I recently attended an Arduino workshop to get introduced to this micro-controller that is all the buzz in making circles. At the same time, I have been working my way through the book, “The Maker Movement Manifesto” by Mark Hatch.
In order to understand how innovative the Arduino and other micro-controllers or Raspberry Pi and other mini-computers are within a makerspace, we must also understand the evolution of inventions in the last, say, twenty-five years.
Mark Hatch traces the changes in research and development within industries that rely on parts invention and manufacturing as innovation. Now, inventors can join a makerspace in their local area and design and work through the creation of a part or machine to change how their business is done. The price of research and development of these parts has dropped considerably in light of the work being in the hands of individuals and not within companies. Now, this is a very simplified view of the total picture of current changes within some companies but it shows a trend towards making as a hobby with the potential of making a difference in industry.
Enter the Arduino. This small micro-controller has capacity to allow programming and experimentation beyond most expectations. Reviews and comparisons often mention that the true value is in the accompanying manual. The manual leads a beginner through the most basic projects with circuit wiring and programming information. I am proof that you can learn the basic information in a couple of hours with some guidance.
Read some reviews. Look at some kits. Follow up considering the projects you have in mind. Take the plunge. An Arduino Starter Kit retails for under $100.