‘Arduino’ – A Physical Computing Platform For Robot Programming

‘Arduino’, based in Italy, is an open-source physical computing platform, based on the ‘Atmel’ ‘AVR’ ‘Atmega’ micro controller board. It is also a development environment for writing programming codes or software for the development board.

The ‘Arduino’ can be developed to interact with objects, inputs and hence, controlling physical outputs like lights and motors. It can be a stand-alone or talk to the computer.

Its programming language is an integration of ‘Wiring’, a similar physical computing platform, based on the ‘Processing’ multimedia programming environment. The programming codes work like a C language programming. ‘Arduino’ is chosen for its many benefits. One would be its price. The ‘Arduino’ software can run on more than one platform; Windows, ‘Macintosh OSX’ and Linux (32bit and 64bit) operating systems. Its simple programming environment, (‘Processing’) is very useful to both micro controller beginners and experts.

Due to its open source nature and free integrated developed environment (‘IDE’), it is a popular choice worldwide. Improvisations of the boards are always being made by experienced circuit designers, under the Creative Commons license

The ‘Arduino IDE’ (version 0018) software functions to write, compile and upload codes to the micro controller. Connection from the computer to the micro controller development board is by ‘USB’. Software or programming codes written in the ‘IDE’ are called sketches, in the text editor. It also has a very useful serial monitor that acts like Hyper Terminal. In this serial monitor, one can see outputs being printed on the computer and debug easily.

Like the C programming language, it is similar in nature. Basic structure of the ‘Arduino’ programming language is simple and runs in a minimum of two blocks of codes, the void setup and void loop. Where by the latter loops continuously, like its said name, and statements in setup are only run once (declarations).

Source by Alfred Chai Wei Liang