The 6 Best Microcontroller Boards for All Levels

MakeUseOf | 4/18/2019 | Ian Buckley
lhumara (Posted by) Level 3
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Microcontrollers mostly follow similar designs. They have limited onboard memory, run on low power, and feature a set of General Purpose Input and Output (GPIO) pins, programmable usually via USB cable.

There are so many boards to choose from that it can be hard to pick out the perfect one for you. Beginners have a much different experience working with hardware than people who may have coded, or tinkered with electronics before.

Matter - Level - Microcontrollers

No matter what level you are at, one of these microcontrollers should work well for you.

If you have interest in microcontrollers you’ve almost certainly heard of Arduino. They popularised open-source hobby hardware with their array of development boards and an Independent Development Environment (IDE) for coding them.

Arduino - Uno - R3 - Arduino - Kits

The Arduino Uno R3 is the standard Arduino found in most starter kits and is the easiest to use. If budget is an issue, note that Arduino is open-source hardware. Therefore, copies of the design are entirely legal. If you search for Arduino clones, you will find many at a much lower price than official Arduino boards.

Hang on, this doesn’t look like a microcontroller board!

MBot - Robot - Kit - Microcontroller - Brain

Well, the mBot Robot Kit has a microcontroller as its brain. Its design makes it perfect for teaching children about robotics without having to deal with complex code. Visual block code, put together in the Blocky app, transmits to the board via Bluetooth to affect the robot’s behavior.

You can buy the microcontroller separately from the robot kit, but why would you? Robots are the best!

Covers - Everything - Robots - Programming - Fundamentals

This kit covers everything from building robots to core programming fundamentals. For introducing microcontrollers to a young audience, there is nothing better!

The STM32 F3 Discovery board is an ARM Cortex-M4-based microcontroller for experimenting with every aspect of hardware programming. The board features built-in motion detection, a three-axis gyroscope, a linear acceleration sensor, and a magnetic field...
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