What is an Arduino Board

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Gone are the days when prototyping your electronic gadget required you to fiddle with the breadboard. Dirty design, unsteady wire connections and having to do too much to get simple stuff working. Arduino has solved all of that today.

What is Arduino?

Arduino is a company that creates open source hardware and software. They release their designs and source code to the public as open source. They also have a commercial unit that manufactures and sells these Arduino produces single board micro-controller kits that can be used for various DIY and hobby projects.

Now, this is what an Arduino board looks like.

arduino board

You can see the various components on it. The above image is just one of the many variants. There can be a variety of components on the board. Now let us look at the hardware.

The Hardware

The design for Arduino’s hardware is distributed as open source. Here are some of the major components.

  • Arduino boards have an 8 Bit micro-controller with varying number of pins.
  • A flash memory chip to store your program.
  • They have a USB jack that you can use to connect it to your computer.
  • Digital & Analog Pins for I/O.
  • A voltage regulator to regulate the potential.
  • A power LED & Reset Button.

There are many variants of the Arduino board with many combinations. External components like LED lights, sensor chips, and magnetic motors can be used with Arduino boards.

The Software

The software or program instruction for an Arduino board is stored in its flash memory. This is basically a C program. An example for a simple Arduino program would be this.

#define LED_PIN 13                  // Pin number attached to LED.

void setup() {
   pinMode(LED_PIN, OUTPUT);       // Configure pin 13 to be a digital output.

void loop() {
   digitalWrite(LED_PIN, HIGH);    // Turn on the LED.
   delay(1000);                    // Wait 1 second (1000 milliseconds).
   digitalWrite(LED_PIN, LOW);     // Turn off the LED.
   delay(1000);                    // Wait 1 second.

There is an IDE made by Arduino available for all Operating Systems that can upload your programs to the Arduino board. You need to connect your Arduino to your computer using the USB jack.

What Can you do with Arduino?

arduino made copter

Arduino boards can be used to create a prototype of an electronic gadget. Since Arduino design is open source, it has attracted many manufacturers to make compatible components. A lot of cool projects have been made using Arduino, some of them are as follows.

  • Flying Quadcopter
  • Path following robot.
  • Balancing vehicles.
  • Cleaning Robot.
  • Room Lock System.
  • Obstacle avoiding robot.
  • Motion sensing alarm system.

All of these and much more. Arduino’s are mostly used in hobby projects and prototype development since it is very easy to implement it and often cheaper.

Arduino Clones

Since Arduino is open source there are many other small companies that have made boards based on their design. These companies often sell Arduino clones which is totally cool since they work well with the Arduino IDE. These clones are often cheaper in price since they are made locally and might contain components that might be cheap. This may or may not result in those board wearing out sooner. However, there is no reason you should not use it.


An Arduino is a DIY single-board micro-controller kit that can be used to create some cool electronic gadgets. The entire Arduino project is open source which allows other manufacturers to reproduce such boards. This also allows for more compatible components to be built that increases the scope of the Arduino universe.