According to Wikipedia, in 2013, 700,000 Arduino boards were sold to users worldwide. Arduino family is well-known among students because it facilitates you to grip your programming through microcontrollers and opens a gate to enter 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 do next?, how do I install it? What is an Arduino?
Do not worry, this guide will facilitate you understand more about the Arduino family and its types.
I wrote this guide in the simplest way so, you could learn as effectively as possible and know everything about it. Do not worry, if you are a student, hobbyist, or beginner. You could still learn about it.
Table of Contents
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, and so forth I also used it 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 uploads code to the board.
Arduino has become so popular among students, hobbyists, and folks who are starting out with electronics. Arduino does not require any other piece of hardware just like previous programmable circuit boards. It requires a separate USB cable to upload a new code onto the board. To grasp better 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 of code might look incomplete to you, but it is enough to turn on the built-in LED on your Arduino board. The code in 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 the following things:
- The different 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 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 to 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 its own specification also it comes in multiple sizes. And, they are easily available in the market. There are a few companies like Sparkfun and Adafruit 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 kinds of microcontroller boards available within the market. You only pick those that meet the necessity.
Well, each of the Arduino boards is 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 students and hobbyists prefer making projects with the UNO. You can just start it 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 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; just connect it with your laptop with a USB cable or with an AC-DC adaptor, power bank, and 9V battery.
You can get an advantage of this board if you are a student of electronics and want to play with development boards. More pins and access memory gives 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 that was developed by Arduino with a 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 the input voltage, and 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 is 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 the same functions as other boards. But it comes in small size and saves plenty of space.
Arduino Nano is the smallest board in the Arduino family, breadboard friendly, and based on the microcontroller Atmega 328. It contains 14 digital input, and output pins and has the same functionality just like other Arduino boards. To power up the microcontroller board, use a 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 small circuitry board that adds functionality to your original Arduino board. Do you want to make your Arduino board 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 mess.
There are many shields available in the market that you can easily use 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.