In this article, you will learn about Arduino UNO.
- What is Arduino?
- Structure of Arduino board.
- Power source and control
- Why Arduino Platform is developed?
- Who uses Arduino and Where?
- Why Arduino is so popular?
When students ask me “what is Arduino?” I say that it is a pocket-size computer with a blue-colored chip.
Interestingly, the Arduino interface board provides a low-cost, easy-to-use technology to create microcontroller-based projects. With some basic electronics knowledge and Arduino, you can make all sorts of things at home. Do you know what you can create using Arduino? — you can create beautifully decorated Dewali lights and even control power on a solar energy system.
Structure of Arduino Board:
Though the Arduino board looks like a very small circuit board it comes with an 8-bit to 32-bit microcontroller. Modern Arduino comes with a USB interface, six analog inputs, and 13 digital inputs and output pins.
On the other hand, the inbuilt USB plug allows you to connect the Arduino board to your computer and the digital and analog pins can be wired to external electronics such as motors, relays, light sensors, laser diodes, loudspeakers, microphones, and many more.
Power Source and Control:
However, Arduino is a single board chip that consumes very little power and runs on a 3.5V to 9V power source. All the components of the Arduino board can either be powered through
- the USB connection from the computer,
- from a 9V battery,
- from a power supply.
And while controlling the Arduino board is also very simple. You can control it from your personal computer or you can write a sketch [ C language coding ] and burn it into the boot loader. Once the program is loaded your Arduino board can work independently as a stand-alone system.
Why Arduino is developed?
One of my students asked me, why Arduino is developed?
You may have a similar question in your mind!
Let me tell you the fact that the Arduino began in Italy at the interaction Design Institute Ivrea. This is a school of design education that focuses on interaction with digital devices and systems.
Of course, the developer team wanted to make a platform to simplify the construction of interactive objects or environments and make them more accessible. They were working hard and became successful to develop the Arduino ecosystem.
- To make it inexpensive and straightforward for people to work with it.
- To provide a way for hobbyists, students, and professionals to create devices and projects that interact with the environment with sensors and actuators.
Furthermore, this is not just about creating the Arduino hardware platform but the microcontroller needs programming to work. So they have introduced a software element in the form of an integrated development environment [IDE] that can run on personal computers.
In fact, the Arduino environment has been designed for beginners who have no software or electronics experience. With Arduino, you can build objects that can respond to and/or control light, sound, touch, and movement. Arduino has been used to create amazing gadgets. some of the examples include musical instruments, robots, light sculptures, games, interactive furniture, and even interactive clothing.
Apart from that, the Arduino board hardware design is open source. This means that you are allowed to make Arduino compatible boards. Thus making it more competitive and cost-effective for general people to buy.
Though, the Arduino boards have only six analog pins. If you are planning to work on projects that may require more analog pins – don’t worry. extend the use of your board by adding supplemented accessory shield boards. You can check other posts in this blog [stem-guide.com] to see how you can use a Liquid Crystal Display shield and an Ethernet shield to turn your Arduino into a tiny web server.
In particular, the Arduino microcontroller comes with a boot loader that makes it much easier to upload programs to the board’s flash memory. It helps Arduino to stand far ahead of the competitors, in comparison, that they typically need an external programmer to load the program on the microcontroller board. In keeping with the ethos behind Arduino, the in-built boot loader makes the programming side of the project easier and more straightforward for beginners. As you can write a computer program using Arduino IDE and upload it to the microcontroller using your personal computer.
There are different Arduino boards available in the market and you can select which Arduino is best to use depending on the purpose of your project. These boards include Arduino, UNO, Duemilanove, Diecimila, and the Arduino Mega. All these boards are designed to use for specific types of projects and come with different specifications. Most users prefer to use Arduino UNO because of its flexible use for the widest range of projects.
Why Arduino UNO?
If you want to learn about electronics and understand how to build an electronics device from scratch. You can begin with the Arduino UNO as it provides the best framework for beginners. You can use the Arduino UNO with a sensor to monitor what is happening in the surroundings, control an LED message board, and generate different types of sounds and various light patterns.
As a photographer, you can use Arduino to make a customized device to take photographs and present digital photos. Sometimes you may need to click photos from a distanced place, you can use Arduino to make your custom devices. I use Arduino for remote photography and video recording.
Bird seeing is one of my hobbies and I like to observe different behaviors of birds when I go sightseeing. But I realized that birds are very sensitive to disturbance by other animals and humans. They change their charming behaviors once you come closer to them and get distracted and fly. I have designed a camera with a sensor to take live photos of birds’ movement from a very close point of view. The camera can change its direction depending on the bird’s movement and take beautiful photographs. All this was possible with the Arduino platform.
Now I am planning to use WIFI for streaming the live video of sightseeing and probably to share on my social media.
Who can use Arduino?
Anyone can use Arduino as it is very easy to use and compatible. I use Arduino in my hands-on learning classes for school students where students from classes V to VIII join regularly. You can also use some block-based and graphical coding interfaces to program your Arduino board.
If you have an interest in electronics and building small gadgets —- even without having prior experience in programming and electronics, you can make use of this super complex technology to convert your idea into a working model.
Suppose, you have a great idea to solve a problem with an interactive project but you do not have the skills to develop it —– subscribe to my blog and I will publish articles to help you learn the skills that you need to make your project.
And if you are little experienced in programming and very new to the Arduino Platform, don’t worry. These blog articles are published to help you update your Arduino skills with step-by-step guides and practice sessions. Gradually, you will get to know all the skills and become capable to design projects independently.
Who uses Arduino?
Arduino is used by students and teachers in many educational programs. I use Arduino for designing STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] integrated lesson plans for school students. The main feature of Arduino is cross-platform compatibility. That means you can hack your Arduino to any platform be it Windows, Linux, Meck, or Android.
Most designers and architects who want to create prototypes easily without going to a deep understanding of the technical details behind their creation use the Arduino Boards. The main reason behind this is that the Arduino is basically designed for non-technical people to use. The Arduino IDE includes the basic tutorials and example codes for anyone to start as a beginner.
Also, Arduino is easy to use for everyone that does not mean that you can make only a basic level of electronics gadgets but the hardware is super flexible to provide the same level of sophistication that embedded engineers employ to build the high-end embedded device.
The engineers who use higher-end microcontrollers are also used Arduino for its agile development capabilities. As the Arduino facilitates you to quickly and easily hack your ideas into real implementation.
Why Arduino is so popular?
Adruino is not only popular for its open-source hardware, but you also need software to program the hardware. Arduino Integrated Development Environment [IDE] is the best platform for you to program your Arduino device and the best thing about Arduino IDE is that you can use it for free of cost.
This IDE provides you the capability to create projects that can sense its environment and can control a physical device. You can easily create a home automation project for your personal use with Arduino IDE.
The Arduino boards are reasonably priced and you can buy one for your project. Interestingly, the hardware design is also open-source so you can build your own Arduino board and use the IDE to program it.
In addition, there is a global community available online you can ask any questions and you will get the right answer from the Arduino Community members.