The world of microcontroller electronics opened up wide a few years ago with the introduction of the Arduino Platform - a hobbyist engineering-kit featuring a fully programmable micro-computer with analog and digital inputs and outputs. The arduino platform allowed hobby engineers to create completely customized and relatively complex setups with digital control over lights, servos/motors, displays, sound and networking with ease. The tech was basically a modern, shrunk down version '80s tech (performance-wise) but being able to code your own functions and playing with the results using only an arduino, a breadboard and a bunch of cables and random components, opened up previously unheard of possibilities for hobbyists.
The arduino was just the beginning and it didn't take long for improved clone-platforms like the Raspberry Pi and Intel Gallileo and Edison (to mention just a few of dozens of platforms). In contrast to the Arduino, the Pi and many others featured newer ARM-based, 32 bit processors like those found in modern smartphones - as opposed to the 8-16 MHz, 8 bit processor of the Arduino. At SuperMegaCorp - we often use many of these platforms for our crazy engineering-projects.
Inspirational robotics/DIY drone videos, courtesy of Josef Holmner: