Arduino Howto

Arduino is still quite experimental (although already used in teaching). These are the steps you need to follow in order to be up and running.

To use ARDUINO you will need:

  1. the Arduino i/o board
  2. the Arduino IDE
  3. the USB drivers if you have a USB board
  4. a bootloader if you are mounting the board from a blank PCB
  5. learning the programming language and develop projects.

Here is a step by step instruction list and explanation of everything that you need to rapidly get started with ARDUINO.

1 | the Arduino i/o board

The Arduino i/o board is a simple circuit featuring the Atmega8 processor from Atmel. The board is composed of a printed circuit board (PCB) and electronic parts that

2 | Programming Arduino

Arduino IDE

To program the ARDUINO board you just need the Arduino programming environment. The Arduino programming envirominent is a derivation of Processing [ ] therefore it should be very easy to use for those who are accustomed to programming Processing. The Arduino programming language is compatible with the Wiring [ ] language allowing porting applications from the Wiring board to Arduino. Please note the differences between the Wiring and Processing languages [ ].

Download Arduino 0002: Mac OS X [ ] or Windows [ ] or read the release notes [ ].

3 | USB Drivers

If you got a USB board, you will need the drivers as available in the manufacturer to the board we are using. From Arduino-0003 the drivers will be included in the IDE's distribution, but if you are having an earlier version, visit FTDI-CHIP [ ] and get the drivers that better fit you. There are for many different operating systems, including MAC, Windows, and Linux.

4 | The Bootloader

The bootloader is a very tiny program (less that 1K) that resides in the memory of your board. This piece of code "listens" to the serial/USB port whenever you reset your board expecting to get new programs. We use this program because, otherwise, you would need to use an external piece of hardware called programmer in order to send new programs to your board. The programmers are quite expensive, and therefore we have made the board work with this trick.

If you purchased an already made board, or if you were part of one of the official Arduino workshops, you shouldn't worry, since your board already has the bootloader. If you build your own board, or if you are an expert user, you may be willing to learn how we made it. In that case, we have a longer description about the bootloader's functionality [ ].

5 | Learn & Develop projects

5.1 Programming Arduino

After the setup you will have to learn the to program Arduino [ ] that allows you to control and fully take advantage of the ARDUINO[hw] board.

There are also some examples available in the /examples directory inside the arduino directory.

More examples are available on the tutorials [ ] page

There is a preliminary APIReference [ ].

Copyright 2005