Often, project builders are not sure of what they would like to build with their development boards. This happens mostly for two reasons – one, the user has just been introduced to the board and two, the user is unaware of the methods of interfacing and programming sensors, switches and other components. The second category of users is mostly those new to the world of development and in need of some hand-holding.
A Starter Shield
For these newcomers, Matt Wirth has proposed a Starter Shield for Arduino boards. With the Starter Shield, novices can learn how to interface components such as sensors for building their own interesting projects. Learning involves programming the IO headers of the micro-controller on-board the Arduino. Interestingly, users can do this without any assembly of intricate parts, soldering or wiring.
However, since many users may want to solder their own, Matt Wirth plans to release an optional kit, which will come with an assortment of components that the user will have to solder before starting. These will include potentiometers, multiple LEDs, digital and analog push buttons, temperature sensors and light sensors. To make it easy for beginners, Matt will provide lessons for programming these components, so that users can proceed with their unique creations – light meters, temperature sensor alarms, police lights and siren and many more.
An IoT Relay
For those who already have some experience in building projects with the Arduino, may find Wi-Fi and other home automation projects interesting. Of course, there are several kits available for automating homes, but most are expensive and limited in their functionality. This is where project builders can effectively use Team IoT’s IoT Relay for the Arduino board.
For those interested in home automation, IoT is a favorite subject. However, the relay solution provided by Team IoT is not limited to home automation alone. With the IoT Relay, apart from the Arduino board, users can work with any development board and create interesting project such as making automated feeders for their fish tanks.
On the IoT Relay, four outlets allow connecting to any number of devices. There is also a universal voltage control to handle inputs of 12-120VAC or 3.3-60VDC, protected with a thermal circuit breaker. That allows users to control power safely and not damage their devices. However, the IoT Relay, although inexpensive, does not come with an Arduino board and the users are expected to supply their own.
For those beginning to learn to program, code and work with robots, there is nothing better than an educational robot such as Makeblock’s mBot. With STEM or the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics being implemented widely in schools all over the world, Makeblock’s mBot is a learning robot that helps kids with their STEM curriculum.
Featuring the mCore platform of the company, Makeblock’s mBot is based on the open-source Arduino Uno featuring a simpler wiring system. There are no GPIO pins to solder. Instead, the mCore uses RJ25 connectors, color-coded to make it easier to connect other components. Additionally, the board is compatible with Mindstorms’ Lego, other Arduino boards and shields and the Raspberry Pi.