I came across the Arduino platform because of Rustem Arkishbekov. Rustem is the founder of Robo Wunderkind, and in the in the Robo introduction video he was talking about how he used to create robots based on the “Arduino (UNO) platform.” In the video, he also shows little robots riding around, and that triggered me to find out more about this Arduino-thing he was talking about.
Confused but determined
At first, I didn’t understand any of it. It was confusing even when I read the Wikipedia page on Arduino. Why would we use it? How could we use it? What does it do? I kept digging, and I found out that an Arduino is a so called microcontroller. It can control electrical parts (“components”), like LED lights, little fans, buzzers, motors (“servos”) and LED displays. It has a memory, it understands a specific (programming)language, and it has a lot of electrical in- and outlets (pins) where it can send or receive signals with. A signal is an electrical current, and a current can either be on of off (It can’t be “a little bit on…” ;)).
If we want to turn on a light, the light should receive a signal on the pin it is connected to. All we need is an Arduino, a little “breadboard,” some wires, a LED and a resistor. We don’t even have to program it, and it only needs power. The resistor resists the current to the LED a little bit because otherwise, it’ll be too much for the LED and it’ll break. If we build the electrical circuit and connect the Arduino to a power source, like your USB port, the current will flow from the USB port to the Arduino, through the wires to the LED and it will turn on. MAGIC!
Creativity and imagination
So, we can use the platform to create prototypes of electrical projects. We can try stuff out, control electrical parts and discover how things work. And if we use our imagination, we can make a project come to life by crafting a theme around it. For example: transform a dull little rotating motor into a windmill, maybe even with a LED on its roof? Maybe we’ll create a peep box! 🙂
If you have a cool idea, let me know, and I’ll try to build it so we can learn from it together!
I want to find out more about Arduino and share my adventure with you here at Robotvilla. To do that I went looking for an Arduino Starters Kit. There are lots of starter kits available because it is an open-source platform. It means that anyone may produce an Arduino and sell it with another name on it, like “DFRdino”, “Funduino” or “Geekcreit.” This is why some Arduinos (and kits) are less expensive than others.
Beginner kit for Arduino
I found a cute kit called “The Beginner Kit for Arduino,” for a decent price at DFRobots.com. It’s not the cheapest, but you get 15 project cards with it which I find very helpful. Also, all the components are bagged and tagged individually, so we don’t have to guess (or look up) what for example a “Resistor 220R” looks like when we stumble across it on a project card. Often with other kits, the components are thrown in one big bag and good luck with that. I think it’s a challenge on its own to figure everything out. 🙂 Of course, the official Arduino starter kit is also pretty, but a little more expensive. (Hey, I’m Dutch, what can I say 😉 )
I thought it would be fun to share my Arduino adventures with you here at Robotvilla so that we can learn and discover together!
Let me know in the comments below if you are having fun with Arduino. Or maybe have a question or an idea!
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