How many times have you been in a situation where you have a solution to an ever-existing problem but don’t know how to implement it? A simple example of such a problem can be a wireless tube light/fan control system. If ACs and TVs can be controlled via a remote, why can’t tube lights and fans? This is where the awesome and open source concept of Arduino kicks in.
As defined by Wikipedia,
Arduino is a single-board microcontroller, intended to make the application of interactive objects or environments more accessible. The hardware consists of an open-source hardware board designed around an 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontroller, or a 32-bit Atmel ARM. Pre-programmed into the on-board microcontroller chip is a boot loader that allows uploading programs into the microcontroller memory without needing a chip (device) programmer.
In simple terms, Arduino is an open source piece of hardware than can be programmed by anyone who can code in C++. This coded kit can now serve the solution to your age-long problems, such as the one mentioned above. People from all around the world have welcomed this invention, and have used it to create all sorts of projects, including home automation, robot design, etc.
The very first Arduino appeared in 2005, as a project for students of an Italian school. Back then, the device cost a hefty $100 (Rs. 5500+), which with time has gone down to about $20-$25 (Rs. 1200-1500) apiece with mass-manufacture that followed commercialization. Being an open source project, there are so called ‘clones’ that can be bought for about $8-10 (Rs. 500-700) which offer the same functionality, and are legal.
There are innumerable versions and revisions of this legendary microcontroller board, but the most popular is the Arduino UNO. The board features an ATmega 328 IC which has 32KB of program memory to hold your code. Also, the memory is non-volatile; if you do cut off power to the board, your uploaded program will continue to stay in memory. Coding can be done in the Arduino IDE which is free for download at Arduino.cc, which is also used for uploading the program to the board.
This is all we have for the introduction of this interesting piece of kit. Have you ever used an Arduino? If yes, do let us know of your exploits! If no, PLEASE give it a go! Many Indian e-stores have the Arduino clones on offer for as low as Rs 1000 (Induino R3, Roboduino ATMega328), which can serve as a great starting board. Let us know if you wish too see more of interesting Arduino projects on GadgetsToUse!