Let’s Talk Arduino

Hackerspace LA Meetup – March 23, 2016

 Let’s Talk Arduino

What is Arduino?

Arduino is an open source platform for developing ideas that consists of two parts.  Hardware and Software.  The Arduino hardware or boards are capable of receiving input from a wide variety of sensors and inputs. They also are able to activate many devices such as motors, LEDs, wireless communications, and many more.  The programing language used in Arduino is based in the Wiring language and is easy to learn.

Arduino has a wide range of development boards or microcontrollers that fit most needs of any hobbyist, DYI’er, hacker, and maker.  Its ease of use and low learning curve makes it the standard of choice.

Why Arduino?

  • Inexpensive – Arduino boards are relatively inexpensive compared to other microcontroller platforms. The least expensive version of the Arduino module can be assembled by hand, and even the pre-assembled Arduino modules cost less than $50
  • Cross-platform – The Arduino Software (IDE) runs on Windows, Macintosh OSX, and Linux operating systems. Most microcontroller systems are limited to Windows.
  • Simple, clear programming environment – The Arduino Software (IDE) is easy-to-use for beginners, yet flexible enough for advanced users to take advantage of as well. For teachers, it’s conveniently based on the Processing programming environment, so students learning to program in that environment will be familiar with how the Arduino IDE works.
  • Open source and extensible software – The Arduino software is published as open source tools, available for extension by experienced programmers. The language can be expanded through C++ libraries, and people wanting to understand the technical details can make the leap from Arduino to the AVR C programming language on which it’s based. Similarly, you can add AVR-C code directly into your Arduino programs if you want to.
  • Open source and extensible hardware – The plans of the Arduino boards are published under a Creative Commons license, so experienced circuit designers can make their own version of the module, extending it and improving it. Even relatively inexperienced users can build the breadboard version of the module in order to understand how it works and save money.

Chances are that if you have an idea and want to create something someone already has done the same thing.  If you want to do projects but don’t want to necessarily learn everything about electronics Arduino is for you.

Resources:

Main Arduino site: https://www.arduino.cc/

Arduino Language Reference: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/HomePage

Which Programming Languages Can You Use With Arduino? http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/programming-languages-can-use-arduino/

Arduino The Documentary (2010) https://vimeo.com/18539129

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