Arduino: What it is, how it works, uses and applications
Arduino is a development platform based on the use of a free hardware electronic board. It incorporates a reprogrammable chip or microcontroller and a series of female pins. Which, in turn, allow establishing a connection between the microcontroller and the different existing sensors, simply and quickly. This project arose in 2003, as an initiative of a group of students from the Institute of Interactive Design in Italy.
All this, in order to offer users from all over the world a simpler method of understanding and using computer programming . In addition, Arduino intended to provide electronics students with resources cheaper than the well-known BASIC Stamp boards, with which they could work. The end result was an electronic board compatible with different Operating Systems: Windows, Mac and Linux.
How Arduino works
Arduino is a board made up of an ATMEL microcontroller and a series of circuits, which allow instructions to be recorded on it, with the help of the appropriate programming language . This electronic device has an input interface and an output interface. The first is responsible for receiving information from the connected peripherals and transferring it to the microcontroller, which, in turn, processes the received data.
Now, the type of peripheral that you connect to the board will depend on the use or objective that you intend to give them. For its part, the output interface is responsible for transporting the information processed in Arduino to other devices, such as screens or speakers that allow the processed data to be reproduced. However, other electronic boards or controllers can also be used .
Since Arduino is a project and not a specific electronic board model, you can find it in different sizes, colors and shapes , depending on the needs of each project. Each of them is designed for different purposes or purposes , but they coincide in certain physical aspects, such as: architecture, libraries and documentation.
These include simple plates, and also slightly more complex ones, such as those designed for 3D printing. In this sense, it is important to clarify that the types of Arduino available on the market are classified as :
- Elder brother.
- Arduino uno.
- Arduino Yun.
Each of them has a different purpose and they differ from each other, in characteristics such as : the number of pins , microcontroller model , size or dimensions of the board, etc. In the same way , the price of each type of Arduino is different and you can check it in the product catalog, following this link .
Uses and applications
Thanks to the flexibility of Arduino, it can be applied to different areas of everyday life , found in: clocks, vending machines, blinds or voice-controlled devices, etc. Here are some examples of the uses and applications of this free software board so that you have a clearer idea of how it works.
SMART Alarm Clock
Is a project that was designed with the Arduino Yun board , in order to offer an alarm that can be synchronized with your email agenda . In this way, the events that you have programmed in your Gmail account or in another service provider, will be displayed as an alarm. Its structure is composed of two processors and a screen that gives it the quality of a digital clock. You can learn more about this idea in this link .
Fingerprint Scanning Garage Door Opener
This project arose after the need for a user to enter their own home , since they did not always carry the keys with them. It uses an Arduino ATmega328 board that you can buy for less than 10 EUR, and with which you can design your own fingerprint security system . If you want to have more details about this idea, such as the necessary materials and the procedure to follow, visit this link .
Voice Activated Arduino Blinds
It is a fairly inexpensive and simple project to do. The design was developed by a user to control the blinds using voice commands, via Bluetooth . For this he used an Arduino nano board , together with another series of materials that are very easy to get and that you can see at this link . Inside it, you will find a detailed guide to the construction and programming process that you must follow to achieve it.
DIY Vending Machine
This project employs the use of an Arduino Mega board to create a DIY designed candy vending machine . It’s one of the more complex jobs on this list, but it’s a great alternative if you want to have your own candy dispenser at home. Like the previous examples, you can find the step-by-step tutorial at this link . In the same way, below, you will find a video to get a better perspective of this idea.
Secret-Knock Gumball Machine
It’s probably one of the funniest projects on this list. It is a candy machine , which only activates if you touch the correct rhythm on the surface, which is “Shave and Haircut”. It is designed with an Arduino Uno board , whose microcontroller captures the orders of the piezoelectric sensor which, in turn, receives the sounds from the front panel. To learn more about this project and have access to the construction and assembly guides, visit this link .
How to program with Arduino
With the number of fantastic projects that can be built with Arduino boards, you may be wondering how to program with this hardware . Well, although the process is not as complicated as it seems, it requires a certain level of technical knowledge in computing, assembly, construction, and other related areas. Since, programming with Arduino consists of translating the functions of the device to be created, to the lines of code of the microcontroller.
However, if you are interested in learning, you can visit this website , where they explain step by step about this topic. In the same way, on YouTube you will find many video tutorials that will allow you to have a better perspective of programming with Arduino.
As you can see, the Arduino project is an idea that suits professionals and also inexperienced users who want to develop their own projects. Do not forget that, if you are starting with electronics, it is recommended that you educate yourself well on the subject, with the help of tutorials or guides on the Internet.
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