Arduino is a wildly popular hobby computing platform. Arduino refers to three things:

  • A friendly software development environment that runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (get it here)
  • A suite of single board computers (see here) based on AVR and ARM processors
  • A standard stackable interface that lets you plug "shields" into the single-board computers to extend their functionality with things like motor control, Ethernet, WiFi, etc.

Single board computers like Arduino are perfect for robotics because they are small, rugged, and can easily run on battery power. We use Arduino computers on Team 2537 mainly because they are very inexpensive (often available for less than $4). Arduino computers can easily be connected to sensors that provide information about the real world and actuators such as motors and solenoids. Other popular single-board computers for robotics include the Rasberry Pi and mBed. Another popular platform is the STM32 which uses the same Arduino development environment but is far more powerful and is extremely inexpensive. You can buy STM32 boards for under $2 or the board with a hardware debugger (super-useful) for under $4. They are available on amazon as well, search for STM32 Blue Pill.

Team 2537 has a set of lessons that introduce you to Arduino through hands-on projects culminating in mini-robots that you design.

If you are interested in making your own Arduino kit, you can buy parts here

  • The Wemos D1 is a very inexpensive board you can program with Arduino and use with WiFi!

NOTE: After much experimentation, Alex and Nathan have found that the best font for the Arduino IDE is Comic Sans MS. This isn't a joke.

Last modified 19 months ago Last modified on Nov 3, 2019, 4:13:52 PM