It’s always great to learn something new. Here at the DroneBot Workshop, there are lots of tutorials to quickly make you an expert on all sorts of exciting subjects.
I cover everything from basic electronic theory to working with microcontrollers and using sensors. No matter what level you’re at, you’re sure to find a tutorial that is just your speed.
Check out the tutorials here and also make sure to visit the YouTube Channel where you will find lots of instructional videos to help you out.
And keep checking back, I’m always making new tutorials!
It's time we took a fresh look at infrared remote controls, so here is everything you need to know about using IR remote controls with microcontrollers.
Learn how to receive, decode and send IR signals, including ones from those hard-to-decode remotes like air conditioners.
Examples with both an Arduino and ESP32.Read More »
The Seeeduino XIAO ESP32s3 Sense board is a super-tiny ESP32 camera board that includes a microphone, MicroSD card, USB-C connector and a battery charger.
Today we will take a look at this tiny microcontroller and put it through the paces. We'll also upgrade its camera and build a camera that also records soundRead More »
LoRa is a Long Range radio system that is inexpensive and free to use. You can achieve great distances with a simple wire antenna, and LoRa is very easy to use.
Today we will see how LoRa works and how we can use LoRa modules to communicate between Arduino, ESP32 and Raspberry Pi Pico boards.
We'll also build a data-gathering system that you can easily expand upon.Read More »
The latest member of the growing Arduino Nano family is the Arduino Nano ESP32. It's actually the first Arduino to use an ESP32 as its main processor.
Today we will look at this new board, and we'll also run a few experiments with it.
We will configure it as an HID (i.e. mouse), use it with MicroPython and connect it to the Arduino IoT Cloud.Read More »
After 12 years, Arduino has released the latest edition of the classic Arduino Uno. Actually, it's two boards, the Arduino Uno R4 Minima and the Arduino Uno R4 WiFi.
These boards are 5-volt logic devices and are physically compatible with the older Arduino Uno R3 boards, preserving your investment in shields and prototyping equipment. In addition, they offer many new features, several of which we'll examine today.Read More »
Learn to use seven different DC motor drivers with an Arduino Uno.
We'll see how to put these to use with motors of all sizes, and of course we have hookup diagrams and code samples!Read More »
Measure the quality of the air you are breathing using a variety of sensors, an Arduino and an ESP32.
In this article I’ll discuss air quality parameters and show you how to use several popular sensors to measure the gases and particulate matter in the airRead More »
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.Read More »
Linear DC Power supplies are no longer as common as switching supplies, but they are still a good choice for many applications.
Today we will learn how linear power supplies work, how they differ from switching power supplies, and how to use voltage regulator modules.
We will then construct a DC Power Supply suitable for use on the workbench.Read More »
The GC9A01 is a circular LCD module that is ideal for instrumentation and other cool display applications.
In this article, we will learn how to use this display with an Arduino Uno and an ESP32.Read More »
The I2S protocol is not a misspelling of I2C, it is a protocol for controlling digital audio.
Today we will use the I2S protocol and some I2S peripherals with an ESP32. We'll display microphone waveforms and build an MP3 player and an Internet Radio.Read More »
If your project needs a responsive user interface or has precision timing requirements, then interrupts are the key to getting it to work smoothly.Today we will learn how to use Hardware, Pin Change and Timer Interrupts with the Arduino Uno.Read More »
Learn how to use one of the ESP32-CAM board's most neglected features - the MicroSD card. In this article, I'll show you how to use the MicroSD card to store photos taken with the camera.
We will also build a motion-sensitive and a time-lapse camera using the ESP32-CAM.Read More »
Learn how to use both 7-segment and dot-matrix LED displays with an Arduino.
We will be working with both single and multiple display units, in a variety of configurations.
LEDs are by no means dead, they are still a great choice for a number of applications. Add one to your next Arduino project.Read More »
Stop hard-coding wifi credentials in your ESP32 and ESP8266 sketches - use WiFiManager instead!
This easy-to-use wifi provisioning library eliminates the need to hard-code wifi information, and makes your projects portable!
Learn how to use WiFiManager and how to easily adapt your existing sketches to eliminate hard-coding forever!Read More »
Learn to use soil moisture sensors, both resistive and capacitive.
