What is Arduino and what you can do with him

Now in the world of people passionate about appliances, there is a real «arduinome». This little mystery device devoted thousands of articles, hundreds of blogs and forums. So what is Arduino? And why he gained such a great popularity?

Arduino UNO

Arduino is a small electronic device that consists of a single printed circuit Board, which is able to manage different sensors, motors, lights, to transmit and receive data… Arduino is a whole family of devices of different sizes and capabilities. And it’s a whole zoo of clones of the Arduino and the world of Arduino-compatible devices. But let us all in order.

The «Brain» Arduino

The «brain» Arduino is a microcontroller family Atmega. A microcontroller is a microprocessor with memory and various peripheral devices implemented on a single chip. In fact, this is a single-chip microcomputer, which is able to perform relatively simple tasks. Different models of the Arduino family of microcontrollers are equipped with different.

Atmega 328 - мозг Arduino UNO

Pictured Atmega328 microcontroller. These MCUs are Arduino UNO and Arduino Nano (but in a different building).

«Hands» Arduino

But what good is a brain if it has no hands? Hands in this case are electrical leadsplaced around the perimeter of the Arduino Board. There is a Board with many pins, there is less. For example, the biggest payoff in the family of Arduino — Arduino Mega — it has over 70 independent conclusions, and the smallest — Arduino Pro Mini — conclusion only 22.

Сравнение Arduino Mega и Arduino Pro Mini

The photo shows in comparison the Arduino Mega and Arduino Pro Mini.

Digital and analog outputs

Not all pins in Arduino are the same. Conclusions there is a digitaland has analog. A fundamental difference between them is that digital can be only two values: either a logical «1» (TRUE, from 3 to 5 volts) or logic 0 (FALSE, 0 to 1.5 volts), and the analog — band from logical 1 to 0 divided into many small plots.

Why is it necessary? Let’s look at an illustrative example. If you connect to digital output of Arduino and the led file for the output logic «1», the led will light up with maximum brightness; if the file «0» — led will turn off. There are no intermediate options. If the led connected to analog output, led brightness can be controlled smoothly. In practice, analog to conclusions often connect any analog sensors.

Than the Arduino can manage

In the end the number of «hands» Arduino allows you to connect a huge number of different peripheral devices. Among them, for example:

  • buttons
  • LEDs
  • the microphones and speakers
  • the motors and servos,
  • LCD displays,
  • readers of radio frequency identification (RFID and NFC),
  • ultrasonic and laser rangefinders,
  • bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Ethernet modules
  • readers SD cards
  • GPS and GSM modules…

As well as dozens of different sensors:

  • light
  • magnetic field,
  • gyroscopes and accelerometers
  • smoke detectors and air,
  • temperature and humidity, and much, much more.

Разнообразные датчики, подключаемые к Arduino

All this turns the Arduino into a universal core of the system that can be configured many different ways. Want to make radio-controlled feeder for your pet? Please! Want to at the beginning of the rain on the loggia closed the window? Please! Want to control the brightness of lighting in the room from your smartphone? Easily!

The photo shows only a tiny part of the peripherals that can be connected to Arduino. In fact they are much, much more.

Communication with Arduino

How the processor knows what it should do? You should tell him that. There is a language for communication with the microcontroller, simplified and adapted specifically for Arduino. To master this language is not difficult at desire and certain persistence, even if you’ve never programmed.

Write posts for Arduino is called programming. And to simplify this process, developed a special programming environment — the Arduino IDE. The group included dozens of examples of good working programs. After studying them, you will very quickly learn a lot about the language of communication with the Arduino.

Внешний вид Arduino IDE

Arduino will allow your programs to leave the virtual world into the real world. You will be able to see written by your program to make the led blink or rotate the motor shaft, and then to do more complex and useful things. Arduino will allow you to learn many new and interesting things in electronics and in programming. In the end, this could be you a hobby, a fascinating pastime with children, a wonderful and useful pastime.

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