For hobbyists looking for low-cost IOT hardware Codebug (from a kickstarter project) offers something very affordable and interesting. Codebug is built around PIC18F microcontroller.
In addition to the microcontroller (8-bit SOC) all the following are also included:
- USB Developer board
- 5x5 Led Matrix board
- Pair of buttons
- +Battery Option (which allows you to build simple wearable device)
You want more and more resources, well you can get an expansion board to connect to RaspberryPI.
The designing and programming appears simple using (drag and drop) building blocks and here is the demo of Codebug simulating the rotation of a propeller. You can see the design and the code as well as an active demo.
You can try this (propeller) one out online. Just click on start button on the bug and see propeller turning.
Here is video of Codebug riding a rover:
If you rather start of with PIC18F and Windows then you may try this out: