Arduino is a tool for making computers that can sense and control the physical world through your computer. It is a development platform open-source physical computing, based on a simple microcontroller board and a development environment for creating software (programs) for the board.
Arduino can use to create interactive objects, reading data from a variety of switches and sensors and control many types of lights, motors and other physical actuators. Arduino projects can be stand alone or communicate with a program (software) running on your computer (eg Flash, Processing, MaxMSP). Board can be mounted alone or buy a ready to use software development and you can download it for free. The Arduino programming language is an implementation of Wiring, a similar physical computing platform, which in turn is based on Processing, multimedia programming environment.
Why should Arduino?
There are many other microcontrollers and microcontroller platforms available for physical computing. Parallax Basic Stamp, BX-24 from Netmedia, Phidgets, MIT Handyboard, and many others offer similar functionality. All these tools organize the complicated work of programming a microcontroller-friendly packages. Arduino can simplify the work with a microcontroller, offering several advantages over other systems for teacher, student and amateur. Here are some advantages of Arduino:
- Affordable – The Arduino boards are more affordable compared to other microcontroller platforms. The most expensive version of an The Arduino module can be mounted by hand, and even mounted and costs much less than 60 €
- Multi-Platform – The The Arduino software runs on Windows operating systems, Macintosh OSX and Linux. Most environments for microcontrollers are limited to Windows.
- The programming environment simple – Arduino is easy to use programming environment for beginners and flexible enough for advanced users. Teacher thinking is based on the Arduino programming environment Procesing with students to learn to program in this environment will feel familiar with the Arduino development environment.
- Software upgradeable and open-source – The Arduino software is published under a free license and ready to be extended by experienced programmers. The language can be extended through C + + libraries, and if you are interested in learning more about the technical details, you can jump into the programming language C in which AVR is based. Similarly can be added directly in AVR C code in your programs if you wish.
- Scalable hardware and open source – Arduino is based on ATMEGA168 microcontrollers, ATMega328 and ATmega1280. The planes of the modules are published under Creative Commons license, so experienced circuit designers can make their own version of the module, expanding or optimizing. Even relatively inexperienced users can build the development board version to understand how it works and save some money.