Arduino interface boards provide the Evil Genius with a low-cost, easy-to-use technology to create their evil projects. A whole new breed of projects can now be built that can be controlled from a computer. Before long, the computer- controlled, servo-driven laser will be complete and the world will be at the mercy of the Evil Genius!
This book will show the Evil Genius how to attach an Arduino board to their computer, to program it, and to connect all manner of electronics to it to create projects, including the computer-controlled, servo-driven laser mentioned earlier, a USB-controlled fan, a light harp, a USB temperature logger, a sound oscilloscope, and many more.
Full schematic and construction details are provided for every project, and most can be built without the need for soldering or special tools. However, the more advanced Evil Genius may wish to transfer the projects from a plug-in breadboard to something more permanent, and instructions for this are also provided.
So, What Is Arduino?
Well, Arduino is a small microcontroller board with a USB plug to connect to your computer and a number of connection sockets that can be wired up to external electronics, such as motors, relays, light sensors, laser diodes, loudspeakers, microphones, etc. They can either be powered through the USB connection from the computer or from a 9V battery. They can be controlled from the computer or programmed by the computer and then disconnected and allowed to work independently.
At this point, the Evil Genius might be wondering which top secret government organization they need to break into in order to acquire one. Well, disappointingly, no evil deeds at all are required to obtain one of these devices. The Evil Genius needs to go no further than their favorite online auction site or search engine. Since the Arduino is an open-source hardware design, anyone is free to take the designs and create their own clones of the Arduino and sell them, so the market for the boards is competitive. An official Arduino costs about $30, and a clone often less than $20.
The name “Arduino” is reserved by the original makers. However, clone Arduino designs often have the letters “duino” on the end of their name, for example, Freeduino or DFRduino.
The software for programming your Arduino is easy to use and also freely available for Windows, Mac, and LINUX computers at no cost.
Although Arduino is an open-source design for a microcontroller interface board, it is actually rather more than that, as it encompasses the software development tools that you need to program an Arduino board, as well as the board itself. There is a large community of construction, programming, electronics, and even art enthusiasts willing to share their expertise and experience on the Internet.
To begin using Arduino, first go to the Arduino site (www.arduino.cc) and download the software for Mac, PC, or LINUX. You can then either buy an official Arduino by clicking the Buy An Arduino button or spend some time with your favorite search engine or an online auction site to find lower-cost alternatives. In the next chapter, step-by-step instructions are provided for installing the software on all three platforms.
2. A Tour of Arduino
3. LED Projects
4. More LED Projects
5. Sensor Projects
6. Light Projects
7. Sound Projects
8. Power Projects
9. Miscellaneous Projects
10. Your Projects
Appendix Components and Supplies
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