After last week when we were introduced to the project’s subject, it was now time to be introduced to one of the tools we are certainly going to use: the Arduino, a micro-controller. The aim was to discover how to use it, what is possible to do with it and its limits.
As every member of our group is studying mechanics, it has been a long time since our last lines of code but, hopefully Arduino can be programmed using C, the language we mostly worked with. So even if we made careless mistakes as mix up a « for » and a « do…while », we quickly recovered our abilities.
The different exercises were about making LEDs blink, controlling the sequence of lighting of these LEDs or using a seven-segment display. We learned that the Arduino owns digital and analog outputs (inputs also but up to now, we still have not used them) and how to use them. We also learned that their amount is limited so for several applications, it can be useful to use a multiplexer.
Most important, we learned that many of the applications were already developed and open source. Therefor we do not need to re-write all of them, we just have to pick the functions we need and combine them, as we want to reach our goal. This is an interesting part of an engineer’s job, using the modularity of the used tools.