FIGURE 3. The Arduino integrated development environment (IDE)
provides a centralized place to write, compile, and download
programs to the Arduino board.
volt battery is ideal. Anything higher than 12 volts is not
recommended as it could cause the regulator to overheat.
For robotics, I think it’s best to power the Arduino from
its own battery. The ArdBot uses a split supply where the
Arduino is powered by a nine volt transistor battery; a
Arduino resellers and custom shield projects. Convenient
premade nine volt battery clip and 2.1 mm barrel connector
(see product #80), and nine volt battery holder with switch
The main Arduino site provides downloads, tutorials,
references, design schematics, and other information useful
for learning about and using the Arduino family of boards.
Manufacturers of the AVR microcontrollers used in the
Arduino. See their site for datasheets (in PDF format).
Custom machined decks, servo mounting hardware, and
assembly hardware for the ArdBot.
Home of the Freeduino collaborative project.
60 SERVO 11.2010
separate four-cell AA battery holder is used for servo
motors and other components that don’t require voltage
Indicator LEDs are provided on the Arduino for testing
and verification. A small green LED shows power; two other
LEDs show serial transmit and receive activity and should
flash when the board is being programmed from your
computer. A fourth LED is connected in parallel with digital
I/O line 13 and serves as a simple way to test the Arduino
and make sure it is working properly. We’ll use this feature
in a simple example later on in this article.
Programming the Arduino
Microcontrollers depend on a host computer for
developing and compiling programs. The software used on
the host computer is known as an integrated development
environment, or IDE. For the Arduino, the development
environment is based on the open source Processing
platform ( www.processing.org) which is described by its
creators as a “programming language and environment for
people who want to program images, animation, and
The Arduino programming language leverages an open
source project known as Wiring ( wiring.org.co). The
Arduino language is based on good old-fashioned C. If you
are unfamiliar with this language, don’t worry; it’s not hard
to learn, and the Arduino IDE provides some feedback
when you make mistakes in your programs.
Reseller of Arduino products and manufacturer
(with Solarbotics) of the Freeduino SB.
Not resellers of Arduino, but they offer continuous rotation
servos, wheels, and sensors.
Wheels, continuous rotation servo motors.
www.robotshop.ca (Canada); www.robotshop.us (US)
Full service retailer carrying most all of the official
Arduino lineup, plus servo motors, solderless breadboards,
Continuous rotation servos, five-cell AA battery packs
with attached 2.1 mm barrel connector, Arduino, and
Reseller of the Arduino and manufacturer of custom