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
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
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.