Arduino – Introduction to First IoT Hardware

Arduino

Arduino is a general purpose hardware platform that is used by most tech enthusiasts, particularly, IoT beginners to start off their IoT Journey. 

Some Basic Info

Arduino, is called a platform as it has everything that is required to set-up a working IoT system. You can call it a mini computer as it can connect to multiple devices like sensors for creating innovative systems.

This is how it looks in its simplified form!

Broadly, the board have five important blocks

S.NoBlockPurpose
1Power SocketOf Course! To power the system
2USB socketFor firing the code in the board
3Analog Pin Socket For connecting peripheral devices like sensors. 
4Digital Pin Socket For connecting digital peripheral devices
5Reset PinPhysical Pin for resetting the board

For more details, you can download Arduino UNO datasheet

Before we get on to set-up a simple project, I should also tell you about how and where you can write programs. Arduino has a dedicated Integrated Development Environment (IDE) software. This is FREE to use!

You can download the software from here (based on your Computer/Laptop OS). This page is an official page that provides a lot of other useful information as well.

Here is a quick view of menu options of IDE

It’s time to jump into creating a project using the Arduino project. Let’s blink an LED now. I am assuming that you know at least the basics of electronics and computer programming.

Step 1 – What all you need for the project?

  1. Arduino UNO Board
  2. Power Adaptor – 12V
  3. USB cable
  4. Laptop / Computer with IDE installed
  5. LED
  6. Resistor (Axial Type) – 220 Ohms
  7. Breadboard
  8. Jumper wires (for connecting Arduino board to Breadboard)

Step 2 – Connecting the Hardware

Step 3 – Writing the code

Follow these steps:

  1. Connect the USB cable to your computer
  2. Open the IDE
  3. Paste the following code
  4. Save the File as Blink (The lingo is blink sketch)

Note: Please select the board as “Arduino UNO” from Tools Menu

Step 4 – Verify and Upload the software to Arduino board

  1. Click on verify button on IDE – See the menu options in image above
  2. This will compile the sketch and look for errors.  Once it says “Done Compiling” you are ready to upload it to Board
  3. Click on the Upload button on IDE to fire the software on the hardware.

What Next?

While Arduino boards have many flavours like Due, Mega(R3), Leonardo etc.  but the most widely used version is UNO.

After you do a few projects on Arduino, You can move to a more powerful hardware called Raspberry Pi . R-Pi is capable of implementing more complex use cases due to integration of powerful chipsets and accessories like inbuilt Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

However, this does not mean Arduino is not a right board. It depends on your use case.. For simpler use cases, Arduino is the best choice while for complex cases, Raspberry Pi is recommended.

Arduino kit is easily available on e-commerce sites. Here is the link to one of them.

Finally, do, let me know in comments if you want me to write on any new topic. My old & new blogs are available here – My Little Blog!

Cheers!

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