Arduino is an open source electronics platform. It was designed to help students from non-programming and non-electrical backgrounds to make rapid prototyping easier. Today, arduino has evolved rapidly according to the current needs and challenges. It serves as the backbone of thousands of electronic projects with an easy-to-use hardware and software framework. Arduino board, a tool that controls other electrical and electronic components, reads input with the onboard microcontroller (eg. Light on a sensor, an object closer to a sensor) and gives the output (by triggering a motor, ringing an alarm, turning on an LED, displaying information on an LCD).
Components of Arduino
Arduino bears different circuits and interfaces together on a single board. Although there are various versions of Arduino available in the market to suit different needs of the users, the basic components remain intact:
Analogue Pins — 6(minimum) pins that can read a wide range of values. It measures voltage and not current.
Digital Pins — 14 pins that can read and write single state values(On and OFF).
Provides power to both the device and its connected components.
The primary chip that reads the input and interprets the output. Allows you to upload an Arduino program into the device.
Allows to communicate to the Arduino board from the computer.
The quartz crystal oscillator ticks 16 million times per second. Every tick is associated with an operation(say addition, subtraction etc.)
The USB port can be used to connect the Arduino board to the computer to charge the Arduino. It is also known as Power USB or Barrel Jack.
The reset button allows one to reset the Arduino board and restart the code uploaded on the Arduino.
Types of Arduino
Arduino Uno Rev3
Arduino Uno is the standard board preferred by beginners when they are new to building electronic projects. One can simply connect it to the computer with a USB power cable. It is programmable with Arduino IDE. The Uno board is the first in the series of USB based Arduino boards. Uno meaning “one” in Italian, marks the initial release of the Arduino which is now extended to various versions.
As the name suggests, Arduino Nano is a smaller version of Arduino Uno. Since it’s comparatively smaller in size, the board doesn’t use standard USB for connection with a computer. Rather, it is supported by a Mini USB. Unlike the Uno version, the Nano doesn’t come with a DC power jack. Therefore it doesn’t provide an external power source through a battery.
Benefits of Arduino
Arduino is the most sought after platform to make interactive applications that can be applied in all walks of life. Take a look at the following reasons to know why Arduino is the best go-to platform to develop electronic projects:
Arduino is a complete package consisting of regulator, burner, oscillator, micro controller, communication interface, LED etc. Simply plug it into the USB port of the PC and get started.
The Arduino IDE is a cross-platform that enables the user to run it on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems. This makes it convenient for different users.
3. Perfect for Beginners
Arduino uses a simplified version of C++ as the IDE software. The Arduino community is always there to help the beginners with a wide range of tutorials and projects. The Arduino software IDE can also be used by advanced users.
4. Learn Electronics Easily
Arduino is the safest way to learn electronics for inexperienced people who would like to acquire knowledge on electronics and circuits. One can enhance his/her electronic skills, get acquainted with circuits and components while building projects.
5. Open Source and Extensible Software
Published as an open source tool, Arduino offers a simple programming environment with a vast C++ library for beginners. Experienced coders can switch to AVR-C programming language on which it is based.
Arduino boards play a major role in various disciplines today. Smart homes, defence, industries, traffic signal control, medicine, laboratories, aerospace and vehicle control are few of the areas where Arduino is used as the primary/basic platform all over the world.
Applications of Arduino
Arduino gives the freedom to develop simple to complex range of projects. Right from developing an alarm system to building a robot, to smart home applications, one can do anything and everything using Arduino. Here’s a glimpse of few interesting projects:
Arduino Arm Flamethrower
Arduino Robotic Arm
Parking Lot Counter
Although there are alternatives to Arduino namely, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard, Minnowboard etc. Arduino has become more popular with people. Arduino Uno and Arduino Nano is the best platformfor students and creative minds that are just getting started with electronics. What are you waiting for? Avail the complete Arduino Robotics Kit from www.rancholabs.comat an affordable rate and build interactive projects starting today!!