Using Arduino shields with the Raspi

With hundreds of Arduino shields available for any imaginable application, it’s a shame they can’t be used with the Raspberry Pi. Breaking out the Raspi GPIO pins to Arduino-compatible headers would allow makers and tinkerers to reuse their shields with a far more capable computing platform.

The folks over at Cooking Hacks realized a Raspi to Arduino shield bridge would be an awesome device, so they made their own, complete with a software library that allows you to port your Arduino code directly to the Raspberry Pi.

There are a few limitations with the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO headers; the Raspi doesn’t have analog inputs, so the Cooking Hacks team added an 8-channel ADC. Along with analog inputs and the headers required to pop a shield on the board, there’s also a socket for an XBee module.

The software library contains most of the general Arduino functions such as digitalWrite() and digitalRead(). There Serial, Wire, and SPI libraries are also implemented, allowing any device that communicates through UART, I2C, or SPI to talk directly to the Raspberry Pi.

While the Raspi Arduino bridge doesn’t allow for PWM in the same capacity as an Arduino, you’re always welcome to whip up a servo or LED shield for this neat little adapter.

Comments

  1. SgtStens says:

    Looks like the Cooking Hacks servers got a Hackaday bomb.

    First Post!

  2. Silvio Gissi says:

    I guess you meant “added an 8-channel analog to digital” :)

  3. Neil Cherry says:

    While having direct access to shields is great, people should keep in the back of their mind that the Raspberry PI has a USB port and can talk to an Arduino. Sometimes (not all the time) this might be an easier or a simpler solution. I do understand that sometimes the cost of additional coding maybe more expensive than going this route.

    Also at $40 (Pounds, UK?) this is a bit expensive when compared to an Arduino.

    • chango says:

      It’s far more complicated to write real-time code on the RasPi than to throw an Arduino at it. For 99% of the projects out there this is sufficient.

    • problemchild68 says:

      Totally agree to be honest I bought a Geiger counter shield from them. They said they were in stock but it wasn’t, took 3 months to arrive!

      Any way the bit I was agreeing with is that it’s much easier to attach an arduino via the USB than use this beast (and cheaper too!).
      Also I don’t see any level shifters so the first person to use 5V logic boards may be in for a surprise!!

      Secondly it’s the Software that makes these boards and even if you ported it verbatim the different CPU speeds etc would make a joke of the exercise.

      Thirdly half the cards you may want on an Arduino are like network shields or Bluetooth or something else you can do much better on the RPi or via USB.

      A bit pointless really,good advertising though

      BTW did this prototype last December then even then thought the USB was simply a much better idea

    • nxpguy says:

      40$ is really dishonest, there is quite nothing on this board, not even isolation for the very fragile i/os, and it did take 1/2 day R&d to design.

      This price is higher than the RPi itself, than 2 arduinos, than 4 STMdiscovery, or 8 Ti Launchpad

      higher than any shield i know.

      Is this designed by Apple ?

    • nxpguy says:

      An arduino I/O can source or sink 40mA, RPI i/o can only give 3mA.

      How do they manage this ?

  4. problemchild68 says:

    BTW the RPi’s are around 25GBP in the UK and the retail price of an genuine Arduino is £20 something pounds so not much in it.

    Obviously clones are much cheaper and personally an
    Arduino shield should be on an Arduino not an Raspberry Pi which has or will have soon most of the cards/functionality that shields give anyway.

    Also stacking all this rubbish on top of each other is back to the ZX81 Ram Pack days!!

    Either way this is a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist..move on ;)

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