I am an IT engineer but always wanted to learn electronics and IoT. I have a project idea in mind for which I am unsure which MCU should I use. I have previously used Arduino, ESP8266, and ESP32 for small projects but am looking for something more suited for my project (taking into account its cost - needs to be as cost-efficient as can be).

Idea: A smart door lock ie. its MCU with a camera, microphone, speaker, a small display, keypad, fingerprint sensor, internet capability (WiFi), Bluetooth, Zigbee or Z-Wave (unsure if any is needed), RFID, and should be interface-able with other general devices if needed. It needs to run on 4 AA batteries. MCU should be powerful enough for basic AI capabilities such as face recognition from the camera and the ability to stream/upload live video through the internet.

Other things required are great online/community support or documentation and should be available in the market easily for purchase. I plan to create my own circuit board (PCB) and use the MCU in it.

If no MCU is feasible for this list of requirements, what can be the alternatives?

Note that I am comfortable using almost any programming language or tech stack. Any help is appreciated! Thanks.

  • 2
    My guess is that your biggest problem is going to be battery life. You need to find a way to keep your device in the lowest level sleep mode as long as possible, and have some low power way to decide when to wake up for anything that draws more power, and go back to sleep as quickly as possible. You are facing quite a challenge if you want your device to last long enough not to have to change batteries all the time.
    – jcaron
    Apr 17 at 21:22
  • search microcontroller AI coprocessor
    – jsotola
    Apr 18 at 16:22
  • @jcaron that I understand. I know battery life would be a big issue. But, let's say power itself is not an issue. What MCU should I choose then? Maybe an SBC? Apr 21 at 8:58
  • @MihirKandoi I’m not sure you will find a single controller or board that will handle all that, you may need to combine several chips. It may also depend on camera resolution and frame rate, any size constraints, and more (including price). It could range from a single ESP32 to a much more powerful Jetson Nano or even x86 family processors. As it stands your question is probably way too broad.
    – jcaron
    Apr 21 at 9:32
  • @jcaron I understand, I feared as much. I guess RPi4 compute model should work if I can figure out the power requirements right? I know it's difficult to say but RPi should work if they ever come back in stock. Apr 22 at 12:58


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