Best Microcontrollers for Robotics
Robotics is an intersection of Computer Science and Engineering which involves the design, construction, operation, and use of machines that can help and assist humans. In order to make powerful and useful robots, you need a great combination of programming and engineering skills.
You can build and program robots from scratch, but this will take you a lot of time and resources. To make it easy, effective, and quick to program and build robots, you can use single-board microcontrollers and microcontroller kits to help you do some of the heavy lifting.
Single-board microcontrollers will make it easy to program your robot and to extends its functionality using shields, Hats, and other expansion boards. Here are some of the best Microcontrollers for Robotics.
1. Arduino Mega 2560 REV3 Microcontroller
Arduino boards are powerful, easy to work with, and very cheap. The Arduino Mega 2560 Rev3 microcontroller is a great choice for many robotics projects. This microcontroller comes with 54 digital pins, 4 hardware serial ports, and 16 analog inputs.
It also has many other features required to work with other microcontrollers. This microcontroller can be powered by a computer through a USB cable, a battery, or an AC-DC adapter. You need to download the Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) or you can use the Arduino web editor.
Arduino Mega Rev3
Powerful, easy to use, and inexpensive microcontroller for robotics
2. ELEGOO MEGA 2560 R3 Microcontroller Board
The Elegoo Mega 2560 R3 microcontroller is a good alternative to the Arduino mega 2560 board. It is fully compatible with the Arduino IDE and nearly all the shields that work with the Arduino Mega Rev3 will also work with this Elegoo board.
It also comes with 54 digital pins, 4 hardware serial ports, and 16 analog inputs and can be powered by a computer through a USB cable, a battery, or an AC-DC adapter.
Elegoo Mega Rev3
A great choice for programming and building robots without spending a lot of money
3. Raspberry Pi Pico Microcontroller
The Raspberry Pi Pico is a small, high-performant, and versatile microcontroller board. It is used in robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, manufacturing processes, and other industrial operations. The Raspberry Pi Pico board is unbelievably cheap for what it can do.
Getting started with Raspberry Pi Pico is easy and quick. You can program this board using C programming and microPython. The board comes with a dual-core Arm Cortex-M0+ processor with 264kB internal RAM and support for up to 16MB of off-chip flash.
Raspberry Pi Pico
A powerful brain for your robot that is easy to program and cheap to buy
4. Teensy 4.0 Microcontroller
Teensy 4.0 is a fast and powerful development board that can be programmed using the Arduino IDE with the Teensyduino add-on. The Teensy board has many amazing features for Robotics such as ARM Cortex-M7 at 600 MHz, 1024K RAM, 2 USB ports, 31 Pulse Width Modulation pins, 40 digital pins, 14 analog pins, Random Number Generator, etc.
When you look at the amazing things that you can do with this board and the amount at which it is sold, it is hard to imagine where the profits are coming from.
Powerful, easy to work with, and inexpensive microcontroller for robotics
5. VEX Cortex Microcontroller
The VEX ARM Cortex-based Microcontroller is designed with an orientation toward robots, it helps to control the flow of information and power on the robot. The board has many great features for communication and control.
It comes with eight Standard 3-wire Motor ports, eight Hi-res 12-bit Analog Inputs, two UART Serial Ports, two 2-wire Motor ports, one I2C smart sensor port, twelve Fast digital I/O ports which can be used as interrupts, etc.
You can program the VEX Cortex Microcontroller using VEX Robotics v4 or EasyC v4.
VEX Cortex Microcontroller
A powerful and easy-to-use microcontroller designed specifically for robotics projects
Using the above microcontrollers, you will be able to program and build robots quickly, easily, and inexpensively. You can also extend the functionality of your robots using shields, Hats, and other extension boards.