Arduino is basically an open source electronics archetype platform for electronics engineers, hobbyist, designers or anyone interested in creating interactive electronics projects. It is a flexible platform and based on an easy to use software and hardware systems. Arduino comprises of a microcontroller and a software or Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that runs on laptops or computers, used for writing and uploading computer codes or programs to the physical board.
The Arduino boards are able to read inputs - light, proximity or air quality on a sensor, or an SMS or Twitter message - and turn it into an output - activating a motor, turning on a light, publishing content online or trigger external events. You can tell your board what to do by writing code and uploading it to the microcontroller on it using the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring), and the Arduino Software (IDE), based on Processing.
Over the years Arduino has powered thousands of projects. Arduino has gathered around a community where beginners and experts from around the world share ideas, knowledge and their collective experience. There are thousands of makers, students, artists, designers, programmers, researchers, professionals and hobbyists worldwide who use Arduino for learning, prototyping, and finished professional work production.
Arduino was born at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea IDII from the Wiring project as an easy tool for fast prototyping, aimed at students without a background in electronics and programming. The main objective of both projects is to make the process of working with technology and electronics easier. The Arduino board has evolved to adapt to new needs ranging from simple 8-bit boards to products ready for IoT applications. All Arduino boards are completely open-source, empowering users to build them independently and eventually adapt them to their particular needs. The software is open-source, and it is growing through the contributions of developers and the Arduino community worldwide.
There have been many similar projects, but none of them succeeded as well as Arduino has, due to how easy it is to use the software, and the affordability of the hardware. The Arduino software is easy-to-use for beginners, yet flexible enough for advanced users needs. It runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Today there are many different types of microcontrollers are available in the market. So why choose Arduino? It’s an important question… Some points for Why choose arduino are given below.
Don't feel like you have to understand this part fully! Skim it for now, and consider it a resource for you when you want to take a deeper dive into understanding the hardware!
The black thing with all the metal legs is an IC, or Integrated Circuit (13). Think of it as the brains of our Arduino. The main IC on the Arduino is slightly different from board type to board type, but is usually from the ATmega line of IC’s from the ATMEL company. This can be important, as you may need to know the IC type (along with your board type) before loading up a new program from the Arduino software. This information can usually be found in writing on the top side of the IC. If you want to know more about the difference between various IC’s, reading the datasheets is often a good idea.
Every Arduino board needs a way to be connected to a power source. The Arduino UNO can be powered from a USB cable coming from your computer or a wall power supply that is terminated in a barrel jack.
The USB connection is also how you will load code onto your Arduino board. More on how to program with Arduino can be found in our Installing and Programming Arduino tutorial.
NOTE: Do NOT use a power supply greater than 20 Volts as you will overpower (and thereby destroy) your Arduino. The recommended voltage for most Arduino models is between 6 and 12 Volts.
The Arduino is designed for beginners so it has some protection and regulation circuitry so that it can use just about any power supply you throw at it. In particular there is a polarity protection diode (to avoid destroying the board if you have a Negative Tip adapter). It also has an onboard 5V
As we talked about in the beginning, this is how you connect your Arduino to your computer. You can use any computer with a USB port. You will need a cable to connect! This cable is usually included in the Osoyoo pack.
OK so you plug your Arduino into a computer with a USB cable. But you may be surprised to learn, the main processor chip (ATmega328) cannot speak "USB". Instead it can talk an interface language called "Serial". Serial is a much simpler, much older interface. (It's also a lot less expensive to build into a chip) So, how do you connect a chip that does not speak USB to a USB port? Easy! you just need a USB to Serial Interface Translator chip. Much like a human translator, it can understand and speak both languages and can seamlessly translate between the two.
There's a lot of different translator chips, some common part numbers are FTDI FT232, FTDI FT231X, CP2102
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