Arduino at Stanford

Day One


Let’s jump right into Arduino, then we’ll backtrack and talk about electronics and programming

  1. Install Arduino from (Mac: Don’t forget to install driver)
  2. Connect the Arduino to your computer. (Windows: install driver if necessary.)
  3. Make built-in LED blink (file->examples->basic->blink)
  4. If LED was already blinking you can’t tell whether you did anything. Change the blink speed and confirm that it is blinking because of what you did.

How did that work?

  1. Intro to electronics
  2. Intro to microcontrollers
  3. Intro to programming

Back to Arduino

  1. Blink external LED on solderless breadboard
  2. PWM
  3. Inputs and Outputs, digital and analog

Chain Reaction exercise

Day Two

Insanely impossibly difficult challenge

At the end of the day, however, Arduino is not important. What then is important?

  1. Interfaces to the physical world (sensors and actuators)
  2. Behaviour


  1. Sensor categories
    1. Resistive
    2. Analog voltage
    3. Digital
    4. Other
  2. The problem with sensors
  3. Where to get
  4. What I have


  1. What do actuators do? What can electricity be converted to?
    1. Heat
    2. Light
    3. Electromagnetic
      1. Solenoids
      2. Motors
      3. Relays

Using sensors and actuators

  1. Actuators
    1. Controlling higher current
    2. Controlling higher voltage
    3. Controlling AC
    4. Isolation for safety and when circuit is unknown
  2. Sensors
    1. Sensing high current
    2. Sensing high voltage
    3. Sensing AC
    4. Isolation for safety and when circuit is unknown


  1. Communicating with computers
  2. Processing
  3. More about programming
    1. Sequentiality
    2. Conditionals
    3. Timing
    4. Learning your way around the Arduino reference

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