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Fragmented Development

Arduino: Arrival

The Arduino, as described by the Arduino Homepage, is "an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software." What that means to you may differ with your experience, but to me the Arduino is a little chunk of Italian-made circuit board that can make LEDs blink, can tell how bright the ambient light is, can run motors and mechanisms, and otherwise make electronic components do cool stuff.

There seems to be no limit to what people are capable of doing with one of these, with the addition of the right components. Just search YouTube for Arduino and you'll see what I mean. LED cubes dancing to music, robots that seek out the light – one of the guys from our LUG used his to have his dehumidifier tweet whenever it's full, and again to thank him for emptying it. If you would like to follow his dehumidifier, you can do so: Mark's Dehumidifier.

So, as a step towards building my Linux-powered robot to satisfy a New Years resolution, I picked one up. I also bought a couple wires, LEDs and other random components to test with. It arrived yesterday, and pictures will follow (once I get my camera some batteries).

So far I haven't gotten too much accomplished. I've caused a single LED to blink on a schedule, and to react to the light level of the room using a photoresistor. I've also realized that I don't remember anything from Digital in high school – big suprise. Most of last night was spent looking up resistor color codes and re-learning the basics of electronics.

All things considered, I'm very optimistic about how it's going. I'll keep posting progress here for anyone that's interested!

Tags: arduino

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