More about the arduino

inside the arduino starter kit

All the contents neatly laid out

The arduino is described as an opensource electronics prototyping platform based on flexible easy to use hardware and software.  The theory is that you can attach sensors and actuators to it, program it to run by itself or connect it to a computer to run it, and it’s a great introduction to electronics and robotics.  It’s a name that I’ve heard bandied about several times, particularly amongst the Computing At School group that I belong to, and I decided it was about time I found out what it was all about.   I have a starter kit for the arduino, that promises everything you need to get going.  It’s all neatly set out, with a guide in the lid of the box showing what goes where.  I recognised some of the components – LEDs, for example, and a small motor, and a bundle of wires, but others are currently a mystery, although the book that comes with it does seem to provide a very clear guide.

experimenters guide booklet

The book of words

I’m now entering a world with items such as piezo speakers, servos, transistors, potentiometers – I’ve never really had a chance to play with this sort of thing before, and it’s scary but also exciting.  Not sure yet what I’ll actually be able to achieve, but I’m expecting to at least learn what the different parts do  and the potential of the system, and I have a husband who’s interested in modelmaking and robotics who I might be able to enlist in helping with bigger projects at some point. I’m determined this will be something I work out for myself, though.


The arduino itself

This is the actual arduino – small and neat.  I guess I’m going to have to start doing some reading up on this, looking for ideas for simple projects.  I’ve seen one interesting idea, hooking it up to a wii nunchuck, that doesn’t look as if it would be too massively difficult.

So the next stage will be to actually unpack it and see if I can get things going.  I know computers are capable of absolutely amazing things – if I can set this up and manage to turn lights and motors on and off with it, it will be a good start.


About emmyleigh
Writer/editor/proofreader who loves technology

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