Chapter 3. Build a Better Doorbell
Now that the wheels are in motion, you’re probably itching to create something practical. Let’s get on with it. We’ll briefly introduce the Arduino microcontroller system, with basic instructions for configuration and use. Since this isn’t an Arduino book, we’ll cover only what you need to know to get this project done. If you’re new to Arduino and interested in learning more, ample references to other books and sites will be provided to help you learn whatever is beyond our fairly narrow scope. After getting up to speed on basic serial concepts and simple protocols, we’ll execute a series of doorbell projects that build in creative complexity as you gain skill. Knock, knock. Who’s there? Wireless interaction!
ZigBee and Arduino
Arduino and XBees can work extremely well together in wireless sensor systems. They are both great prototyping tools.
Arduino (Figure 3-1) is an open source microcontroller system that’s very popular with prototypers, do-it-yourself enthusiasts, interaction designers, and educators. The system is designed to be easy to learn, easy to use, flexible, and fast to develop with. Microcontrollers are little computers that do specific jobs, such as taking input from switches and sensors and then deciding whether to turn on a light or ring a bell. They’re widely used in portable devices, including the types you might want to use in a wireless sensor network. Here’s how the Arduino project describes itself on its website ...