Arduino in recent times has been instrumental in the success of thousands of IoT projects. It has played a role in the development of small instruments that are used on a day to day basis, as well as sophisticated scientific instruments. Initially studying and experimenting with Arduino was limited to only a few due to the lack of expertise and the presence of a proper forum. However, now it has become much easier than before. A world-wide community is now present which includes makers, programmers, professionals, artists, and hobbyists. All of them have come together and have contributed around this open-source platform to provide a lot of accessible knowledge which is helpful to the experts as well as the novices.
What is Arduino?
It is an open source electronic platform which is based on a user-friendly software and hardware. Typically an Arduino board is capable of reading inputs, a finger on a button, light on the sensor and also messages on Twitter. These inputs are then turned into an output which activates a motor while turning on LED light and publishing things online. It allows you to send a set of instructions to the microcontroller present on the board. However, in order to perform this, you will need to be well versed with the Arduino programming language and also knowledge of the Arduino software, IDE, based on the processing.
Inception of Arduino
It all started at Ivrea Interaction Design Institute in Northern Italy. At that time it was merely used as a tool for fast prototyping which helped students who were not from the programming or electronics background. However, with the wider user base, the Arduino board too evolved and improved. It adapted to the new age challenges and fulfilled the needs of the present generation. It differentiated its offer from the simple 8-bit boards to superior products which can be used for IoT application, 3D printing, embedded environments and wearable. All the Arduino boards are 100% open source which gives you the power to independently build them and adapt them depending upon the individual needs. The software is also open source and it is continually growing due to the contributions from users all over the world.
Advantages of Learning Arduino
The most significant advantage of Arduino is its simplicity and accessibility regarding user experience. As a result, it has already been used in thousands of applications and projects. It is extremely easy to use for the beginners, while also being sufficiently flexible for the more advanced users. It runs seamlessly on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Students and teachers can benefit from it as they can use it to build cost friendly scientific instruments, to prove physics and chemistry related principles, or to learn the basics of robotics and programming. On the other hand, architects and designers have a lot to gain from it too. They can create interactive prototypes using it. Whereas, artists and musicians can use it for installation and experimentation of the latest musical instruments.
There are several microcontroller platforms and microcontrollers available which can be used for physical computing. Some of which offer similar functionalities are Netmedia’s BX-24, Parallax Basic, MIT’s Handyboard, Phidgets among others. The advantage of using them is that they help you avoid the messy details associated with microcontroller programming and present to you in an easy to use package. It simplifies the entire process of working with different microcontrollers.
How Can You Learn Arduino
A wide range of tutorials is now readily available with the help of which you can start building robots using Arduino board. These are not only useful for simple operations but also complex projects. However, the level of your learning also depends on the kind of tutorial that you opt for. It is always advisable that you take a look at the official Arduino website before taking a call. You should also do some research on Google and look to learn from other’s opinion on the official Arduino forum. This is a crucial step. In order to help you make the decision the following are some of the best Arduino tutorial platforms which can help you learn the basics as well as advanced
1) Arduino Project Hub: A complete package that helps you get in-depth knowledge about Arduino. It includes everything from starting guide to professional tips. You can even contribute your ideas and projects and help them make the tutorial better by leaving comments. Built-in examples and the examples from the libraries provide excellent help for those who are eager to learn. It is an ideal platform to get started with for anyone.
2) Arduino Tutorial at Ladylada: A highly effective platform that helps you learn microcontrollers and electronics by using Arduino. It is a 6 lesson tutorial that takes care of things like readiness of your computer for running Arduino and discussion about the sketches, procedures, and variables etc. to various details related to LEDs and Kirchoff’s Voltage law and Ohm’s law etc. Moreover, it also involves tips and guidance in using tools such as a multimeter, diagonal cutters, and wire strippers etc.
3) Step by Step Guide at How to Mechatronics: It is a collection of about 15 Arduino projects. All of these projects are explained in a detailed step by step manner with the help of which you can do it yourself. These projects include source codes, circuit schematics, and several videos. These projects include automation, wireless control, motors control, robotics, LEDs and much more. Some of the projects which deserve special mention are Range Measurer and Digital Spirit Level and the building of Arduino Radar.
4) Henry’s Bench for the Hobbyists: If you are someone who is intrigued by electronics and it is a hobby that you pursue then you should definitely check this tutorial. Here you will find interesting things like online manuals, projects and web content related to Arduino. It is more of a blog but if read through it then there are many things to learn from it.