What Do You Need to Know?

This is a book about building a mind-controlled robot. It’s not meant as the first book on beginning with Arduino.

If you are just getting started and want a beginner book on Arduino, see our Make: Arduino Bots and Gadgets (MABG) from O’Reilly (2011). We’ll point out relevant chapters below.

Before you start, you should have experience in the following:

  • Basics of Arduino

    • Installing the Arduino IDE
    • Running Arduino’s most basic program (Blink)
    • Writing your own simple Arduino programs
  • Basic mechanical building skills

    • Soldering
    • Drilling

You need to know the basics of programming Arduino. You should make sure you can run a “hello world” or “blink” example on your Arduino before you try anything else. This means that you should also have the Arduino IDE installed. If you need help with this, see “Starting with Arduino” (page 18) in MABG. For hand-holding walkthrough code examples, see any of the projects in that book. You may also want to look at Massimo Banzi’s Getting Started with Arduino (O’Reilly, 2011) if you need a beginner’s introduction. However, as a prospective robot builder, you will find the projects in MABG an excellent complement to the one in this book.


Running Ubuntu Linux? Starting from Ubuntu 11.04, you can sudo apt-get install arduino. For other distributions of Linux, see http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learning/Linux.

You should have basic mechanical building skills. You’ll solder wires to an RGB LED and your own connections to MindWave. ...

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