What is an Arduino?

Arduino is an open-source microcontroller platform based on a simple input/output (I/O) board and a development environment that implements the Processing language (www.processing.org). You can use Arduino to create interactive standalone objects or connect to software on your computer (such as Processing, Flash, VVVV, or Max/MSP). You can assemble the boards by hand or purchase preassembled, and you can download the open-source IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for free from www.arduino.cc.

The Arduino is an open-source physical computing platform that you can use for sensing both digital and analog input signals and for sending digital and analog output signals to control devices.

Arduino has a universal serial bus (USB) plug to connect to your computer, and a number of connection sockets that can be wired to external electronics such as motors, relays, light sensors, laser diodes, loudspeakers, microphones, and more.
They can be powered through either the USB connection from the computer or from a 9V battery or from a power supply. And they can be operated from the computer or programmed by the computer and then disconnected and allowed to work independently. The specification of the board is open source. This ensures that anybody can create Arduino-compatible boards. As a result of the competition, the boards’ costs have been kept low.

You can sense and respond to touch, sound, position, heat, and light by things made with Arduino. This type of technology, also known as physical computing, is used in all kinds of things from the iPhone to automobile electronics systems. Arduino encourages anyone with curiosity, even those with no programming or electronics knowledge, to use this rich and dynamic technology.

Arduino is a perfect place to start learning about technology, and making projects, it can also be a good tidy forum for robotics.

Learn about Arduino Uno

There is no definitive Arduino board; there are many types of arduino boards with a unique configuration for specified purposes. Deciding the board will be an enormous prospect, as there is an increase in the number of boards, each with unique and exciting perspectives. However, the Arduino hardware archetype, which almost everyone starts with and is ideal for most applications, is regarded as one board. This is the Arduino Uno.

Arduino Uno Specifications

Operating Voltage5V
Input Voltage6V – 20V (limit)
7V – 12V (recommended)
Input Voltage Limits6-20V
Flash Memory32 KB (0.5 KB is used for Bootloader)
Frequency (Clock Speed)16 MHz
Analog Input Pins6 (A0 – A5)
Digital I/O Pins14 (Out of which 6 provide PWM output)
DC Current on I/O Pins40 mA
DC Current on 3.3V Pin50 mA
I2C or I2C1

The major components of Arduino UNO board

Components of Arduino UNO Board
Components of Arduino UNO Board

ATmega microcontroller

The heart or perhaps more appropriately, the brain of the device is that the central processing unit (CPU). It regulates everything that happens in the system. It fetches program instructions stored within the flash memory and executes them. This might involve fetching data from working memory (RAM), changing it, then putting it back. Or, it’s going to mean changing one among the digital outputs from 0V to 5V. The microcontroller used in the Arduino Uno is the ATmega328P, made by Atmel.

USB Port

Used for powering Arduino Uno, uploading sketches to Arduino, and for communicating with Arduino sketch. USB cables are perfect for low-power applications and when data is being sent to or received from a computer. The big metallic socket is a USB port for an A-B USB cable.

Power connector

This is how you power your Arduino when it isn’t plugged into a USB port for power. Acceptable voltages between 7-12V dc.

Reset Button

Resets or completely stops the Arduino program when held down for a time. The same results are achieved by connecting a wire between the GND and the reset pin next to the 3.3V.

TX and RX LEDs

The following LEDs show that your Arduino and your computer are in communication. Expect them to quickly flicker during sketch upload and in serial communication. Useful for debugging.


The only actuator built-in to the Arduino Uno. This LED is also very helpful for debugging in addition to being a handy target to make the first blink sketch.

Power LED

This indicates that your Arduino is receiving power. Useful for debugging.

  • ON is green, which means your Arduino is powered.
  • RX and TX tell you that the Board is receiving or transmitting the data.
  • L is a special LED that connected to digital pin 13. It’s great for testing to check whether your board is functioning as you want.

Power pins

The power pins can be used to distribute power to inputs and outputs anywhere it is needed. Vin, which stands for voltage in, can be used to supply a voltage (V) equal to the one supplied by the external supply jack (for example, 9V). You may also use this pin to deliver power from another source to the Arduino.
GND labels the pins that are essential to complete circuits. There is also a third ground with pin 13. All these pins are linked and share identical (called common) ground.
You can use 5V and 3.3V to supply a 5-volt and 3.3-volt circuits or components power supply, respectively.

Digital pins

The Arduino pins can be programmed as inputs and outputs. You can send and receive digital signals using digital pins. Digital means that the pins have two states: on and off. Electrically terms, both states mean 0 or 5 volts, but no values in between.
Use these pins with digitalRead(), digitalWrite(), and analogWrite(). The analogWrite() function only works on pins that have the PWM symbol (~).

Analog in

To receive an analog value, use analog in pins. A range of analog values is taken. In this case, the range is the same 0V to 5V as with the digital pins, but the value can be at any point — 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, and so on.
Use these pins with analogRead().

What about analog out in Arduino Uno?

The shrewd ones among you may have noticed that there seems to be no analog out pins. There are analog out pins on the board, but they’re hidden in the digital pins marked with the (~) symbol as PWM. PWM means pulse-width modulation, a technique that you can use to give the impression of analog output using digital pins. The (~) symbol appears next to digital pins 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, and 11, indicating the presence of six PWM-capable pins.

Application of Arduino

Real-world monitoring

  • Automated weather station
  • Lightning detector
  • Sun tracking for solar panels
  • Monitoring background radiation
  • Automatic detector of wildlife
  • Home or business security system

⇔ Small-scale control

  • Little robots
  • Rocket Model
  • Aircraft model
  • UAV’s quadrant
  • Simple compact machine tools CNC

⇔ Small-scale automation

  • Automated greenhouse
  • Automated aquarium
  • Laboratory sample shuttle robot
  • Precision thermal chamber
  • Automated electronic test system

⇔ Performance art

  • Control of dynamic lights
  • Control of dynamic sound
  • Kinematic structures
  • Audience-responsive artwork

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