After finishing that last final of the academic year, it’s all too easy to walk away from campus and fully immerse yourself into what I call “Summer Mode”. There’s no homework to worry about, no lectures to listen to, and NO DEADLINES. This is a time of pure relaxation and wearing sweatpants (unless you have to work but that’s a different story). Summer after summer, I have fallen for this paradise only wishing I had been more productive in my free time. This summer I made a commitment to better myself both personally and professionally.
Out of all the goals I had set for myself this break, I have chosen to show you one. As a mechanical engineering student, our time in the electrical and electronics field can be limited to one class and one lab. We almost have to take it upon ourselves to learn more than just the basics. After taking a few classes dealing with measurements, system response, and sensors, I realized that I have a deep fascination of electronics and computer programming. I figured the best way to continue my education in these fields was to buy an Arduino starter kit online.
You’re probably wondering…what is an Arduino? Arduino is an open-source physical computing platform first introduced in 2005. It was designed to provide students with an inexpensive and easy way to learn electronics, fast. Today, Arduino provides both microcontroller boards and a simple Integrated Development Environment (IDE) software. The uses are endless and projects can range from controlling simple robots to controlling 3D printers.
An Arduino board is a tool for gathering various inputs from sensors or switches and quickly reacting through outputs such as motors or actuators. The board controls this process by an uploaded program written in the IDE. This enables the creator to make a connection between the physical world and the electronics world.
I ordered the Ultimate Arduino Uno Starter Kit by Vilros which can be found online. It has a wide variety of basic components from simple resistors to a LCD screen module and of course the Arduino board itself. The included tutorials range from turning a LED on and off to displaying captured data on the LCD module. I plan to show you my completed projects in the next few posts of this series, as well as the code used to make them all work. Please stay tuned!
Visit Arduino.cc if you would like to explore the world of Arduino for yourself!