Learn Arduino development by creating over 15 mini projects with step-by-step guided video instruction and a custom learning board.
About this project
This project consists of three main things:
1) Arduino Learning Board
After prototyping countless projects, I designed this board to make creating your first circuits and mini-projects as simple as possible, and to be my “go to” board for all of my new projects. The Learning Board combines an Arduino Nano with a solderless breadboard, and brings every pin of the Arduino out to headers along the sides of the prototyping area. The Learning Board also includes 2 LEDs and 2 push-button switches for use in all of your projects.
2) 15+ Sensors and Components
- LCD Display (16 Character by 2 Line)
- Temperature/Humidity Sensor
- Dual Axis Joystick
- 5V Relay Module
- Heartbeat Sensor
- 3-Axis Gyro
- Sonar Range Sensor
- Real-Time Clock
- Sound Sensor
- Servo Motor
- Stepper Motor and Controller
- 7-Segment Display + IC Controller
- Clock Display
- Tilt Sensor
- RFID Kit
- Resistors, Hook up wires, everything else you need to complete all mini-projects.
3) Step-By-Step Video Tutorials
This is the real value of this project. I’ve partnered with Udemy, one of the leading online learning sites, to create and deliver an online course you can access on-demand, at your own pace, on your own time, and on virtually any device. The course will be broken down into modules, which will start at the very beginning with attaching your Learning Board to your computer and writing your very first program (blinking the LED built into the Arduino Nano). From there we will continue to explore the Arduino programming language structure as well as how to use the Arduino Learning Board’s built in prototyping area, LEDs and buttons. After you’re comfortable with the Learning Board, we’ll move on to lessons dedicated to each sensor / mini-project.
To ensure success and eliminate frustration for anyone hoping to learn Arduino and experience the excitement of creating something yourself.
Arduino is an inexpensive, yet very powerful and flexible, microcontroller platform. The programming language is easy to learn and can be developed on Windows, Mac, Linux and even Chrome OS.
As a software engineer with a background in electrical engineering, being able to type a few lines of “code” and then with one click transfer those commands into a small, inexpensive, piece of hardware (an Arduino) and see the hardware “come alive”, is still so incredibly satisfying.
The idea for this project started shortly after I purchased an Arduino Starter Kit. I was looking forward to experimenting with all of sensors and devices it included for use in my own projects. The kit I purchased was advertised as the “Best Starter Kit For Arduino”. When I received the kit, I was disappointed that there was no manual, no “Quick Start Guide”, not even a link to a website.
Then began my hunt for information. Connecting the Arduino to my computer and downloading my first simple test program was relatively easy after a visit to https://codebender.cc, a cloud-based Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment). But that’s where the easy part ended.
As you’ll learn through the step-by-step videos included with this project, an Arduino program (called a Sketch) consists of “code” you type yourself (or copy/paste from other examples) and larger blocks of programming called Libraries. Libraries are blocks of programming written by others to accomplish specific tasks or communicate with specific sensors. For example, if you want to use a LCD screen in your project, rather than researching the exact sequence of commands necessary to display letters and words on the LCD screen, you simply reference an appropriate “LCD Library” which does all of the heavy lifting for you and you can write far easier code like lcd.print(“Hello, world!”).
The problem that I ran in to, which this project aims to solve, is that most of the sensors I received in my “Best Starter Kit” didn’t have part numbers, they didn’t include references to any specific libraries, and they certainly didn’t include any sample programs. I often had to try many different libraries and try many different sample programs before finding the right combination that would work.
My focus has been, and will continue to be, your success. All you need is a computer and Internet access, everything else is included. Each lesson will focus on completing a specific task as well as ideas and suggestions for further experimentation.
While this project focuses on learning to use specific modules (i.e. temperature sensor, LCD screen, joystick, etc.), future projects are planned where you will extend what you’ve learned to build complete products including a robot arm, digital FM radio and a WiFi Internet Radio player.
Risks and challenges
I’ve already successfully designed and built initial versions of the Arduino Learning Board and have purchased small quantities of all of the components needed for the mini-projects. Only minor adjustments to the Learning Board design are necessary before larger quantities can be manufactured.
While challenges may arise such as delays with sourcing of the components, PCB manufacturing and assembly, I’ve already established a strong relationship with a local PCB manufacturing company who has over 20 years of experience to minimize any risks and assist in quickly overcoming any challenges.
I’ve designed, manufactured and supported prior microcontroller based projects in the past, and am confident that if any challenges do arise, I will certainly be able to overcome them and make this a successful campaign.
Throughout the campaign and until every last backer has received their reward, I will continue to keep you posted on the project’s progress and will work to minimize any impact on delivery.