Arduino vs. PLC for industrial control

Can a $20 micro-controller equal a PLC for a real-world industrial control application?

By Doug Reneker, circuit designer on

The “maker” world of basement robot builders continues to grow, with companies developing hardware and software to support all sorts of interesting applications. A number of micro-controllers have emerged to perform a wide variety of functions at very low upfront hardware and software costs.A large number of boards, including micro-controllers, field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and single-board computers, have emerged. Among these, Arduino and Raspberry Pi are two leading names,

Some industrial users might envision these platforms as a substitute for an entry-level PLC. After all, if an Arduino can control a robot for a STEM competition entry, why can’t it control an industrial robot, or a simple machine?


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