A while ago, PaulC posted on his blog about this thing called “Arduino.” From his description of it, I couldn’t really get a good idea of what it was. Well, now I know.
The Arduino is a microprocessor. Long story short, it’s a robot brain. PaulC has one. I have one. You probably don’t need one. Unless you have a little time on your hands and you get a thrill out of making some LEDs flash in specific patterns depending on the level of the ambient light. Or similar things.
Anyway. PaulC and I have them as a test-bed/jumping-off point for the robot(s) we’re going to build. I got mine a few days ago and went over to Uncle Paul’s to get a crash course in programming (pronounced: “geek ah-oot”). He showed me a couple of tutorials and sent me all the programs he’s written for it. There’s one to flash some LEDs, one to report data from an ambient light sensor, and one to receive data from the sonar units. There are others as well, but I haven’t played with them yet.
So I rewrote from scratch (just to get a feel for the programming environment) the LED flashing and the photoresistor reader. Then I threw them both in my blender and now I have a robot that lights a red LED when it’s not very bright, lights a yellow LED and a red LED when it gets a little brighter, and turns off the red LED when it’s really bright. When it’s dark, it turns off both LEDs. So much fun.
I haven’t started playing with the Sonar units yet, but I think I’m gonna need some more LEDs.