Getting started with Arduino IDE

In previous post of Arduino IDE series we learned a bit about its’ history, advantages, looked some cool projects created with this technology and discussed working principles. Now it is pretty good time to step further and install software. In order to do so, go on our ROBBO website and click “APPS” button (or just follow this link). Just click “Arduino IDE” and it will redirect you to the official website of Arduino where you will need to choose your operating system:

As a Windows user myself, I will guide you through Windows installation process. After clicking on the “Installer” button, you have a chance to support Arduino community and donate some money, or, if you don’t know yet whether you want it or not, there is always “Just download” option. After downloading and launching installer, window with license agreement pops up

Press “I Agree” and proceed further to the installation options, where you can choose which of the following components should be installed:

  • Install Arduino software – without it you will not be able to write any program since you will not have environment to do so
  • Install USB driver – this allows your PC to “communicate” with Arduino board via USB
  • Create Start Menu shortcut – pretty self-explanatory
  • Create Desktop shortcut
  • Associate .ino files –  .ino (extension of Arduino programs) files will be opened with IDE automatically

I do recommend having all those boxes marked so then you can start programming right after. By pressing “Next” installation folder can be selected and this is the last part of installation process. Press “Install” and wait, this will not take a lot of time. During this, Windows might ask permission for installing USB drivers so be near to press “accept”. Congrats! Now you have IDE up and running on your PC. Let’s take a closer look what’s inside.

This is how your working place looks like:

By default, your program (or, as it is called within Arduino community, “sketch”) will be named by the date of creation (as you can see, I created this on 27th of January). You can always rename it by clicking “File” and then “Save as” at the top left corner of the app. You also can change language, folder where sketches will be saved and other things at “Preferences” in “File” menu.  There is a cool feature mounted inside: there are some “starter” sketches designed specifically to show you how things are done here. Click “File”, follow it with “Examples” and choose which program you would like to study. There will be information about the creators of tutorial and when it was done as well as comments put after “//” sign (comments are optional and do not affect program in any ways, they are added in order to make code easier to understand for people).

 

This is one of the built in example programs which makes on-board LED blink. The program itself is very basic, however, you can change it. For example, if we change delay(1000) to delay(100), LED will blink each 0.1 second. NOTE: instead of LED_BUILTIN you should put the number of a digital pin LED is attached to; so if LED is on pin 13 and we want it to blink each 10 seconds, then code will look like this:

I recommend you to get familiar with Arduino IDE by taking a look at tutorials. Next, we will write our first sketch for Lab and compare it to RobboScratch’s code.

 

P.S. If you have different OS than Windows, then follow one of those links:

  • If you have Ubuntu click here
  • Mac users follow this guide

This is the second blog post brought to you by ROBBO to help you to become a pro robot hacker. Learning has never been so interactive!

3 Comments

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  • Jenny Mark July 4, 2017 Reply

    Nice post indeed! I am a novice to this Arduino world and looking for some resources to increase my learning in the field. Well this blog is certainly a big help but It would be more helpful if you provide a list of blogs from where I can read about Arduino.

    • Kristina July 5, 2017 Reply

      Hi Jenny,

      Thank you for your comment. We are planning more posts about Arduino and programming in their IDE environment. Stay tuned!

      Meanwhile, have you checked Arduino’s own guide? They have very interesting and helpful posts.

      Best,
      Kristina

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