These microcontroller packages and/or processors are all hobby-level items, so I didn’t include PLCs. As cool as industrial-level controls are, there are some definite barriers to entry for hobbyists. I’ve used several of the hobby-level boards, including the Arduino, ATtiny, Basic Stamp 2, and of course our sponsor, the pyMCU.
Out of these, I’m most familiar with the pyMCU, since it’s programmed in Python. Arduino is, of course, the “hobby standard.” I do like the Arduino, but after playing with the ATtiny (programmed with my Arduino Uno) and my “automatic cigar box,” this little chip has to be my “stand-alone favorite”.
The pyMCU has to be connected to a computer, which makes it awesome for data collection and computer interaction, but that makes it somewhat of a different animal. Given a wireless USB hub (quite rare), or some sort of WiFi upgrade, this board might have some even more interesting applications. We will see how things develop.
Feel free to point out in the comments anything that I’ve failed to include. I know I’ll be chided for these not exactly comparing apples to apples, but it seems like an interesting poll.