You have probably heard the word "Arduino" before, but you might not know what it means. The simple answer is that an Arduino is a small circuit board that costs about $20 - $30 and can be used to add interactivity to projects.
Say for instance, you'd like to create a gadget that warns you when your car gets too close to the back wall when you are driving it into the garage. You can attach a $10 proximity sensor, a $1 buzzer, and a $.01 LED to the Arduino and mount it to the back wall of the garage. Next, write a small program that tells the buzzer and LED to activate when the sensor detects that the car is getting too close to the wall.
Arduinos are easy to program -- in fact they were made for artists and designers, not engineers (although plenty of engineers use and love Arduino).
In this short video MAKE magazine's Matt Richardson provides an excellent introduction to the Arduino and shows a number of cool things you can do with it.
If you have kids that show an interest in making things, I highly recommend that you buy an Arduino and the book, Getting Started with Arduino, by Arduino co-foudner Massimo Banzi.
See sample pages from this book at Wink. The first thing that struck me about Make Fun!, a collection of toy and game projects from former Mattel designer Bob Knetzger, was how many of my favorite projects from the pages of Make: magazine were his. Bob has contributed to the magazine for over nine years, and […]
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Why buy one of those expensive and confusing universal remotes, clogged with enough buttons to launch a space shuttle, when you could accomplish the same electronic control right on your favorite mobile device? The Blumoo Universal Remote, now just $52.99 in the Boing Boing Store, harnesses the audio power of all your household equipment right […]
You may not love Microsoft Word, but you’ve definitely used it. Other than being one of the most ubiquitous programs on the planet, it’s been the go-to word processing system for more than a quarter-century because it’s as basic as it gets. But occasionally, you’ve got assignments that beg for a lot more options than simple […]
Almost everyone has their smartphone in a case of one kind or another. Beyond simple protection, finding a case that can charge your phone on its own, but doesn’t feel like it’s also adding a couple pounds to the phone’s weight is the tricky part. Billed as the world’s thinnest battery case, the ThinCharge iPhone […]