Life After Prototype

Hi all,

We have created a couple of versions of prototypes using Raspberry Pis, jumper wires, sensors and breadboards etc. We’ve written code in Python, and we’re largely happy with our latest prototype.

I’m curious please: what happens after you’ve made a prototype and got things working, and you next want to make more of them? Surely you don’t continue using an RPi as your processor?

Our end goal is to make these things far smaller than what they currently are, and to connect up multiple devices and link them to either Azure IoT or AWS IoT (or something else?). Do you have any suggestions on which platform is better / the best and what processor changes we’d need to make to achieve our goal?

Thanks so much,

It really depends on what you’re doing, and the scale you’re looking at. Sometimes sticking with a raspberry Pi is the best solution. Using a compute module (a bare bones, stripped down Pi) is also often a good choice for small scale commercialisation (for example, the CM4 is used as an expansion device in this NEC commercial display).

If your prototype is more just a proof of concept and you don’t need all the computing power of a Pi, you’d probably switch to a microcontroller with suitable IO. Then (depending on your scale) you’d design a custom PCB and get your product manufactured - along with an enclosure, packaging, customer support, user manuals, regulatory approvals, and all the things that come with a complete consumer product.

Michael Ruppe (the guy who’s been doing all the Piico stuff) has a really great tutorial on using KiCad to get a board spun up on his private site:

Contextual electronics also have an excellent series on how to go from zero to PCBA using KiCad:

As for the IoT side, those companies will probably have recommendations. You’ll need to organise contracts/support for your device on their network (again - depending on scale; this might be as simple as setting up an account on their site). Blynk is another very popular choice.

Or you might be better off spinning up your own servers, like Senquip have done with their Senquip Orb:


Really appreciate your reply @Oliver33. Thank you. Thanks for the link to KiCad - that’s interesting.

The reason I was considering Azure / AWS is that they appear to have their own security layer for all connected devices, and decent SDKs and platforms for development. Happy to consider other options.


Hey Kirk,

If you were after suggestions for microcontrollers I would take a look at modules such as the following for WiFi and Bluetooth enabled boards:

or if you are going for something that needs some range albeit at low bandwith I would take a look at something like this:

There are definitely a ton of other options out on the market, picking the one that meets all of the criteria at the lowest price point is the interesting part about engineering a product!



I appreciate the suggestions @Liam. I’ll look into those as I move to our next phase.

Thank you.