Arduino is an open-source microcontroller project that is literally changing the world. Originally developed in Italy and named after the bar that was frequented by its developers, the Arduino and Arduino clones are now manufactured by companies around the world and are available in several different configurations. You can even build your own Arduino clone very easily using inexpensive components that are readily available.
The real beauty of the Arduino is in its simplicity. Arduino programs( or “Sketches”) are very simple to write and debug, so even people with little or no programming experience can grasp the concepts and write useful code quickly. Arduino Hardware is also simple-to-use and there are a wealth of add-ons (or “Shields”) that can connect to your Arduino and expand its capabilities greatly. Only a very elementary knowledge of electronics is necessary to start building all sorts of wonderful devices using the Arduino.
We’ll be using the Arduino to create all sorts of things from robots to quadcopter controllers and devices for The Internet of Things. With the Arduino if you can imagine it you can probably build it. Best of all, Arduinos are easily obtainable and very affordable so just about anyone can get up and running with the Arduino right away.
Let’s get started on our Arduino adventures!
In this first of a two-part series we will learn how to measure both DC voltage and DC current using an Arduino Uno. Although the examples all use the Uno, what we learn here can be applied to any microcontroller.
The second part of the series will, of course, focus on Alternating Current.Read More »
Today we will look at PlatformIO, an alternate IDE for working with the Arduino and many other microcontrollers.
You'll learn how to install PlatformIO under Visual Studio Code, and also how to use it to program for the Arduino Uno, The ESP32 and Seeeduino XIAO.
Once you get used to it you'll see that PlatformIO has many advantages over the Arduino IDE.>Read More »
Come and meet the XIAO, a tiny 32-bit Arduino-compatible microcontroller that goes for only 5 dollars!
This amazing little device outperforms the Arduino AVR boards and offers features like an analog output and 10 PWM pins.
We will explore the XIAO using the Arduino IDE and see how easy it is to use.Read More »
We have seen how to control DC devices with an Arduino, now it's time to learn how to control AC equipment.
In this article I will show you a SAFE method of experimenting with AC on your workbench.We will also build a light-activated relay and a marquis-style light chaser using solid state switches.Read More »
Matrix Keypads are a great way to add a professional-looking user interface to your Arduino project. They are inexpensive, and very easy to use.
In this article I'll show you how to use a matrix keypad with an Arduino. We will also use our keypad to build a simple electronic combination lock with an LCD display.Read More »
In this rather shifty article I'll show you how to use some fundamental electronic building blocks - shift registers.
These handy devices can let you add oodles of input and output ports to your Arduino or other microcontrollers, and they're very easy to use..
Follow along and learn how to make 74HC165 and 74HC595 shift registers work for you.Read More »
I2C address conflicts are a common problem, and in this article, I'll show you how to resolve them by creating multiple I2C buses with your Arduino.,/p>
I'll demonstrate how the TCA9548A I2C Multiplexer works by using two identical OLED displays and sending them unique data even though they share the same I2C address.,/p>Read More »
Today we will look at not one but five different temperature sensors that you can use with the ASrduino
With different temperature ranges, accuracy and interface methods you're sure to find one that is perfect for your next project!Read More »
Put some color into your life and learn to use two different color sensors with an Arduino!
In this article and video I'll show you how to calibrate and use the TCS230 and ISL29125 color sensors.Read More »
The TB6612FNG is a MOSFET-based dual H-Bridge motor controller that can be used in place of the popular L298N.
This controller is smaller and much more efficient. Best of all, you can use it in L298N designs without changing your code!
Let's see how to make use of this H-Bridge with an ArduinoRead More »
Learn how to use Bipolar Junction Transistors and MOSFETs to interface high-current DC loads with an Arduino.
We will cover both BJTs and MOSFETs in this guide to interfacing your Arduino with the outside world.Read More »
An Analog Feedback Servo Motor is a servo motor that has a connection to its internal feedback potentiometer. Thi sallows you to measure the precise position of the motor shaft in real-time
Today we will learn how to calibrate and use this motor, we'll even see how it can be used as an input device to memorize and repeat a sequence of movements.Read More »
What do you do when you want to save data in your Arduino project and have it available even after the Arduino is powered down? One excellent way of doing this is by using EEPROM - Electrically Erasable Read-Only Memory.
In this article you will learn how to use both internal and external EEPROM with an Arduino.Read More »
In the third installment of our I2C tutorial I will show you how to use I2C to connect a 3.3-volt Raspberry Pi to a 5-volt Arduino Uno.
