What is an Arduino?
First things first – Just what is an Arduino? Check out the following links for a brief introduction:
For a lighter look at the Arduino, check out the comic book by Jody Culkin.
To go a bit deeper to understand the Arduino hardware variants and the Arduino’s Interactive Development Environment (IDE):
Arduino also comes in multiple hardware variations to support different types of applications.
What you Need to Purchase
For less than $100, Adafruit Industries offers an excellent starter package, Adafruit ARDX. This package not only includes an Arduino Uno but also all the electronic pieces needed to complete 11 different circuits, along with a experimenter’s guide booklet & breadboard layout sheets.
Installing the IDE
This is the program used to write code for the Arduino. Install the software for you operating system and type of Arduino. I’m assuming Vista and Arduino Uno R3.
- Download the Arduino IED Software
- How to connect your Arduino board to the computer (Windows PC) and upload your first sketch
- Note: Within Device Manager, you may have to go to Action > Add Legacy Hardware to see the Arduino and get the driver installed.
Start Your Education
Using the experiments guide that comes with the Arduino kit, Arduino Experimenter’s Guide (ARDX), and your off and running! Other sites to check out include:
- ARDX Kit Tutorials
- Ladyada’s Arduino Tutorial
- Official Arduino Example Tutorials
- Instructables’ Arduino Section
- Make Magazine’s Arduino Section
- Adafruit Industries
- Sparkfun Electronics
- Education at SparkFun Electronics
- Arduino Tutorials
- Arduino 101: Timers and Interrupts
- Arduino Tutorials
- Machine Science
- Official Forums
Purchasing Arduino Hardware and Supporting Electronics
There are several online retail stores that sell the bits and pieces to make electronics projects possible. Some of the best are:
Robotics is a popular topic for Arduino and these sites specialize in components and kits especially suited for robots:
There are many shields available for the Arduino to accommodate many needs and Arduino Shield List keeps a running list of them.