Brock Craft talks Arduino

Brock Craft is a Lecturer in Physical Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London in the Department of Computing. He was a partner at the design firm TinkerLondon, where he introduced the Atmel-powered Arduino into the UK along with its creator, Massimo Banzi.

Recently, the folks at ItProPortal sat down with Brock Craft, author of “Arduino Projects for Dummies,” to talk about Arduino boards. In addition to the DIY Maker Movement, the boards are wildly popular in the educational community, as well as the corporate world, with the hardware being used by designers, architects and engineers for rapid prototyping purposes.

“It’s very easy to try out design by building a prototype so that they can see what solutions work and toss out those that don’t. This is much easier to do early in the design process before more money has been spent on bringing an idea to fruition; Arduino can play a key role here,” he explained.

“Just a simple example – I know a lighting company that recently used Arduino to control dimmable lighting effects for architectural lighting products they were developing. Using an Arduino helped them try out their ideas in an afternoon, rather than waiting weeks.”

As noted above, Croft is the author of “Arduino Projects for Dummies,” a book which features an array of projects – offering readers a clear understanding of the different aspects of the wildly popular boards.

“[You’ll learn to] set up a workspace for your projects, create projects with Arduino Uno, automate the home and garden, including a tweeting pet door and a build a GPS data logger and an RFID reader,” Craft wrote in an official Amazon description of the book.

“[So] if you’re ready to start exploring all the amazing things you can do with Arduino, you’ve come to the right place. Featuring 12 cool projects you’ll build from scratch, this book is the fun, easy way to learn everything you need to know to create your very own original interactive objects and automated devices.”

Key instructional projects include:

  • Decoding the code – get up to speed on Arduino programming and code writing basics, even if you’ve never programmed before.
  • Make it move – learn what components are available to make things tweet, spin, jump, and move about (and how to hook them up).
  • Light it up – create nifty projects from an intricate light ballet to a light pet, a scrolling LED sign, LCD alarm clock and more.
  • Sensors and stuff – use sensors to build a plant watering system, tweeting pet door and household temperature and light monitor.
  • Get sophisticated – build a GPS tracker and data logger, your own LED cubes, a remote control car and other advanced projects.
  • How to build a robot car from stuff you find around the house and tips for constructing a keypad entry system.

“Arduino Projects For Dummies,” written by Brock Craft, is currently available on Amazon for $19.98 (Prime).

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