The Arduino is one of the flag ship products of the open hardware movement. A simple, microcontroller based motherboard with a well defined pin-out has rendered a whole forest of add-on boards called shields.

But the Arduino movement is not all about hardware. It comes with an easy to use toolchain featuring an IDE for writing and compiling code as well as uploading the results to target. The IDE comes with an easy to use language based on the Wiring. This makes it dead easy to get started with the Arduino. For those of you interested in using C or C++ for development, that is possible too. Wiring uses the gcc-avr toolchain in the end, so the support is already there.

As you might have guessed, February will be devoted to the Arduino. A getting started series based on Lawicel’s Arduino UNO starter kit will be featured every Wednesday.

On Mondays and Fridays we will look at projects built around the Arduino and the various shields available. We cheated and started this two days ago.

On the Arduino Hardware page, you can familiarize yourself with the available form factors. There are more out there – look for Arduino compatible clones – and the project is constantly developing the platform.

For those of you who do not have an Arduino yet. Get one – it is cheap, and a great way to get started with embedded development!

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