A large amount of data generates all around us. We read these data using sensors. Such as we use distance sensors to measure any distance between two objects, use a thermometer to read the temperature, use a humidity sensor to measure the moisture content, and many more. Now the data gathered need to be transformed into some useful information and then a necessary action is required. As an example, if the moisture content read by the sensor indicates low in moisture we need to add moisture. For this purpose, we need to use a pump to start watering. Therefore, we need a device that reads data from sensors and accordingly takes necessary action. Microcontroller and microprocessors perform this task.
In this blog, we will mainly focus on microcontrollers which differ from microprocessors in terms of their computational power. Microcontrollers are in one way self-contained means they have their own memory, RAM, ROM which is not there in microprocessors.
Arduino which we will discuss is an open-source platform for electronics hardware and software. In hardware, they have several electronic boards such as Arduino nano, Arduino mini, Arduino Leonardo, Arduino Uno. For beginners, Arduino Uno is a great choice to perform several projects in which they gather data using sensors and use these data to take necessary action.
Hardware Description of Arduino Uno
At first, we will discuss the brain of the board, the microcontroller. It performs all the tasks on the board. The microcontroller used in it is AtMega328P. There is a 32 KB flash memory to store the program we upload into the board during our operation. IN 32 KB .5 KB is used in bootloader(the program available to turn on the microcontroller and make it ready for our use). It has 2Kb SRAM (RAM available inside the microcontroller). It has EEPROM(Electrically erasable programmable Read-only Memory) of 1 KB.
There are 14 digital pins which are numbered from 0- 13. Besides some of the pins, there is a wave sign. These wave signs indicate these pins are PWM pins. There are 6 PWM pins.
Then there are 6 analog pins number as A0 to A5 from which we input the analog data of the sensors. The analog pins are connected to Arduino using 10 bits ADC(Analog to digital converter). The ADC is required because any microcontroller understands binary language (means level high and level low). And ADC performs the task of converting analog data into digital data.
There are 6 power pins to power the electrical component. But the main concern is that very low power should be withdrawn from the board.
There is a power jack to power the board. It takes dc supply. The recommended range of the voltage supply is 7-12volts. And the range of the supply is 6-20 volts.
There is a USB jack to connect the board to the computer. The program to perform any task is written in Arduino IDE on a computer. Then these programs are then uploaded to the board by connecting using USB ports. When the board is not connected to the computer but still there is a program then we can use that program. And in this case, power can be supplied by using a power jack.
There are some LEDs which are built in it. One Led is when the pin 13 in on then that led turn on. When the signal at pin 13 is low then that led to turning off. There is a power led that turns on when power is supplied in the power jack. And 2 LEDs RX and TX which glow during communication between Arduino to computer or Arduino to Arduino. There is a reset button.
The clock speed of the Arduino is the speed at which the microprocessor executes each instruction. And it 16MHz in the case of Arduino Uno.
This is the basic overview of the Arduino board. The program is written in Arduino IDE(Integrated development environment). Follow the link to know how to download Arduino ide.
Be in contact with us to do some very interesting projects on Arduino. You can buy the Arduino Uno board from the link provided.