Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What is Arduino?

I've come across the Arduino in several of the blogs and websites I frequent. The makers of the Arduino (based in Italy), describe it as:

"an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software...Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators."

Intrigued? You can buy an assembled Arduino for as little as $30 and the various buttons, sensors, and LEDs that make your Arduino come to life can also be had for very little money. I finally purchased an Arduino kit from www.adafruit.com. I've spent the last week playing around with my Arduino, learning how to wire LEDs, buttons, and sensors to the Arduino, and programming it to respond to various stimuli. The Arduino site also has a thriving community of users, many of whom were VERY obliging in helping me work through any obstacles I encountered as I played with the Arduino.

So far I have created 2 Arduino-based items: a globe that looks a lot like a crystal ball and a button that resets my home-made Flash Lost Countdown site. I have posted videos of both below. Enjoy.

The Arduino definitely has a lot of potential to be used as a learning tool. Between its low cost, flexibility, and easy to learn programming environment, I can see it being implemented from middle school level and up.

More as it develops...


  1. nice description of Arduino. it helps a lot for who use this one.
    Tech Programms

  2. Hi, Have you used the Arduino with middle school students? I just started teaching it as an after school club. I am looking for other teachers teaching with it

  3. Nice blog that is really helpful information for the beginners.

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