Do you have an idea for the project you want to make for household needs that requires some automatic electronics, for example, LCD watches or speedometer for your bike? Do you want to build something that will look cool? If the answer for at least one of those questions is “yes”, then consider yourself learning a bit about Arduino. Arduino is an open-source project consists of hardware and software and helps users drive themselves in the world of electronics. The coolest part about Arduino is that our awesome Robbo robots are made on this board!
Plug-and-play was the main concept of the board and was a defining factor of a huge success of Arduino. It was created in Italy in a town called Ivrea by a student Massimo Banzi. In 2002 Massimo got a job in University of Ivrea to work on a project of creating new interactional products. He was using BASIC Stamp for his projects, however, the price of the device was around 100$ and Massimo thought to create his own printed circuit board. His team succeeded in it by using microcontroller ATmega328 and other cheap parts. Nowadays, there are enormous amounts of manufactures producing board since open-source model was chosen as a to-go way for Arduino.
Taking a closer look into hardware part of Arduino, users can finds various inputs and outputs pins and all of those can be used in a different ways. Users can attach all kinds of so-called “shields” – upgrades to a plate to expand its functionality in a way user wants to. If the project is, for example, to build a small traffic light controlled (for a child boy who loves his toy cars), you might need 3 LED and a breadboard. This project is simple indeed, however, there is always a room to build something extraordinary: from a 3D printer to a CNC machine (this, of course, requires more skills and time invested).
Speaking of software, Arduino can be programmed by its own IDE which could be downloaded freely on official site. IDE includes text editor, compiler, project manager, preprocessor and available on all operational systems: Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Programming language is C++ with some things to facilitate programming routine: for example, main () function is already created by preprocessor and compiler’s setup process is minimized. This was made in order to help new people start programming their devices as fast as possible not spending too much time on learning language.
Author could have talked about various projects made with help of Arduino for a long time but it is obvious that the best way to learn about something is see and do it, so here is some videos showing and explaining projects people made:
- Traffic light: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcXmUjAJp-8
- Clap light: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39qRSsyBtVE
- Dog feeder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcqbZ_y5WI0
This is the first blog post brought to you by ROBBO to help you to become a pro robot hacker. Learning has never been so interactive!