Arduino: an Introduction

eiodotcom —  May 16, 2012 — 5 Comments

Today’s Eio post will cover the Arduino.

Picture of Arduino, courtesy of Arduino.cc

What is it?

The makers of Arduino define it as “an open-source microcontroller platform, designed for ease of use in terms of both hardware and software.” In other words, it is a popular open-source electronic development board that “is capable of controlling just about any DIY hardware project.” It possesses a basic code (for example, it can turn an LED on, or fan to a certain temperature), so that you do not have to be a master coder or programmer. And Arduinos are at the heart of most DIY electronic projects.

If you are still having trouble conceptualizing what an Arduino is, Lady Yaya, founder of Adafruit, explains arduinos less by definition and more by example. She says this:

“The ‘what is Arduino?’ is still a little vague, and that’s the Arduino’s strength. It’s the glue people use to connect tasks together.The best way to describe an Arduino is with a few examples. Want to have a coffee pot tweet when the coffee is ready? Arduino. Want to have a Professor X Steampunk wheelchair that speaks and dispenses booze? Arduino. Want to make a set of quiz buzzers for an event out of Staples’ Easy Buttons? Arduino.

Why are they so popular?

As I mentioned before, you don’t have to be a master programmer or coder to use Arduinos. Ehow says there is a certain Arduino programming “environment” which makes Arduinos extremely beginner- and user-friendly. The prewritten software and language is easy to learn for beginners. Arduinos also possess prewritten libraries which “allow you to add complex functionality to your programs quickly and easily.” This user-friendly environment is why Arduinos are so popular.

And if you’re a more advanced user, Arduinos have the ability to program code directly. Or, if you’re super ambitious, hardware design information is available for those who would like to assemble an Arduino by hand.

Furthermore, Arduino related resources, such as tutorials, online-forums, and DIY projects, abound on the internet, making Arduino even more accessible to the electronic enthusiast.

Some helpful forums include: arduino.cc forums and Adafruit forums. Ehow has a whole host of Arduino related posts. There are even entire blogs devoted to Arduino projects, hints, and tips!

Here are some neat Arduino development boards Eio carries:

Arduino Mega 2560

SeeedStudio ARD128D2P Seeeduino V3.0(Atmega 328P)

See also:

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