Arduino is one of the best fun hobbies you can learn DIY hobbies you can learn DIY hobbies you can learn because it involves a bit of everything: circuits, coding, DIY, problem solving, creativity, etc. But even if you have no experience with this, you should still learn Arduino — even if only the basics.

But what such Arduino? Why such a strange name? What can you do with this? Is this a good match for you? And if so, what is the best way to start? We’ll cover all of this and more in this article.

1. What is Arduino?

In technical terms, Arduino is single board microcontroller . But in layman’s terms? A credit card-sized printed circuit board with input and output pins that can connect various other electronic components with wires; resistors, LED diodes, motors, fans, buttons, speakers, sensors and more!

It’s basically Lego Mindstorms for adults. The Arduino board is the brain, and you can mix and match different components as you see fit, and then program the board to output signals based on the inputs (for example, press a button to turn on the motor).

2. Who invented the Arduino?

Back in 2003, students at the Ivrea Interaction Design Institute in Italy were using what was called the BASIC Stamp microcontroller in their electronics research. Unfortunately, this was expensive equipment (about $100 at the time), which led one Hernando Barragán to set out to create an inexpensive alternative as part of his master’s thesis. It was called Wiring.

Later that year, Barragan project leader Massimo Banzi split the Wiring platform into a separate direction and named it Arduino. Both Wiring and Arduino are open source projects, and both exist to this day, although Wiring hasn’t been updated since 2014.

3. What does «Arduino» mean?

In the early days of the project, before it was disconnected from Wiring, its founders would often meet at a bar in Ivrea, Italy called Bar di Re Arduino. The bar itself was named after Arduin of Ivrea, who was an Italian nobleman who ruled as the chosen king of Italy between 1002 and 1014. Therefore, in honor of this meeting place, the project was named Arduino.

4. What are the Arduino models?

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First things first: Arduino is a brand name that only applies to official boards made by the Arduino company. But since the Arduino project is open source, you can find many derivatives released by other teams, often referred to in «-ino» variants (such as Freeduino).

Naturally, this leads to a confusing landscape with hundreds of options.

Even under the official Arduino brand, there are dozens of boards: Arduino Uno, Arduino 101, Arduino Mega, Arduino Zero, Arduino Due, Arduino Yun, etc. And how are they different? Processors, operating voltage, number of I/Os, RAM limits, USB port types, etc.

Suffice it to say that no board is «better» than another. Each one has a unique purpose, and the «right» one depends on what you’re planning to do (see our board selection guide).

5. What can I do with Arduino?

All kinds of things — the sky is the limit! We’ve covered dozens of interesting Arduino projects in the past, so here’s a rundown of what’s possible.

People have used the Arduino to create, play, and augment music, all the way down to a house plant that «sings» when touched. People have used Arduino to furnish their homes. : Garage door openers, home security alarms, and even automatic pet feeders. And if you want to get really advanced, you can even create fully functional robots. robots

Once you understand how all the main components work, all you have to do is creatively put them together in interesting ways. For more ideas, check out these inspirational Arduino projects.

6. What languages ​​can I use with Arduino?

When all the electronic components are connected, you still need to program the Arduino board logic in order to what- then do . To do this, you need a programming language.

The official Arduino language is a simplified derivative of C/C++, so if you have any experience with this, then you should go ahead. We recommend using the official Arduino language if you can because it guarantees complete coverage of the Arduino API and platform.

But other languages ​​are available including C#, Python, and several visual scripting languages ​​that are great if you have absolutely no programming experience.

7. Should I choose Arduino or Raspberry Pi?

The Arduino and Raspberry Pi are often mentioned hand in hand, but they are not the same thing and do not serve the same purpose.

While the Arduino is microcontroller Raspberry Pi is microcomputer This means that the Raspberry Pi can do a lot more than the Arduino, but it’s also more complex. In general, the Arduino is used for electronics projects (such as touch-opening locks) and the Raspberry Pi is used for software-oriented projects (such as running a media server).

For more details, see our post on the differences between Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

8. Where should I buy an Arduino?

Official boards, shields, kits and components can be purchased from the Arduino Store. You can also buy official and unofficial Arduino products online through Amazon and Aliexpress (read this if you have concerns) and these options are often cheaper.

But if it’s your first time, skip the purchase only Arduino and use a starter kit instead. They come with everything you need to get started. View our recommended Arduino starter kits .

9. What is included in the Arduino Starter Kit?

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In addition to the Arduino board itself, a starter kit usually includes:

  • mock up
  • Led lights
  • Jumpers
  • USB-A to USB-B cable
  • Capacitors and resistors
  • Starter projects and guides

Depending on how expensive the kit is, it can also include any number of the following: accelerometers, motors, switches, displays, potentiometers, transistors, buttons, and registers.

Confused by what all this is? We explain it all in our detailed review of Arduino starter kits.

10. How to get started with Arduino?

If you’ve come this far and are interested in jumping, then we’ll start with the right foot. Start by purchasing the Arduino starter kit we recommend above, or another one you can find online. None of them bad .

Once that’s done, check out our article on the first steps after buying an Arduino. It includes tips for mastering your starter kit as well as online resources for learning Arduino. You should also check out our beginner’s guide to Arduino.

After you play around and get comfortable, try making some of these starter projects for Arduino starter kits. then go to these Arduino project ideas for beginners. Stick with it and you’ll be doing amazing things in a few months!

Have unanswered questions? Or maybe you have some tips for other Arduino newbies? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!

Image Credit: kues/ Depositphotos

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