Theer are actually two ways of doing this, I will explain both methods.Read More »
Today we will learn how Hall Effect sensors and switches work. These handy devices are activated using magnets.
After that we will use a couple of Hall Effect switches to control the position of a stepper motor. Using an Arduino, we'll build both Limit Switches and a Homing Sensor.Read More »
In this article we will start using touchscreen displays in our Arduino projects.
We'll begin by examining how touchscreens work, and what the differences are between Capacitive and Resistive touchscreens are.
Then we'll look at some example code and then write a simple interface of our own.Read More »
In this article I will show you how to control a very large stepper motor using an Arduino and a microstep motor driver module.
We will also examine how to read and interpret stepper motor specifications, and why the "voltage" rating doesn't really mean anything.Read More »
We will look at the MPU-6050, an Inertial Measurement Unit or IMU. This inexpensive device contains both an accelerometer and a gyroscope and has many applications.
We will also build an electronic level that uses an LCD and LED display.Read More »
In our second look at using the I2C bus we will build our own I2C sensor, one that has four ultrasonic distance sensors.
We'll also learn about the protocol used by I2C communicationsRead More »
Learn how to use and program the Arduino Pro Mini, using an FTDI adapter and the Arduino IDE.
We will also use a 3.3-volt Pro Mini to build a battery-powered robot arm controller for the MeArmRead More »
Rotary encoders are versatile devices that can be used both as controls and as measurement tools.
Today I will show you two ways of using rotary encoders - as a control for a servo motor and to measure RPM on a gear motorRead More »
SD and microSD cards are a simple way to add huge amounts of non-volatile storage to your Arduino designs. In this article, I will show you how to use SD card modules with the Arduino.
I will also show you how to record and playback the motion of a servo motor.Read More »
Pulse Width Modulation, or PWM, is an excellent method of controlling DC motors, however controlling large gearmotors can be expensive and difficult - but it doesn't have to be.
Today I will introduce you to an inexpensive yet powerful H-Bridge motor driver, the Cytron MD10C.
In addition, we will see how altering the PWM frequency can improve performance tremendously.Read More »
In addition, we will build an Arduino OLED Temperature and Humidity Meter using an OLED and an I2C temperature and humidity sensor.Read More »
The RCWL-0156 is an inexpensive yet useful proximity sensor that can be used on its own or with a microcontroller like an Arduino Uno.
The device is unique in that it uses microwaves and Doppler Radar to detect moving objects
In this article I will show you how the device works on its own and how we can add an Arduino (or two) to create some useful projectsRead More »
Learn how to transfer your Arduino Uno projects onto an ATmega328 chip so you can build a permanent version without sacrificing your Uno.
In this article I will show you a simple Star Wars Music Box project that can be built on an Arduino and then transferred to an ATmega328Read More »
The Elegoo Smart Robot Car is an Arduino-based design with an impressive list of features
In the final installment of this series, I show you how to use both Collision Avoidance and Line Tracking with the Smart Robot Car.Read More »
In the second part of the series on building the Elegoo Smart Robot Car I will show you how to use the remote control functions.
The robot car has both IR remote control and Bluetooth remote control capabilities. Today we will learn how to use and code for both of these.Read More »
The Elegoo Smart Robot Car V3 is an Arduino-based robot car with features like Bluetooth remote, IR remote, line following, and collision avoidance.
In the first of a three-part article I will show you how to assemble and test the Robot Car.Read More »
The Pixy2 is an amazing camera that is capable of object detection, line tracking and barcode reading. All this in a tiny and very affordable little package
In this article I'll take a look at the Pixy2. I'll show you how to hook it up to an Arduino and how to train it to recognize objects. You wil see how easy it is to work with this camera to add vision sensing to your next projectRead More »
Ultraviolet Light is used in many industrial and medical applications. We also receive a dose of UV light from sunshine, and while a little UV light is good for you excessive exposure can lead to eye and skin damage.
In this article I will explain how to safely work with ultraviolet light and I’ll show you how to build a UV Index Meter that can accurately measure the level of UV and help keep you safe in the sunshine.
So grab your hat and sunscreen and follow along!Read More »
The DF Robot 5 DOF Robot Arm kit is a high-quality robotic arm that you can assemble yourself. With heavy duty servo motors and sturdy aluminum parts this inexpensive arm is perfect for your robotics experiments
Follow along as I assemble the robot arm. I’ll also build a simple robot arm controller based on the Arduino Nano and the PCA9685 16-channel PWM module.Read More »
Servo Motors are a staple for hobbyists in a variety of fields. Whether you're building model planes and boats or working with robotics you are sure to come up with dozens of applications just perfect for a servo motor.
