WHAT’S IN THIS CHAPTER?
This chapter deals with choosing the right physical tools for developing a project. Whether you want to measure the temperature in a room or build a robot, you always have things to take into account. You need to consider what it is you want to monitor, the size of the prototype, or the computing power you need.
You have probably heard the statement that everything is a computer nowadays. The use of microcontrollers responds to the paradigm of so-called ubiquitous computing. Computers are everywhere: the average car has 70 processors, your microwave has one, and your cellphone has a couple of them. You can find general-purpose processors that can be reprogrammed into making almost anything. You can also find purpose-specific processors, aimed at solving a certain type of issue such as USB-serial conversion, decoding MP3 sound files, or controlling the movement of a motor.
In this chapter, you learn about sensor technology. Microcontrollers are just the intelligence of your embedded project. To gather data about the world, you need devices that translate real-world data into digital information. Sensors are the interfaces that translate properties of the world such as temperature, acceleration, or intensity ...