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This Budget Device Can Do EVERYTHING!

by Himanshu Srivastava and Aishwarya Iyer on February 22.

A device that fits in your palm and does more than a workstation!

Have you ever imagined a device that can become a robot, solve a Rubik’s cube, beat you at chess and automate your home while being smaller than your mobile?
No? Well, the future is here!
Arduino is a tiny device that has become more popular than ever in recent years, with more geeks recognising its potential. It can be found with ease and costs less than $5 ( 350INR) for the base model. With such an affordable price and seemingly no limitations, it has become one of the best sellers in the tech arena.

What is Arduino?

Arduino is a simple open-source electronics platform based on hardware and software which are easy to manage.

Screenshot of Arduino IDE
The principle is simple and efficient. Arduino reads an input, be it a light signal, a Twitter message or a temperature change. It then converts it into a suitable output, in the form of a message, posting something on your Facebook feed, turning on your coffee machine for your morning cup of coffee or triggering alarms all-around your home. You name it, Arduino does it!
Fantabulous question!
There are a myriad of devices available similar to Arduino in the market, but Arduino does take a lead in multiple aspects, making it one of the best choices.
Some of the advantages are:

  1. Inexpensiveness – Arduino boards are dirt-cheap. The base model starting at $5(350 INR) makes it an easily affordable option.
  2. Cross-Platform Availability – Arduino has evolved tremendously. No matter if you have a Windows PC, a Linux one or even a Mac, it has you covered. The source code works seamlessly on all of these.
  3. Open Source Code – The code for Arduino is completely open-source and hence the code for doing seemingly anything can be found online with ease! NO MORE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS TO SPEND DEBUGGING YOUR CODE!
  4. Open Source Hardware – Open Source Code itself seals the deal for me, but Arduino goes a step further and offers open-source hardware as well! You can LITERALLY make your own Arduino at home!

What Can It Do?

A Working Model of a Robot built using Arduino UNO

The answer to this is, an Arduino can do nearly everything. The only thing which limits the uses of an Arduino is your imagination.

An Arduino can be made into a robot that dances, a coffee machine that wakes you up with a warm cup of Cappuccino, a chess bot, a smart home control, a weather monitor tool, a reminder, a laser printing machine as well as a fighter robot!

If you’re creative enough, there’s nothing an Arduino can’t do.

The question to ask is, Is there anything it CAN’T do?

A Voice Controlled Coffee Machine Using Arduino UNO

How do I get started?

All you need to get started with Arduino is the software, the Arduino board and a USB cable!
Let’s get started!
Arduino offers various versions that can be downloaded from Here
Once you chose your preferred version, check the download options and install the software compatible with your device.
Once your download process is complete, follow the following steps to complete the installation process.

  1. Open the setup.
  1. Click ‘I Agree’

 

  1. Click ‘Next’

 

  1. Click on ‘Install’ to complete your setup!

Once the software is installed, open it.

Connecting the Arduino Board:

Connect your Arduino to your laptop/PC using a USB cable to power your Arduino. Once connected, the Arduino should glow green indicating it has been turned on.

Using the software:

Open the software. You can either start a new project or open one of the sample projects offered by Arduino.

  • To open a new project:

Its file 🡪 new [ or Ctrl + N]

  • To open a sample project

Its file 🡪 examples 🡪 basics 🡪 whatever you prefer

  • Once a project is open, Select your Arduino board from the Tools Option
  • Select a serial port that will also be shown in the Tools menu. It is most likely to be a COM3 or higher.
  • Once that’s done, we will now upload our programme to our board using the Sketch Upload option, and we will see the RX and TX LEDs on our board blinking. Once the upload is complete, we will receive a status update stating that the upload is complete!

That’s all!

YOU HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED ALL THE PROCEDURE NEEDED TO GET STARTED WITH ARDUINO!

Have fun and go crazy with your projects!

Conclusion

An Arduino is a must-have for any tech enthusiast, and it will be your building block into the infinite world of creativity. Once you start, the only way is up!

Although it is just a tool, getting the perfect tool is essential for exponential growth in any field. An Arduino does just that. Be it a beginner or an experienced tinkerer, Arduino never fails to excel.
The toughest step in any field is none other than the first step. All the pieces fall into place once you take the first step.
Start today. Get the Arduino board that suits your needs, and get tinkering!
Confused about where to start? We got you covered. Buy the base edition here: Arduino Nano