June 20, 2015

Getting started with the Arduino

Arduino-Logo  Where do I start?


Arduino boards are controlled using the Arduino Integrated Development Environment which provides a user console for creating or modifying code.

Step-by-step instructions for setting up the Arduino software and connecting it to an Arduino Uno, Mega2560, Duemilanove, Mega, or Diecimila Board.

Alternative Development Environments for Beginners

ArduBlock is a graphical programming add-on to the default Arduino IDE. Instead of memorizing cryptic functions, forgetting semicolons, and debugging code, ArduBlock allows you to build your Arduino program by dragging and dropping interlocking blocks.

Minibloq is a graphical programming environment where groups of blocks are stacked on top of each other to create your program. Unlike ArduBlock, however, Minibloq is a stand-alone program – no Arduino install required.

Scratch for Arduino – More visual programming! Scratch for Arduino (S4A) is a riff on the popularScratchprogramming environment. If you’re an experienced Scratch user, this is most definitely worth checking out

Alternative Development Environments for Advanced Users

Arduino IDE for Atmel StudioAtmel Studio is an incredibly powerful tool for programming and debugging AVR chips like those on the Arduino. If you’re looking for a more advanced approach to Arduino, or Atmel chips in general, check out this extension to Atmel Studio.

Alternative Development Environments for Advanced Users and Social Coding

Codebender takes the Arduino IDE to the “cloud”. Using Codebender, you can write, compile, and run your code all through a web browser.

Codebender has all of the features you’d find in normal, “offline” Arduino, and even some that are unique to the web-based IDE. It’s an awesome tool if you’re into sharing your code, contributing to others, or just discovering what other Arduino users are up to.

Setting up Codebender is super quick-and-easy: visit the website, create an account, install the plugin, and start coding/uploading! There’s no waiting for 100MB+ downloads, or installing any software, just pure cloud-based, hardware-programming fun.

Since Codebender is cloud-based, it lends well to “social coding”. They’ve got an amazing system geared around DIT (do it together), making it easy to share code and piggyback off of others.

Every sketch you write can easily be embedded into another webpage, so your friends and readers can easily peek through your code. With the right browsers (Chrome or Firefox) and plugins installed, they can even upload it to their Arduino directly from your web page. Try it out!