According to Wikipedia, in 2013, 700,000 Arduino boards were sold to users worldwide. Arduino family is quite well-known among students because it facilitates you to grip on your programming through micro controllers and opens a gate to enter into the programming world.
You are sitting on a couch and scrolling up and down on YouTube to kill your boredom and you see a man making different robots using Arduino. You have got no idea what to try and do next? , how do I install it? What is an Arduino?
Do not worry, this guide will facilitate you to understand more about Arduino family and its types.
This guide was written in the simplest way so, you could learn as effectively as possible and to know everything about it. Do not worry, if you are a student, hobbyist or a beginner. You could still learn about it.
What is Arduino?
In the simplest way, Arduino is an open source software and hardware board that is used in controlling motors, sensors, relays, LEDs, etc. It is also used in building different projects such as line following robots. Arduino is based on both a programmable circuit board and a software IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that runs on your laptop. Software is used to write, and then upload code to the board.
Arduino has become so popular among students, hobbyists and folks who is starting out with electronics. Arduino does not require any another piece of hardware just like a previous programmable circuit boards. It requires a separate USB cable to upload a new code onto the board. To grasp better about programming, Arduino software IDE uses the C++ language (simplified version)
Arduino UNO is one among the foremost board within the Arduino family also a good pick for the scholars who just starting with electronics. We will discuss more about the Arduino and what we could do it with these microcontroller boards.
These 8 lines code might look incomplete to you but it is enough to turn on the built in LED on your Arduino board. The code on the above picture might not look good to you now, but by the end of this tutorial and plenty of more tutorials about Arduino for you on our site, we can make complex projects in no time.
What you will learn during this title?
This tutorial will give you knowledge about following things:
- The different kinds of Arduino Boards
- What projects you can do by using an Arduino boards
- What shields can be used in making different projects.
Arduino is such a pleasant platform and it is fit for people of all skills level. Nonetheless, you will have a nice understanding about Arduino in far better way if you study some basic electronics concepts together with your Arduino. We recommend you to review these 3 basic engineering quantities you should know (current, voltage and power) and How to install arduino software for windows concepts before you dive into the Arduino advanced boards.
What are some different types of Arduino Boards?
In the previous heading, we explore the Arduino board which is an open source hardware board. If you are inexperienced then, you might find some difficulty in choosing the proper board. All boards are open source and it means anyone in the world can modify it with their own need, according to their projects.
If you are an amateur then there is a possibility that you haven’t heard about the other Arduino boards. Every board has their own specification also it comes in multiple sizes. And they are easily available in the market. There are a few companies like Sparkfun and Adafruint industries sell Arduino boards with a little change in functionality and it (original Arduino board) was produced by the Italian company Smart projects.
Anyhow, there are many different kinds of microcontroller boards available within the market. You only pick those that meet the necessity.
Well, each of the Arduino boards are discussed below:
- Arduino UNO (R3)
- Arduino Mega2560 (R3)
- LilyPad Arduino
- Arduino Leonardo
- Arduino Nano
What is Arduino UNO?
Arduino UNO R3 is the simplest and most of the students and hobbyists prefer making projects with the UNO. You can just start it by now because it has got everything you need.
It has a microcontroller named Atmega328P and has several digital and analog pins. These pins can also be interfaced with different more boards called Arduino shields and other circuits as well. Arduino UNO has 14 digital pins; out of 14, 6 pins are for PWM output and 6 are for analog input and output pins.
It has got everything you needed it in start; simply power it through an AC-DC adaptor, 9V battery or a power bank to get started.
What is Arduino Mega 2560?
Arduino Mega is an upgraded development board based on Atmega 2560 with more number of pins and memory than an Arduino UNO. It has 54 number of digital input/output pins; out of 54 pins, 16 pins are used for digital input and output pins. It has everything you need it; just connect it with your laptop with a USB cable or with an AC-DC adaptor, power bank, and 9V battery.
You can get advantage of this board if you are a student of electronics and want to play with development boards. More number of pins and access memory give you an advantage. Also, it is recommended for 3D printers and robotics.
What is Lilypad Arduino?
Just like other boards, it is also a type from the Arduino family called Lilypad Arduino. It is designed for wearable applications and e-textiles. Round shape, approximately 2 inches in diameter, Lilypad board can be attached to fabrics, fixed at your hand, sensors and actuator with conductive threads. They are washable.
What is Arduino Leonardo?
Arduino Leonardo is the first development board which was developed by the Arduino with built in micro USB and microcontroller. This means that it can easily be connected to your computer or laptop with a USB cable. You need to double check about the input voltage, make sure you don’t give it an excessive amount of voltage than the required. Otherwise, you might burn your Arduino in the end. Furthermore, because of this built-in USB, it allows you to use computers, mouse, keyboards and more by using its code libraries.
Arduino Leonardo and UNO has almost the same board with the same company, but there are slightly difference between both of them. A guide on difference between Arduino Leonardo and Arduino UNO would help you to understand things better.
What is Arduino Nano?
So far, you understand the most common and used Arduino boards around the world. We cannot neglect the Arduino Nano, it has same functions like other board. But it comes in small size and saves a plenty of space.
Arduino Nano is the smallest board in Arduino family, bread-board friendly and based on the microcontroller Atmega 328. It contains 14 digital input output pins and has the same functionality just like other Arduino boards. To power up the microcontroller board, use mini USB jack. Connect it with a cable to your computer.
Compatible Arduino Shields
In this modern and tech world, Arduino shields are making our lives easier. Arduino shields are a small circuitry board that adds a functionality to your original Arduino board. You want to make your Arduino board as a wifi device and comment under this post? We have a shield for that. You can also combine one or two shields to make one big mac.
There are many shields available in the market that you can easily use it in your projects. Some are listed below:
- Arduino Motor Shield
- Arduino Display Shield
- Arduino Bluetooth Shield
- Camera Shield
- Ethernet Shield
- Arduino Wifi Shield
- Arduino Display Shield
By this far, you must have understood the clear idea about the arduino family. Nevertheless, this will help you in choosing the right board and shield according to your project. If you are still not sure about the boards, let us know in the comment box. I would like to help you in choosing the right board according to my expertise.