Arduino, an open source microcontroller that allows developers use of it for DIY (Do It Yourself) and custom projects that can relate with real life daily application. There are a lot of thousands of projects already build using this microcontroller. There are five types of Arduino boards are entry level, enhanced features, internet of things, wearable and 3D printing.
For entry level is suitable for those want to make as their first learning in microcontroller world. There are Arduino/Genuino Uno, Arduino Pro, Arduino Pro Mini, Arduino/Genuino Micro, Arduino Nano, Arduino/Genuino Starter Kit, Arduino Basic Kit and Arduino Motor Shield. Similar to Raspberry PI, a rival to Arduino with is good for entry level. Later we will discuss more details about the comparision between these two. For entry level, mostly Arduino Uno is the most popular compare to the others because the price is cheap and support most of the functions and external device integration such as camera, ultra sonic and DC motor. Besides that it’s really suitable for students for those have basic programming in C++ and it’s easy to use.
If the developers want more advanced functionalites, features and faster performance, they can select for enhanced features type. There are Arduino/Genuino Mega, Arduino Zero, Arduino Due and Arduino Proto Shield. The major differences between these two Arduino are number of pins and memory size. Enhanced features type got a lot number of pins and large memory compare to entry level less number of pins and small memory. You can integrate a lot of external devices such as camera, ultra sonic and DC motor on enhanced features type. Besides that the performance can be more better than entry level type during program execution.
Compare to internet of things, this type can connect to internet or clouds that can exchange the data between internet and the embedded device (Arduino). It can perform machine to machine communications (M2M) and apply it to smart cities. The microcontroller can connect to internet using GSM, ethernet and Wifi. Arduino Yun and Arduino Ethernet Shield support for ethernet connection (LAN or called local area network), Arduino GSM Shield only support for GSM connection (only GPRS, not 3G,4G or LTE) and Arduino Wifi Shield 101 support for wireless connection.
For those interested to wearable technology, they can choose wearable type. There are five microcontrollers, Arduino Gemma, Lilypad Arduino USB, Lilypad Arduino Main Board, Lilypad Arduino Simple and Lilypad Arduino Simple Snap. What actually is wearable? Wearable is a clothing and accessories that integrated with computer and advanced electronic technologies like we seen today. There are a lot of existing wearable technologies out there such as iWatch, android wear, Pabble and Jawbone (3/24). It can be similar with internet of things because it’s connected to the internet but it more on fashion or accessories perspective, it’s wearable.
If you a hobbyist in 3D printing, 3D printing type is a best selection because it’s only one microcontroller that support 3D printing features. It’s called Materia 101. It uses an Arduino Mega2560 with a white shield for controlling 3D printers. It’s open source, not for commercial purpose as all Arduino products.
P.S: For those interested to build DIY projects, can buy online from here, http://my.element14.com/arduino.