In the sea of IoT boards I would like to ask some advice regarding buying a board.

  • Should be fast and compact (not Arduino)
  • Open source hardware
  • Should have Wi-Fi on board
  • Should not have Ethernet connection
  • Strong enough to run a simple application that streams video data to a remote Wi-Fi storage location
  • SDK that runs on Mac
  • Strong enough to run motion detection algorithms
  • Pricing below 100 US dollars or Euros
  • Be able to add extra sensors or modules

Are there any specific boards that meet these criteria?

My ultimate goal is to build a video surveillance tool for my personal use at home. It should be able to get input from a HD camera, run motion detection algorithm and strong enough to save the data stream to a Wi-Fi connected network share. Preferably something with a great SDK/IDE that runs on macOS also.

Ideally, it should also have an open source cloud server to connect the hardware to.

  • Just for interest, could you please explain why you don’t want Ethernet and if you would be willing to accept it on a board which fulfilled all of your other criteria?
    – Mawg
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 9:12
  • If you have sugesstion with eth that should be ok perhaps it can be removed
    – user1640
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 11:17
  • I was thinking Rasberry PI, Orange PI or Banana PI, or maybe Chip.
    – Mawg
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 11:29

2 Answers 2


It may be useful for you to consult Bence Kaulics' guide to selecting a microcontroller, which takes into account many constraints such as processing power, energy usage and developer tools. It's a good read with a lot of valuable information on the selection process.

However, I don't think you're really looking for a microcontroller; a single-board computer would suit your needs far better in my view.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B seems to meet most of your requirements. It meets almost all of your requirements, except:

It should be relatively easy to extend with extra sensors or modules; there are plenty of HATs available, and if you need to create something specifically for your device, you can take advantage of the GPIO pins and a breadboard.

The board is well within your cost constraints (£32.99 in the UK as of February 2017), and the processor should be powerful enough for your use case.

As for the cloud platform, AWS IoT seems to integrate relatively well with the Raspberry Pi, although of course the cloud platform is not open source.

For development, you should be able to use ssh in your macOS terminal to connect directly to the Raspberry Pi. From there, you can use all the usual Unix terminal utilities and programs.

  • 1
    The Raspberry is not truly open source, i.e. full schematics are not available for Pi3 and it uses a closed source GPU. Other than that a Pi could be a good thing for this task. The OP might want to join: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com
    – Ghanima
    Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 10:24
  • 1
    Any Cortex-M3 device would seem to be suitable. M4 and M7 are available with more processing power. This will give a far lower power solution than R-Pi. Yes, it will be a SBC, otherwise known as an eval board, but probably not meeting the open-hardware requirement unless you build your own PCB. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 21:13

I have been looking at the CHIP Pro, this board seems to almost nail it except the problem that there are no camera drivers for the onboard camera connectors.

A USB camera could work, but its not really neat to generate a production version with an usb powered camera I think?

One could hot glue the board with the USB connector together but still I think this is not a really good solution and an integrated camera would be the best option.

The raspberry seems to nail it almost except the hardware is not truly opensource ( the CHIP Pro is, it seems)

Perhaps there is even a better board I have to investigate before buying one.

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