Every innovation that mankind has encountered was an outcome of an urging need that prolonged for years of dissatisfaction. May it be a mere safety pin that could hook your stuff and still carry in your pockets without hurting yourself; or even a rubber band that can bundle up almost anything. A ball point pen was invented with a purpose of solving the problem of ink spill from fountain pens. The Velcro was designed to ease the process of attachment and detachment of two objects. If we try to find similarities in these innovations, we can easily spot a common note in which they all agree viz. MAKE LIFE SIMPLE. Such innovations are now so very much common to mankind that we realise their very importance only on their unavailability. They have become basic need for us.
The past century has been an extraordinary adventure for humans as we came along some really exciting stuff in technology and research. The basic purpose however remained the same i.e. MAKE LIFE SIMPLE. With development of electronics field and its evolution at mind blowing pace, literacy in this field has now becoming a challenge. The field has not even completed its 100 years and we are coming up with new ideas almost every day. The best example for this is development in Telephone technology. The first telephone that came into existence was in the year 1876 which could just make calls. After a century long slow progress, the cordless phone was introduced. It could still make calls only but the added simplicity was to walk and talk.And now, in the last 30 years, the Telephone has now become a MOBILE phone which could make voice and video calls, take HD photos and videos, create emails and presentations, play music and movies, has games and the best part… it fits in your pockets. That is the incredible power of Electronics.
The field of electronics had a boom with the development of Microcontroller technology. It enabled the user to carry out multiple tasks with the same piece of chip. For eg. our washing machine not just washes our clothes, it rinses, spins, sets a timer, control water flow and even notify you on completion of tasks. As the competition is rising, companies are coming up with new technologies with every new product launch.
With the emerging trend of “WHAT’S NEW…?” in these times, many people whether a student or a professional, are getting attracted towards a culture of making things on their own.“Do It Yourself ” is becoming a new mantra of life turning normal middle class people into hobbyists. But a decade’s long problem persisted. The level of enthusiasm was continuously increasing but the level of literacy of development of projects in microcontrollers was low. Those who knew hardly shared their experience and those wanted to know had to go through a lot of basics which were moreover unnecessary.
- It is flexible and offers a variety of digital and analog inputs
- It is easy to use, connects to computer via USB and can be connected to PC/Macintosh computers
- It is inexpensive, around Rs.1500 per board and comes with free authoring software
- The best thing is that is an open-source project.
Arduino is backed up by a growing online community. So a lot of tried and tested examples (source code) are already available and we can share and post our examples for others to use too!
Officially though, it’s an open-source electronics prototyping platform – but what does that mean?
To you or me, it’s like a little computer you can program to do things, and it interacts with the world through electronic sensors, lights, and motors. In essence, it makes some truly hard-core electronics projects accessible to anyone – so artists and creative types can concentrate on making their ideas a reality. It’s the ultimate tinkering tool
The hardware and software is open source – the schematics are available online, so if you don’t want to purchase a pre-made Arduino, you are free to buy the individual components and make it yourself. There are even clones available that function in exactly the same way. Bear in mind of course, that by purchasing an original device you support the creators and the future development of the Arduino.
The best way to describe an Arduino is with a few examples-
- Simple Arduino Alarm System
- Traffic Light Controller
- Automated Irrigation system
- Temperature Controller