Once upon a time you had to be a borderline genius to build your own electronic devices, but with the advent of Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other user-friendly microcontrollers, anyone can start inventing devices and dabbling in programming with ease. Arduino is an open-source electronic development platform that is based on simple software and cheap modular hardware. It can be used to create any kind of device and perform any kind of automated electronic function. You can even use it to make your own mobile phone, GPS receiver, miniature robots, motion sensor activated devices, and so much more.
Investing in a Starter Kit is Worth it
A standalone Arduino Uno R3 can be purchased for about $20 online, but you won’t be able to build much with just the chip by itself. Thus, anyone new to the Arduino should start with a starter kit to get all the basic pieces needed to complete most beginner level projects. Although there are a number of Arduino starter kits to choose from, the official kit costs about $80 and comes with a massive booklet containing 15 project tutorials you can use to gain a well-rounded introduction to Arduino device building and programming.
Cool Arduino Projects to Check Out
There’s an entire subculture of inventors out there who love to create and post new Arduino inventions online. The result is an abundance of tutorials showing you how to build everything from a smart rat trap to a fully automated home gardening system. You can make a motion sensor alarm, a small moving robot, automated text message alert systems, a smart home remote control, or a small device that notifies you when the mail has been delivered. All of the aforementioned projects and more can be found on Make: – a community of Arduino inventors who share their work in an open-source environment.
What Kind of Hardware Can You Attach to the Arduino?
In short, just about every electronic sensor or device can be hooked up to the Arduino. There’s no definitive list that mentions all possible sensor types, but in theory any sensor that uses electricity can be used with the Arduino. The biggest all-inclusive kits include 45 sensors and can be purchased online for less than $20, opening up a world of inventive possibilities for a surprisingly low price. In fact, there’s even a guide listing 21 Arduino modules you can buy for less than $2.
The Arduino Is Limited Only by Your Creativity
Ultimately, an Arduino kit can be used to create virtually any electronic device that you can conceive of and can automate actions and capture, send, and receive data. While the device does have its limitations in terms of size and scale, once you’ve created a working miniature prototype using the Arduino, you can always scale up to larger components later on. In closing, perhaps the most exciting part about owning an Arduino is having the ability to create unique inventions that are useful to society in the long-term. For more information don’t be afraid to check out Digitizd, they know their Arduino.