Microcontrollers basically follow similar designs. They have limited onboard memory, operate at low power, and feature a set of General Purpose Input/Output (GPIO) pins that are typically programmable via a USB cable.
There are so many boards to choose from that it can be hard to choose the perfect one for you. Beginners have a completely different experience with hardware than people who could program or work with electronics before.
No matter what level you’re at, one of these microcontrollers should work well for you.
1. Best microcontroller for beginners
Arduino Uno R3
If you have an interest in microcontrollers, you have almost certainly heard of the Arduino. They popularized open source hobby hardware with their set of development boards and an independent development environment (IDE) to code them.
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 completely legal. If you’re looking for Arduino clones, you’ll find plenty at a much lower price than the official Arduino boards.
2. The best microcontroller for kids
Makeblock mCore Robot Controller
Wait, that doesn’t look like a microcontroller board!
Well, the mBot Robot Kit has a microcontroller as its brain. Its design makes it ideal for teaching kids about robotics without having to deal with complicated code. The visual code of the block, collected in the Blocky app, is transmitted to the board via Bluetooth to influence the behavior of the robot.
You can buy the microcontroller separately from the robot kit, but why not? Robots are the best!
This kit covers everything from building robots to the basics of programming. For introducing microcontrollers to a young audience, there is nothing better!
3. The best microcontroller for programmers
STM32 F3 Discovery
The STM32 F3 Discovery board is an ARM Cortex-M4 based MCU for experimenting with all aspects of hardware programming. The board is equipped with a built-in motion detector, a three-axis gyroscope, a linear acceleration sensor and a magnetic field sensor.