After calibrating our sensors, we will use them to build two projects. One of them is a soil moisture meter, the other is an automated watering system that uses the Arduino IoT Cloud.Read More »
LiPo batteries are incredible powerhouses, they have a higher power-to-weight ratio than any other type of battery.
But with all that power comes a number of safety concerns, and not following them could lead to a deadly LiPo fire.
Today we will learn how LiPo batteries work, how to charge, discharge, balance, store and dispose of them. And, just in case, we'll see how to extinguish a LiPo fire.Read More »
Today we will learn about electromyography by working with a MyoWare Muscle Sensor.
We'll see how to use this device and its shields in both stand-alone mode and with an Arduino.Read More »
Today we will look at a powerful yet inexpensive machine vision sensor, the HuskyLens.
This amazing little device is based upon the powerful Kendryte K210 processor and is capable of adding machine vision capabilities to your projects.Read More »
The JSN-SR04T and A02YYUW are a couple of inexpensive waterproof ultrasonic distance sensors. They are easy to use, and have several advantages over the popular HC-SR04 sensor.
In this article I'll show you how they work and how to use them with an Arduino Uno.Read More »
Today we will learn how RC Remote controls work, and how we can use them with an Arduino.
After learning two different ways of interfacing with the Flysky receiver, we will build a small robot car.
Our car will have two different modes - Normal & Spin. You'll have to read the article or watch the video to find out what that means!Read More »
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.Read More »
Learn to use common GPS positioning modules in your Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects.
Today we will see how satellite positioning systems work, and how to use GPS modules in our projects.
We'll also build a GPS Logger to track our movements, then display our data on Google Maps.Read More »
The much-anticipated Arduino Nano RP2040 Connect board has a Raspberry Pi RP2040 MCU with ESP32-based WiFi and Bluetooth. The board also sports a 6-axis IMU with Machine Learning, a built-in MEMS Microphone, and a Cryptographic Coprocessor.
Today we will learn how to set up our development environment to work with this exciting new board, and we'll run a few Arduino-supplied example sketches.Read More »
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!Read More »
CircuitPython is an easy-to-use language with hundreds of libraries for microcontrollers. Today we will be using CircuitPython with the Raspberry Pi Pico
With over 300 libraries already to go CircuitPython makes it easy to expose the power of the Raspberry Pi Pico.
Today we'll see how to install CircuitPython and how to use it to build a keyboard emulator, a mouse emulator, work with MicroSD cards and flash some addressable RGB lights.Read More »
The new Raspberry Pi Pico is a microcontroller - yes a microcontroller, not a microcomputer! It lists for four dollars and it uses a new MCU designed by Raspberry Pi.
To test one out I hooked up a bunch of I/O components and used MicroPython to code them.Read More »
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 »
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 »
Basic Logic chips have been around for a very long time, yet they are still used in new designs. An understanding of how basic logic chips work will move your design skills up a notch.
Today we will look at the most elementary of logic chips, the basic gates. We'll also learn about logic families, and we'll see how to create a logic chip emulator using an Arduino.
We'll finish up by designing a simple intruder alarm using an Arduino and a basic logic gate.Read More »
Time to move up to another microcontroller, the ESP32. This amazing device has multiple I/O ports, WiFi, Bluetooth and BLE, analog inputs and outputs and many, many more features!
Today we will get started with the ESP32 by setting up the Arduino IDE as our programming environment and going through some of the example sketches.Read More »
Learn about the Peltier Effect and how to use a common and inexpensive Peltier cooler to cool down your electronic projects. We will perform a few experiments with a Peltier module, including using it to make ice!
We will also hook up a Peltier Cooler assembly that you can get on eBay.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 »
The NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit is a powerful AI development platform that can be had for only 99 US dollars.
Today we will look at the Nano and set one up with a microSD card image. We'll also run a few test programs to show off its capabilities.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 »
Prototyping and breadboarding is an essential skill for anyone working with electronics or experimenting with microcontrollers and microcomputers.
