12 Reasons to Use Arduino as Embedded System

April 23, 2014 by Dragos George Calin | 0 comments

Why is Arduino so popular? Because the team behind the project demystified it, while the whole world of Arduino revolves around electronic projects where many things were redefined from the days when a computer was the size of a room. The Arduino board is based on a microcontroller, which is a good piece of silicon able to be programmed with a particular task in mind.

There are many ways to instantly become more attractive, but one feature should be a priority to others: the simplicity. The Arduino complies in every detail with simplicity, and this is the biggest reason to become a popular embedded system for students, hobbyists, hackers, or researchers, with a growing community where you can find documentation, tutorials and example, free tools, and a wide range of accessories.

A single board computer such as Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black is based on a processor, which is a versatile embedded system compared with Arduino. The Arduino board is based on AVR microcontroller.
Embedded System (photo source)

Embedded System (photo source)

Do you want to start building a line follower robot, a vacuum cleaner robot, an autonomous quadcopter with GPS features, or do you want to enter in the robotics field? For all of these projects and many more ideas you can use this palm-sized device based on Atmel family microcontrollers.
Continue Reading →

8+ DIY Arduino Projects for Both Beginners and Advanced Users in Robotics

April 17, 2014 by Dragos George Calin | 0 comments

This is not an article with the ingenious reinvention of everyday robots, this is an article to enjoy your DIY robotic projects by adding more inspiration and more fun even if you’re a beginner or an advanced user with skills for Arduino microcontrollers.

Used in education, research or as a hobby, the robotic components become more and more affordable in the recent years and allow us to experiment a wide range of robots with a minimum price for a lot of ideas.

From simple to advanced applications, the Arduino projects explored in this article cover applications where are included a wide range of sensors including ultrasonic or infrared sensors, wheels or tracks, Android smartphones, or drones able to detect obstacle in the air and with autonomous control.

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”
Marie Curie

Combining you mechanics, electronics and programming skills, there is always something else to combine and build from scratch or based on kits cool Arduino robots without limits and with a lot of fun.

The list with Arduino projects is not complete and will never be. The reason is simple. Used as an inspiration source, all these robots can be upgraded with new features or even used as a base point. Feel free to share with us your project and also to add your project to this list.

Building a Simple Arduino Robot

Building a Simple Arduino Robot

Building a Simple Arduino Robot

There is only one way to start building robots, and in this case you can start with a simple robot able to detect obstacles and change the path using a simple detecting system and the Arduino board. The project is a wheel based robot with an ultrasonic sensor attached in the front and programmed to detect any obstacle that may interfere with the path of the robot. The robot is powered by 6 AA batteries with a supply power between 4.8V and 6V.

All the robotic parts can be purchased from the Funduino UNO Robotics Kit, but you can replace any of these components with custom parts.
Continue Reading →

MIT SEG – An Affordable Robot Designed to Inspire Students and Hobbyists

April 9, 2014 by Dragos George Calin | 0 comments

In a world full of technology where a smartphone can cost few tens of dollars and a good laptop is very closer to a few hundred dollars, a robot is still a very expensive gadget regardless of the field of use. Any student, hobbyists or researcher dreaming to the day when a robot can be bought at an affordable price and is able to do a wide range of tasks.

To cut the manufacturing cost of a robot, the trend is to build the robot with cheap components, or in the case of DIY projects we can build at home the desire robot using a 3D printer and a single board computer such as Arduino or Raspberry Pi. Nevertheless, the challenge of cutting prices in robotics is not a completed process since so many expensive products on the market are on the ‘cure’ of cutting prices.

The latest project that can result in an ultra-affordable robot for education or for hobbyists is the MIT printable robot called MIT SEG. With a total cost under $50, the MIT origami-inspired Segway robot is perhaps the cheapest robot for education engineered as an open-source platform able to be built using simple tools and affordable components.

MIT Printable Robot

MIT Printable Robot

Continue Reading →

Megunolink: The best Arduino Monitoring Software

March 9, 2014 by Dragos George Calin | 0 comments

Megunolink is a powerful tool for hobbyists and engineers designed for monitoring, serial data plotting, and logging for embedded projects. These kinds of tools are very useful since the Arduino community is growing as well as the number of DIY and commercial applications.

The MegunoLink tool is designed to talk with a series of microcontrollers and especially with Arduino boards. Used together with Arduino IDE, both tools allows you to develop and monitor a large area of serial data as well as simulating serial protocols for devices that are not embedded in the physical system.

In this article, I explore almost all-important features of the MegunoLink software and I give you some reasons to use this software when you need a powerful monitoring tool in your microcontroller projects.


Megunolink Monitor Panel

Megunolink Monitor Panel

The tool offers sufficient features to help you with creative microcontroller applications and let you to monitor at any level the embedded project. MegunoLink was designed with a customizable interface where you can create a control center to visualize in real-time any serial streams from embedded systems, Bluetooth, and network based (UDP) devices.
Continue Reading →

Arduino – Tools and Resources That You Need To Know

December 10, 2013 by Dragos George Calin | 1 Comment

Behind the Arduino project is an experienced team of people with brains that after shakes the hands and rolled up the sleeves, they start to design and build one of the most helpful and easy-to-work device used on a large scale by hobbyists, students, designers, … used by everyone who’s trying to build something intelligent.

Because all of the Arduino minicomputers were built by passionate engineers, peoples with love for technology and how things work, all of these little devices has gone so far that are supported by a community of people who build a wide range of tools and write thousands of code lines to make the work with any of the Arduino devices easier.

This is the charm behind the Arduino boards. These are built by a large community and not by a corporation that thinks just in money.

What is inside and outside of these minicomputers is free to be used by anyone in almost any project, and trust me, a lot of users with electronics and programming skills use this.

Arduino family - photo source

Arduino family – photo source

My aim with this article is to bring all possible Arduino resources in one single list where you can find additional tools for development, resources for simulation, or if you are a beginner to start using an Arduino kit, drivers, libraries and a few other tools. All of these because when you need something related to Arduino and start to search on the Internet, you have the feeling that you’re in a supermarket with a ton of products that waiting for you and you don’t know from where to start and what to buy.
Continue Reading →