Raspberry Pi + Arduino = $100 super PC

Story highlights

  • UDOO seeks to combine the power of four Raspberry Pis and Arduino in a mini PC
  • It is intended to be a powerful prototyping board for software development and design
  • UDOO will be able to run with either Android or Linux
  • The project has received $95,000 in six days on Kickstarter

The Raspberry Pi is all the rage for hobbyists in search of cheap, credit card-sized computers that can run a full PC operating system. Arduino boards have been around nearly a decade, meanwhile, powering robots and all sorts of other creative electronics projects.

Now, a project called UDOO ("you do") seeks to bring the best elements of Raspberry Pi and Arduino together into a single mini-PC that can run either Android or Linux.

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"With UDOO, we want to combine the winning characteristics of Arduino and Raspberry Pi in one single board. The simplicity of Arduino in managing sensors, combined with the flexibility of a microcomputer based on ARM are integrated in UDOO, giving you a powerful prototyping board able to run Linux or Android," UDOO project coordinator Bruno Sinopli, a Carnegie Mellon professor in electrical and computer engineering, said in a video on UDOO's Kickstarter page.

UDOO-based projects demonstrated in the video included a camera-equipped toy car controlled remotely with a tablet, programming education for kids, and a video game involving players running on equipment reminiscent of the Wii Balance Board. Touchscreens and various other types of sensors can be connected to the UDOO.

"Want to build an LED light-controller, an RFID reader, or a creative game controller? UDOO allows you to create any kind of project and share it with the community," the Kickstarter page states. "Combining the flexibility of Arduino with the power of Android or Linux, you can create and update tons of stand-alone solutions without worrying about the linking between the two worlds and their wiring."

UDOO's designers claim the board will have "the power of four Raspberry Pis," apparently in reference to the quad-core chip (the Raspberry Pi uses a single-core). The UDOO also has twice as much RAM (1GB) and Gigabit Ethernet as opposed to the Pi's 100 Megabit Ethernet. The Raspberry Pi has the UDOO beat on price, though, with models selling for $25 or $35.

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The UDOO was seeking $27,000 to jump start development of the computer. It has already received over $250,000 with 46 days of funding still to go.