2. Introduction to Arduino

Arduino is an open hardware platform. Like open source software, it is protected by special licenses that allows the copy, modification and even commercialization of the resulting product given that appropriate acknowledgement is given to the creators.

This Arduino revolution, led by Massimo Banzi, has allowed many enthusiasts and researchers (we are going to call ourselves "sketchers") to build their own projects avoiding the high costs associated with proprietary hardware.

Arduino UNO

The Arduino platform like the one shown in the figure above is composed by digital/analog input/output ports. Managed by a programmable micro controller, Arduino is capable of receiving sensory input from one of its ports, process that information and then generate an output through its other ports.

We are going to dive more into the communications virtues of Arduino later on in the course, but that is not nearly all the features it can perform. As outputs, Arduino is able to feed small electric motors or generate analog output signals to activate buzzers or light up LEDs. Push-buttons, temperature or humidity sensors are just a few of a wide variety of components that can be attached to an Arduino port as input.

If you want to know more about Arduino, visit their website where you may also find nice references and instructions which might be useful later in the course.

Activity: There are a multitude of different arduinos: big, small, wearable, .... Tell us which is your favorite Arduino in the comments and explain why.


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