The Arduino is the main component and the “heart” of our system. In this lesson, we will tell you all you need to know about it.
Arduino is a microcontroller (this complicated word basically means – small computer).
Why is it special?
Two main things make an Arduino special:
1) While your computer or laptop can connect to devices such as a keyboard, screen, and mouse. An Arduino can be connected to thousands of electronic components such as motors, sensors, and LED lights.
2) Arduino can be easily programmed using your home computer/ laptop.
Before Arduino, programming microcontrollers required complicated equipment.
These two things allow almost everyone to invent and build smart devices without even leaving home!
Below is an example of some projects made using Arduino (there are many similar videos online – if you are interested in seeing more, search for “Arduino project” on YouTube).
What is happening in the video?
Arduino is connected to a sensor and a motor. When the sensor detects an approaching object, the motor is moving and opening the bin.
This concept of collecting data from the environment and reacting to it creates endless opportunities, from smart trash bins to autonomous robots!
We will soon learn more about this amazing device (Arduino) and begin programming it.
Arduino is the company’s name that creates these small computers (and even invented a whole series of them!).
We will be using the Arduino Nano, but there are many different kinds of Arduinos available.
See them all on the Arduino website.
Can you spot Arduino in our kit?
You’ll find our Arduino Nano on a black electronic board inside the control unit.
Alongside the Arduino, you will see other electronic components such as a button, buzzer, on/off switch, and more.
Now that we’ve gotten to know Arduino, it’s time to start programming it to make our racing track smart!