I was following news about Maker Faire in Twitter today and was quite surprised when I came to know that Massimo Banzi co-founder of Arduino, announced Arduino Yún, a new product that combines Arduino and Linux.
I was quite excited and quickly checked the specs. It is a combination of Arduino Leonardo (based on the Atmega32U4 processor) with Atheros AR9331 a Wifi system-on-a-chip running Linino (a MIPS GNU/Linux-based on OpenWRT).
On the microcontroller level, it has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator and a micro USB connector like Leonardo.
But in addition to that, it has a standard A type USB connector, a micro-SD card plug and is Wi-Fi enabled. I am not sure if the USB connector can be used in host mode. If yes, then it will be awesome.
One of the exiting features for me personally is that you can program this board using Wi-Fi. Also they provide a Bridge library that allows you to link the 32u4 microcontroller with Linux.
It seems that you can also SSH into the board and install custom Linux packages.
The cost of the board is $69 and will be available at the end of June.
How it compares with Raspberry Pi
Now the real question is how does it compare with Raspberry Pi. This seems to be the first question in the comments section of Arduino blog as well 🙂
Okay, Raspberry Pi wins clearly from the cost perspective. $35 vs $69 🙂
But I think the real benefit would be from the ease of programming perspective. Even though Raspberry Pi provides a full stack, setting up everything and then programming it could be quite involved. From the looks of it the board with the Bridge library seems to be mostly plug-and-play.
Also it seems Arduino has partnered with a startup called Temboo to provide normalized access to 100+ APIs from a single point of contact.
It would be really interesting to see how this product matures. Also Arduino is hinting that this is the first in a family of products.
So will I buy one even though I own a bunch of Raspberry Pi’s? YES, definitely 🙂
Update: Here is the video of Massimo Banzi showing off Arduino Yún