can be plugged into Arduino Uno that adds new features like GSM, Ethernet connection, Wi-Fi, and so on. It is very easy to use and has an official IDE to develop applications (or sketch). There are also free and paid IDEs that offer more features with respect to the the official one. Recently, it has become possible to add the Arduino Yun shield to this board. This shield is made for IoT projects and extends the Arduino Uno board features.

Arduino MKR1000

The Arduino MKR1000 is one of the latest boards. It has been designed for IoT projects. It natively  supports Wi-Fi connections, and it is very easy to use. It is based on the Atmel ATSAMW25.

arduino mkr1000


The main features are:

  • 3.3V (operating voltage).
  • 32-bit.
  • 48MHz.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi.

I made an IoT project with the MKR1000, and it is really simple to use. Like the Arduino Uno, this board supports analog and digital pins. On top of that, it can be powered using an external Li-Po battery.

BeagleBone Black

This board is a low-cost alternative supported by the community and made for developers and hobbyists.  It uses Linux as its OS.

beaglebone black


The main features are:

  • AM335x 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8.
  • 512 Mb RAM.
  • HDMI.
  • Ethernet.
  • USB.

Raspberry PI 2 Model B

Raspberry, like Arduino, is one the most used development boards. It has various versions with various power capabilities. It can be considered a small computer because it has all the features we can find in a common PC: keyboard, HDMI, and so on. It is very small (about the size of a credit card) and is powered by Linux. The Raspberry PI 2 model B has been replaced by the latest Raspberry PI 3.

raspberry IoT diy


Raspberry PI 2 is a 900MHz quad-core, ARM Cortex-A7 CPU with 1GB RAM. Moreover, it has 40 GPIO pins. In comparison, Raspberry PI 3 has:

  • A 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core, ARMv8 CPU.
  • 802.11n Wireless LAN.
  • Bluetooth 4.1.
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

UDOO

UDOO Neo is an interesting board that differs from most others. It is an Arduino-Android/Linux device. It has a set of built-in features like Wi-Fi, g-axis motion sensor, and Bluetooth support.

UDoo neo

It has three different versions:

  • Basic
  • Extended
  • Full

They have different features and different specs.

Particle Photon

Particle Photon is a very small development board with a built-in Wi-Fi module. This makes it ready for IoT projects. It has a set of expansion kits that make the development process faster.

Particle photon


This board uses shields to expand its capabilities.

There are, of course, other IoT prototyping boards. like Intel (Edison and Galileo) or the Samsung Artik. But those mentioned above are, in my opinion, the most used and offer a lot of community support that is useful when you approach the IoT world for the first time.

The IoT Zone is brought to you in partnership with GE Digital.  Discover how IoT developers are using Predix to disrupt traditional industrial development models.

Topics:
prototyping ,platform ,cloud ,development board ,iot projects

Published at DZone with permission of Francesco Azzola, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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