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Recent research on compact genetic algorithms (cGAs) has proposed a number of evolutionary search methods with reduced memory requirements. In cGAs, the evolution of populations is emulated by processing a probability vector with specific update rules. This paper considers the implementation of cGAs in microcontroller-based control platforms. In particular, to overcome some problems related to the binary encoding schemes adopted in most cGAs, this paper also proposes a new variant based on a real-valued solution coding. The presented variant achieves final solutions of the same quality as those found by binary cGAs, with a significantly reduced computational cost. The potential of the proposed approach is assessed by means of an extensive comparative study, which includes numerical results on benchmark functions, simulated and experimental microcontroller design problems.