The term “software” can encompass a number of things; from dedicated computer programs like Photoshop, applications that we run online like Google Drive and the apps that we run on our tablets and smartphones. Software is a part of everyone’s life and it’s very difficult to imagine how we’d get along without some of it.

Open source software has allowed people to obtain powerful software applications without spending any money. There is open source software for almost every application. Programs like Libreoffice are just as powerful and full-featured as the more expensive commercial Microsoft Office Products. Design and drawing programs like Gimp and Blender have capabilities equal to commercial applications that can cost several thousands of dollars.

Here in the DroneBot Workshop we use all sorts of software applications, most of them open source. Dedicated pieces of software like the Arduino editor and Ardupilot allow us to program microcontrollers, robots and quadcopters. Specialized applications like Fritzing can simplify the design and documentation of electronic circuits. And software libraries allow us to take clever designs from talented programmers and incorporate them within our own creations.

Let’s learn about and use some great software programs!


Using ChatGPT to Write Code for Arduino and ESP32

ChatGPT is an amazing AI chatbot that can also generate code in just about any programming language!

Today we will see how to write both C++ and MicroPython code for Arduino and ESP32 using ChatGPT.

Put the power of an AI-assisted coder to work for you today!

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Pico W with the Arduino IDE

Learn to program the new Raspberry Pi Pico without microPython. Use the Arduino IDE and C++ instead.

In this article, I'll show you how to install a boards manager and use it to program the new Pico W. I'll focus on its most important feature - WiFi!

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Building a Dual-Boot Workstation

Get the best of both worlds by building a dual-boot workstation!

I'll show you how to take a "bare-bones" workstation and install both Microsoft Windows 11 and Ubuntu Linux 22.04.

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Getting Started with the Arduino IoT Cloud

Today we will look at the Arduino IoT Cloud, an online application for building Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

I'll show you how to get an account set up, how to configure your workstation, and how to build your first "Thing".

The cloud was recently updated, so now even free plan users can work with the ESP32, and I'll show you how to do that as well.

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Learning Python - A List of Free Resources

In order to learn to code in MicroPython or CircuitPython you are going to need to get a firm foundation in Python.

In this article I will give you a list of resources like websites, YouTube videos, Udemy courses and books that will help you become an expert in Python.

And the best part is that all of these resources are completely free!

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Getting Started with PlatformIO

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 »

Build a Developers Linux Workstation

Here is a complete and detailed guide to building a Linux-based Developers Workstation from scratch!

Starting with a "barebones computer" kit we will put together a Developers Workstation that has 15 essential software applications, plus a few custom tweaks.

Make sure to download the "Cheat Sheet" to simplify your build.

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Getting Moving with XOD - Robot Car Part 1

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.

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Arduino Visual Programming - Getting Started with XOD

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 programs

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