ARDUINO: MAKE YOUR OWN COMPUTER

Arduino is an open-source computer hardware and software company, project and user community that
designs and manufactures kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control the physical world.
[1] Arduino boards may be purchased
preassembled, or as do-it-yourself kits; at the same time, the hardware design information is available for those who would like to assemble an Arduino from scratch. The project is based on a family of microcontroller board designs manufactured primarily by SmartProjects in Italy,
[2] and also by several other vendors, using various 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontrollers or 32-bit Atmel ARM
processors. These systems provide sets of digital and analog I/O pins that can be interfaced to various
extension boards and other circuits. The boards feature serial communications interfaces, including USB on some models, for loading programs from personal computers.
For programming the microcontrollers, the Arduino
platform provides an integrated development environment (IDE) based on the Processing project, which includes support for C and C++ programming languages.
The first Arduino was introduced in 2005. The project leaders sought to provide an inexpensive and easy way
for hobbyists, students, and professionals to create devices that interact with their environment using sensors and actuators . Common examples for beginner hobbyists
include simple robots , thermostats and motion detectors. Adafruit Industries estimated in mid-2011 that over 300,000 official Arduinos had been commercially produced, [3] and in 2013 that 700,000 official boards
were in users’ hands.

Well there is lots of hate towards ARDUINO as well. So let’s answer this question.

What is the problem of Arduino? Why is there so much hate toward it?

There is no problem with the Arduino itself and I don’t hate it; in fact I love it. There is, however, a problem with using it to learn basic electronics.

This is a voltage sensor:

It’s an “Arduino-compatible board” that allows you to measure a voltage up 25V, despite the Arduino only being capable of handling 5V. Amazing, isn’t it?

All it is is a $5 (!) voltage divider, however. The Arduino world is so extremely plug-and-play and so light on theory that even a voltage divider needs its own board, ready with pins that can easily be plugged in a breadboard and sample code.

I think the above is a perfect illustration of how the Arduino can be misused as a learning tool. The focus lies on step-by-step instructions rather than a deep understanding. “Connect pin 3 top the S pin on the board” etc. rather than actually explaining how to measure a voltage, to stick with the above example.

However, used correctly, the Arduino is an amazing prototyping tool, and in fact an amazing learning tool as well. It’s amazing because it teaches the high-level picture: sensing, processing, actuation. It teaches about the different sensors, different motors,… However, it makes abstraction of many implementation details that are important if you truly want to learn electronics.

I am going against the vibe that it’s not suitable for “professional engineers”. Of course engineers need to know more than just how to program the Arduino, and, of course, if you’re going to design a 1,000,000 users product, you don’t want the overhead of the Arduino. If you’re simply prototyping however, or making a small-scale product, the Arduino is absolutely brilliant. I know someone who designs electronics for a living, but for his home automation and other hobbyist stuff, he just uses an Arduino.

So let’s create some ARUDINO stuff and let us know how it work out for you.

 

 

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