Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments (see website arduino.cc).
The Arduino Uno has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz ceramic resonator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.
• 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs),
• 6 analog inputs (each having a resolution of 1024 values),
• simple to program using free software,
• retention of program when switched off,
• battery, USB or PSU operation 6V to 20V (7V to 12V recommended),
• board size: 70mm x 55mm
Each of the 14 digital pins can be used as an input or output. They operate at 5 volts and can pass a maximum of 40 mA. Some pins have additional functions such as to receive and transmit serial data. A built in LED connected to pin 13 is useful for testing programs.
You can use the excellent Arduino programming software to download “sketches” (the Arduino name for a program) to your Arduino via USB. The Arduino software runs on Windows, Macintosh OSX, and Linux operating systems and may be freely downloaded from www.arduino.cc. Alternatively, you can use our free Flowino software for a simple flowchart based programming system (Windows only). This works by dragging and dropping icons on screen – no program language knowledge required! Flowino includes motor and servo control symbols and is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD.
The Arduino board opens up a world of control possibilities, from simple sequential tasks to the control of complex interactive systems. For artists and designers it is the perfect tool for solving problems without necessarily having prior knowledge of programming – and with the growing worldwide community of Arduino users, there is always likely to be someone there to help. A few of the many projects undertaken with the Arduino system include:
• drawing robot
• line follower robot
• interactive lighting sculpture
• electronic combination lock
• maze solver robot
• radio controlled car controlled via the web
• high speed photography
• electronic music maker