Overview

[ “Arduino Uno SMD” by Snootlab is licensed under CC BY 2.0 ]

I hacked this series of mini-projects in response to the issue of few entry-level tutorials or guides for the Arduino board. Many seem to assume that you have a good foundation in either coding or electronics or both. Others seem to have an agenda that is either focused on electronics or coding principles. For example, the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit Experiment Guide and theĀ ARDUINO STARTER KIT both launch into advanced coding principles pretty quickly. Others, that do focus on coding, have endless activities involving LEDs.

Many thanks to edukits and the Amazing Annoyatron Projects, which make up the bulk of the mini-projects. I have mashed these up a bit and added more explanation of both the electronics and the code and how the two interact.

The other source of projects comes from DIYODE Magazine:

I have added considerable extra guidance with these and have learned quite a bit from my own failures. For example, I had no idea there are two kinds of servos: 180 degree standard and 360 degree continuous servos. It took me days to figure out why servos were just spinning continuously instead of positioning themselves at 90 degrees. It is with considerable regret that I bought a class set of 360 servos times 4 (for Otto the robot).

I hacked and mashed these series of activities with the help of a class of students that were already well grounded in algorithms and advanced javascript structures. Therefore, I too am assuming some grounding in algorithms and programming. If you have stumbled on this resource and you do not have any programming skills, then I recommend starting with a basic programming course before you start. There is a good tradition in learning coding that moves through sequence, selection and iteration and then advanced datatypes and Object Orientated Programming (OOP). If you still want to jump in feet first with programming and embedded systems, then may I recommend these BBC Microbit courses:

If students manage to get to the end and complete all mini-projects and document them, then they will have all the knowledge and skills that they need to begin inventing embedded systems of their own. They will also be able to confidently complete the vast number of project that are available online. The last section, “where to from here” lists further projects; generally, in order of difficulty.