IN THIS CHAPTER
Discovering what Arduino is
Learning where Arduino came from
Introducing the basic principles
Arduino is made up of both hardware and software.
The Arduino board is a printed circuit board (PCB) designed to use a microcontroller chip as well as other input and outputs. The board has many other electronic components that are needed for the microcontroller to function or to extend its capabilities.
A microcontroller is a small computer contained in a single, integrated circuit or computer chip. Microcontrollers are an excellent way to program and control electronics. Microcontroller boards have a microcontroller chip and other useful connectors and components that allow a user to attach inputs and outputs. Some examples of devices with microcontroller boards are the Wiring board, the PIC, and the Basic Stamp.
You write code in the Arduino software to tell the microcontroller what to to-do. For example, by writing a line of code, you can tell an light-emitting diode (LED) to blink on and off. If you connect a pushbutton and add another line of code, you can tell the LED to turn on only when the button is pressed. Next, you may want to ...