Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments

Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software on running on a computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP).

There are different version of Arduino. The one we are using is Arduino UNO, which is made with Atmel ATmega328.

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You also need a standard USB cable (A plug to B plug) to connect the Arduino board to computer.


Software environment – Arduino IDE

Open the Arduino folder and double-click the Arduino application. You can see the following window, this is theintegrated development environment (IDE) of Arduino. We will write, upload and test our programs using this IDE. We will explain the detail of the user interface of the IDE in the coming lessons.

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Connection with computer

Connect the board to computer via USB, you can see the power LED of the board is on and the board is detected by the system.
To upload the program to the board we next to tell the IDE the version of Arduino. Open the “tool -> board” menu and select”Arduino Duemilanove” to select the Arduino version.
Arduino uses USB Serial Port, its communication port is named COM port on windows platform. We can find the correspondence COM port out in the device manager (in the case below, the port is COM4).


In the Arduino IDE, open the menu “Tools -> Serial Port” to select the correct port.
Now we are ready to test our board and start to write our first program!