What is Arduino?
Arduino is a hardware and software eco-system for education and quick prototyping of electronics. The hardware is mainly around micro-controller family that now is expanding with more powerful ARM MCUs. The software is Integrated Development Environment (IDE) supporting complete family of 50+ official boards + 1000s of third party variant boards.
The Arduino project was started in 2003 at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII) by a team consisting of Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, Tom Igoe, David Mellis and Gianluca Martino. The project goal was to create simple, low cost tools for creating digital projects by non-engineers.
It was initially intended for making easy for non-engineers to custom electronics solution for their unique needs. Due to Open Source Hardware (OSHW) and rich eco-system of boards, shields and sensors, it quickly welcomed in engineering educational institute and industry as an affordable, function reach prototyping tool.
The wider community, the Arduino board started changing to adapt to new needs and challenges, differentiating its offer from simple 8-bit boards to products for IoT applications. Millions of Arduino boards have subsequently be used to create many of the latest modern technology we now see all around us e.g. drones, 3D printers, robots,smart home devices, wearables, interactive displays, musical instruments and enabling IoT connectivity for agriculture, industry and the home.
Many educational products build around Arduino ecosystem
Arduino IDE supports
Arduino programming language support is through IDE as well online browser based editor.
Arduino hardware eco-system is consisting of Arduino main boards & shields that allows you to add various functionality to your main board depending on your unique needs. Each Arduino boards have unique features to accommodate various functionality like WiFi, Bluetooth (BLE), low power, LoRa and Narrow Band (NB). You can stack multiple shield on one main board as long as you are making sure they are not using same input and output pin at the same time,
Arduino main board
Arduino Family boards & kits
Genuine Arduino boards
- Arduino UNO (rev 3) is most popular board in the family for beginners.
- Second inline Arduino Nano board which has miniature version of UNO and widely used for intermediate or advance users. New additional boards in 2018 are complementing complete Nano family with cost effective & IoT solutions.
- MKR series widely used in industrial rapid prototyping and IoT. The unique connectivity solutions like MKR1000 and MKR NB are my favorite in this range.
- Arduino Mega - Inputs Outputs rich resourceful board for complex projects.
- Arduino Yun - Ethernet capability
- Arduino Leonardo
- Arduino Due
- Arduino Micro
Genuine Arduino starter kit
- Arduino starter kit is my personal favourite - (includes book).
- Arduino IoT kit for making your Internet powered system.
- Arduino Fundamental kit for becoming Arduino certified
- Arduino Education kit for school and students (Coming Soon July 2020)
- MKR bundle (Traffic, Environment & Automation bot) - Coming soon
Arduino kit in school
- Beginner - Arduino starter kit is my personal favourite - accompany with book and necessary parts. Also have classroom pack in 6 and 12 units.
- Beginner Arduino Science Physics kit (not require any programming)
- Beginner Arduino CTC Go and Intermediate CTC motion extension
- Advance - Arduino Engineering kit
- Advance IoT- Arduino education IoT kit
The basic comparison of Arduino board parameters can be found here.In upcoming blog we will explore Arduino software, programming and getting started guide.Also, I am passionate to support OSHW moment and genuine products. I have written another blog where you can learn how to find counterfeit products and how can you as an individual make right decision to support this cause.