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If you are choosing between Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and PIC, all of which have good community support, here are some pros and cons for each:

  • Raspberry Pi
   Pros
     Good computing power
     Good human interface - can easily support keyboard, mouse, and monitor
     Supports multi-tasking
   Cons
     Low voltage I/O with low drive capability
     Harder to do real-time intensive tasks
  • Arduino
   Pros
     Very easy to get up and running quickly
     Good support for external devices such as sensors and motors
     Better for real-time tasks
     Built in I/O and interrupt functions
     Standard libraries to support motors, LCDs, communications links, etc.
   Cons
     No operating system - cannot multi-task
  • PIC
   Pros
     Many flavors to choose from
     Lowest cost for a commercial design
     Most flexibility for a custom design
     Can get very high performance
     Libraries and sample code support similar to Arduino but must be compiled in
   Cons 
     Requires custom circuit design - must be prototyped or have a board built
     Requires special programmer (not directly programmable from USB)   

If you are considering a board not listed above, Make Magazine has an article that may help you choose Maker's Guide to Boards.