Come and explore the use of inexpensive analog servo motors. They are inexpensive and easy to use. When coupled with an Arduino you can build all sorts of projects that move.
And if you need LOTS of servo motors we have just the thing for you - the PCA9685 16 Channel PWM controller. Using this board you can control 16 servos with just two connections to your Arduino. And you can expand that to 992 servos if you really need a lot of motors!Read More »
XOD is a method of programming an Arduino using a graphical IDE instead of writing code. In XOD you use a collection of “nodes” connected by “links” to program your Arduino.
In this second installment on our series on XOD I’ll show you some ways of improving your XOD projects by using multiple patches, custom nodes and XOD libraries.
But the real fun is that in this article we’ll also start working on a practical project - a XOD robot! So let’s get started.Read More »
RGB (Red-Green-Blue) LEDs are versatile devices that can add color and functionality to your Arduino projects.
In this article we’ll examine the different types or RGB LEDs available to experimenters and see how to best use them with an Arduino. It promises to be a very colorful read!Read More »
XOD is a free visual programming language that makes Arduino programming simple for anyone, without writing a single line of code!
This is the first article in a series about using XOD with the Arduino. In this article you’ll learn what XOD is, how to install it and how to create your first XOD programsRead More »
Liquid Crystal Displays or LCDs are an excellent way to display characters and data in your Arduino projects. They are inexpensive and very easy to use.
In this article you'll learn how to add LCD displays to your Arduino project, both hardwired and using the I2C bus connection. You will also learn to use a popular LCD Keypad Shield which as a 2-line LCD along with 6 push buttons.
Learn to use the popular nRF24L01 radio modules with an Arduino, using the RadioHead library.
In this article we will conduct several experiments sending data between two Arduinos with the nRF24L01. We will then take what we have learned and build a wireless joystick controller for our robot car!Read More »
Those inexpensive RF transmitter and receiver modules that you can get on eBay and Amazon are perfect when you need a low-cost method of sending one-way data between two Arduinos.
In this article you’ll learn how these modules work and how to use them in your next Arduino project.Read More »
Stepper motors are used in a variety of devices ranging from 3D printers and CNC machines to Blu Ray drives, cameras and even analog clocks.
In this article you’ll learn how steppers work, the difference between bipolar and unipolar stepper motors and how to control both of them with an Arduino.Read More »
The HC-SR501 is a Passive Infrared (PIR) motion sensor that is extremely useful. It can be used all by itself or combined with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi
In this article you'll learn how a PIR sensor works and you'll build some cool projects using the HC-SR501. You can even make a motion activated camera that will tell you who is stealing your Jelly Beans!Read More »
IR Remote controls are all around us in every room of our homes. Using an Arduino we can decode and repurpose our existing IR Remotes and build our own custom remote controls
In this article you'll learn how IR Remote Controls work and how to use inexpensive IR sensors and LEDs to do magic things with infrared light!Read More »
I’m sure you have seen those inexpensive robot car chassis kits, the ones that come with two 6-volt motors. They are great fun and very useful and they even come with a couple of speed encoder disks (those little black circles full of holes). Problem is, no one tells you how to use them!
Let’s resolve that and build a robot car with speed sensors. Along the way we’ll learn how to use Interrupts, a valuable programming technique.Read More »
The HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Distance Sensor is a staple in robotics projects. This inexpensive device is capable of measuring the distance between itself and the nearest solid object from 2 to 400 centimeters. Exactly what you need to keep your bots from driving into walls!
In this article we'll look at this sensor in depth, including ways to make it even more accurate by compensating for temperature and humidity. There's lots of Arduino code to be has as well, so dig in!Read More »
Controlling DC Motors is an essential skill for constructing robots and other hobby projects. An easy way to control DC motors is to use an L298N H-Bridge, an inexpensive component that you can buy from several sources.
Fear not if you’ve never heard of the L298N or if you don’t know what an H-Bridge is - in this article I’ll show you everything you need to know to start making things move with an Arduino. We’ll even construct a simple Robot Car that you can pilot using a Joystick.
So let’s get our motors running and learn all about the L298N H-Bridge!Read More »
Uno's, Megas, Gemma's, Nanos - the Arduino family is a huge clan, especially when you factor in the Genuino cousins and all of the Arduino clones and single-chip solutions. Each family member has its own unique personality too!
Let's meet some of the members of the Arduino family and learn which Arduino would be best suited for your next application.Read More »