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!


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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