Arduino Microcontroller

arduinorev31sArduino is an Open Source Microcontroller that can help students learn to work with electronics and develop software to control hardware.

Arduino is an open source programmable hardware board (Microcontroller) that can help students learn to work with electronics and develop software to control hardware. The integrated drive electronics(IDE) software for this microcontrollers is easy to learn and it is being used by students, hobbyists and design studios to learn how to use them. Arduino can be used to create a simple robot, motion detector, interactive display and a plethora of projects that a user can think of.

It is open source, which means that it is available to users to study and modify the code. Advanced users can create their own commercial products that are based on Arduino, as long as they follow some guidelines which can be found on the official Arduino website.

Arduino boards are being used by university students from a variety of disciplines. By making the system easy to work with, the user base has grown beyond the initial computer science, art and design students and can now be used by almost anybody. The company manufactures most of their products in Italy. As of 2013, over 700,000 official Arduino boards have been sold.

The first board was designed by Massimo Banzi, David and Dave Mellis in 2005. The name “Arduino” comes from a pub that Banzi frequented, the “Bar de Arduino”. Banzi was a professor at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Italy and he started the Project as a tool to help teach his student how to create electronics fast and cost effectively. One of the goals of the board was to make programming more accessible to people. Users can use a USB cable to load new code on to the board.

PhotoblogDavid Mellis, part of the core team, said, “By providing a platform that lets the artist or designer get a little way in there, it makes it easier for them to work with engineers and say, ’This is what I want to do.’ I don’t think it’s replacing the engineer; it’s just facilitating that collaboration.”

An important aspect about the boards is the fact that they offer a variety of boards and many of them are affordable, with the original Arduino Uno board costing about $23. Other variants of the board such as the Arduino Ethernet can be connected to the Internet and the Lilypad Arduino can be attached to clothing, greatly expanding project possibilities.

The future looks bright for Arduino. It is being introduced to students interested in programming electronics in high school and even elementary level. Arduino boards make it a little easier for hobbyists to create their electronic projects and students to learn valuable skills.

For students looking into purchasing their own boards, Arduino sells a variety of them on their site store and through distributors. These boards can be purchased straight from the site or as kits to be assembled.

Click here to sign up for the Arduino course!