In this article I will show you the basics of breadboarding, along with some breadboard accessories that you are sure to find useful.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 »
This is the first of a series of articles about using I2C. Today I will explain what I2C is and show you the Arduino Wire Library
We will run two demonstrations. The first demo will show you how to exchange data between two Arduinos using I2C. The second demo will describe how to control an LED on a slave Arduino with a potentiometer on a master.Read 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 WiFi Stepper is exactly what its name would imply - a board that lets you control a stepper motor via WiFi. Its full-featured web-based interface gives you complete control of your motor, and it can support steppers of all sizes up to 85 volts at 10 amps!
Today I'll demonstrate how to use this versatile board. I'll hook it up, learn how to use it and even run a simple Bash script on a Raspberry Pi to demonstrate how to incorporate it in your programs.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 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 »
One of the most important, yet most overlooked, aspect of building a project is designing a method of giving it power. Power sources like batteries and AC adapters are only half of the answer, you still need to provide logic-level voltages to safely power your devices.
In this article we will look at several methods of providing safe regulated power for your electronic designs.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 »
Time to take a second look at the Google AIY Voice Kit. In this installment I’ll take the AIY Voice Kit out of its cardboard box and put it onto a breadboard so that I can experiment with using the kit to control devices like LEDs and DC Motors.
Follow along as I use the Google Cloud Speech API and some Python code to make the AIY Voice Kit come to life!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 »
The Google AIY Voice kit allows you to build a natural language recognizer using a Raspberry Pi 3. The kit includes the Voice HAT, a very hackable component which will allow you to not only build your own version of a Google Home device but can also be used to interface with external devices and create your own voice-controlled projects.
In this first of three article about hacking the Google AIY Voice Kit we will build the device and test it out.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 »
Here's a quick tip for soldering a 40-pin GPIO connector to a Raspberry Pi Zero or Zero W. While it's not a difficult solder job the problem many folks have is getting everything aligned and held together while you do the soldering.
In this article I'll show you a trick I use to make this job a lot easier. And unlike some other methods this one won't sacrifice a solderless breadboard
So warm up the soldering iron and get ready to add a GPIO header to your Pi Zero!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 »
It's hard to say anything nice about static electricity. It causes things to stick to your socks, makes it difficult to comb your hair and can give you a nasty zap when you touch a doorknob after walking across a carpet!
Even worse, static electricity is a deadly enemy for electronic components. A static shock can completely destroy or severely degrade fragile semiconductor devices. In this article we'll examine what you can do to prevent that from happening to your precious components and circuit boards.Read More »
Electronics can be a fun and rewarding hobby especially when you have the right tools and test equipment. A lot of people think that some of the specialized equipment for working with electronics is beyond their reach but this isn't true at all. You'll be amazed how much you can get within the constraints of a small budget.
In this detailed article I'll discuss the tools that you need for working with electronics and how to select them. So read on and learn how to pick the right tools to do the job!Read More »
Robots are the ultimate experimenters project. Nothing else lets you unleash your creativity more than designing a robot. And now with the availability of things like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi along with a wide assortment of mechanical parts and the ability to make your own with a 3D printer, robots have become a project that any dedicated experimenter can work on.
There are so many components and design considerations that must be taken into account when building a robot, This can often be overwhelming, especially when you're creating your first automated device. This article should provide a firm foundation for getting started on your first (or next) robotics project.Read More »
You've probably heard of the Raspberry Pi, it's an inexpensive single-board computer that can be used for just about anything. But what exactly do you get when you purchase a Raspberry Pi?
If you're curious about the Raspberry Pi then hopefully this article should shed some light. I'll explain exactly what a Raspberry Pi is, how you can obtain one, what extra items you'll need in order to get it working and finally what you can do with it once you get it up and running.Read More »
The "Internet of Things" or "IoT" is one of those buzzwords that you hear more and more of these days. But like the term “working in the cloud” it's something that not everyone completely understands.
In this article I'll introduce you to the Internet of Things. I will examine what it is, what it means to your future and how you can get involved by building really cool devices to take advantage of it now. So follow me on your Guide to the Internet of Things.Read More »
Quadcopters and drones - they're in the news and in the air! And while they might just look like souped-up helicopters not everyone knows exactly how they fly. Come to think of it, not everyone knows how a helicopter flies either!
In this article I'll explain how a quadcopter works - how it flies and what components are used to put together one of these amazing little devices. If you're planning on building your own quadcopter one day then this is mandatory reading!Read More »