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Part 2: Robotics Starts at home; All about Arduino.

Before starting to read this, I highly recommend you to first read the previous blog Click here to read Part 1 and also watch this recorded webinar below where I have in detail about robotics and ai in general. If you seriously want to go into depth about robotics, go step by step. It will be worth it.

If you are done with the above two things, hats off to you.

Carry on with your path of success.

So here we start with this:

What is Arduino and Why Arduino

Arduino is an open-source platform used for building electronics projects. Arduino consists of both a physical programmable circuit board (often referred to as a microcontroller) and a piece of software, or IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that runs on your computer, used to write and upload computer code to the physical board.

Talking about the key features of this Arduino Board:

1) Rather than buying a 100 dollars board, a pre-assembled Arduino board costs less than $50.

2) Another key feature is that it is friendly to every platform. Works on Windows, Linux, IOS, etc.

3) It is open source. All the codes and instructions are given in bulk on the net. You just need to focus on innovating something new from it.

For example like I did; I made an autonomous plant watering by Arduino. The main function of this robot was to go to the plant, detect moisture, and accordingly water the plant. I will be telling you about this project in brief in the following blogs. Till then watch this video of my project illustration.

4) Last but not least, It is easy (no rocket science involved) :)

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What is Arduino Board?

Now we will be discussing few key elements of the Arduino Board :

1) Power

Every Arduino needs a power source to work. Arduino Uno can be powered by three sources.

  1. Barrel Jack – The Barrel jack, or DC Power Jack can be used to power your Arduino board. The barrel jack is usually connected to a wall adapter. The recommended voltage for most Arduino models is between 6 and 12 Volts.

  2. VIN Pin – This pin is used to power the Arduino Uno board using an external power source. The voltage should be within the range mentioned above.

  3. USB cable – when connected to the computer, provides 5 volts at 500mA.

2) Pins

The pins on your Arduino are the places where you connect wires to construct a circuit (probably in conjunction with a breadboard and some wire).

Confused, What are breadboard and jumper wires?

Breadboard: A breadboard is a widely used tool to design and test circuits. You o not need to solder wires and components to make a circuit while breadboard using a bread board. It is easier to mount components & reuse them.

Jumper wires: They are simply wires that have connector pins at each end, allowing them to be used to connect two points to each other without soldering. Jumper wires are typically used with breadboards and other prototyping tools in order to make it easy to change a circuit as needed.

The Arduino has several different kinds of pins, each of which is labeled on the board and used for different functions:

  1. Ground or GND: These pins are used to ground circuits. Note: The GND pins are used to close the electrical circuit and provide a common logic reference level throughout your circuit. Always make sure that all GNDs (of the Arduino, peripherals, and components) are connected to one another and have a common ground.

  2. 5V: This pin provides 5V Voltage to the circuits.

  3. Analog Pins: These pins are for reading analog voltage values from sensors and convert them into a digital value, that can be read. In Arduino Uno, there are 6 analog pins labeled A0-A5.

  4. Digital Pins: These pins are for both digital input (reading the state of the switch) and digital output (controlling the LED). In Arduino Uno, there are 14 digital pins (0 -13). Alert: It’s important to note that each pin can provide/sink up to 40 mA max. But the recommended current is 20 mA and the absolute max current provided (or sank) from all pins together is 200mA.

  5. PWM Pins: You may have noticed the tilde (~) next to some of the digital pins (3, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11 on the UNO). These pins act as normal digital pins, but can also be used for something called Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM). They are used as analog output (like fading an LED in and out).

  6. RX – TX: These are serial communication pins, used to communicate with other Arduino boards as well as computers.

3) Reset Button

It is given to reset the code which is already uploaded to the Arduino Board.