Tag Archives: Uno

Which Arduino board is right for you?

Picking an Arduino is as easy as Uno, Due, Tre! 

Thinking about starting a project? See which Arduino board is right for the job.

Arduino Uno

This popular board — based on the ATmega328 MCU — features 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, a 16 MHz ceramic resonator, USB connection, power jack, an ICSP header and a reset button.


The Uno does not use the FTDI USB-to-serial driver chip. Instead, it features the ATmega16U2 (ATmega8U2 up to version R2) programmed as a USB-to-serial converter.

In addition, Revision 3 of the Uno offers the following new features:

1.0 pinout: added SDA and SCL pins that are near to the AREF pin and two other new pins placed near to the RESET pin, the IOREF that allow the shields to adapt to the voltage provided from the board. Note: The second is not a connected pin.
Stronger RESET circuit.
  • ATmega16U2 replace the 8U2.

Arduino Leonardo

The Arduino Leonardo is built around the versatile ATmega32U4. This board offers 20 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, microUSB connection, power jack, an ICSP header and a reset button.


The Leonardo contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started. Plus, the ATmega32U4 offers built-in USB communication, eliminating the need for a secondary processor. This allows it to appear as a mouse and keyboard, in addition to being recognized as a virtual (CDC) serial / COM port.

Arduino Due

The Arduino Due is an MCU board based on the Atmel | SMART SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 CPU.


As the first Arduino built on a 32-bit ARM core microcontroller, Due boasts 54 digital input/output pins (of which 12 can be used as PWM outputs), 12 analog inputs, 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports), an 84 MHz clock, USB OTG capable connection, 2 DAC (digital to analog), 2 TWI, a power jack, an SPI header, a JTAG header, a reset button and an erase button.

Unlike other Arduino boards, the Due runs at 3.3V. The maximum voltage that the I/O pins can tolerate is 3.3V. Providing higher voltages, like 5V to an I/O pin, could damage the board.

Arduino Yún

The Arduino Yún features an ATmega32U4, along with an Atheros AR9331 that supports a Linux distribution based on OpenWRT known as Linino.


The Yún has built-in Ethernet and Wi-Fi support, a USB-A port, a microSD card slot, 20 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, microUSB connection, an ICSP header and 3 reset buttons. The Yún is also capable of communicating with the Linux distribution onboard, offering a powerful networked computer with the ease of Arduino.

In addition to Linux commands like cURL, Makers and engineers can write their own shell and python scripts for robust interactions. The Yún is similar to the Leonardo in that the ATmega32U4 offers USB communication, eliminating the need for a secondary processor. This enables the Yún to appear as a mouse and keyboard, in addition to being recognized as a virtual (CDC) serial?COM port.

Arduino Micro

Developed in conjunction with Adafruit, the Arduino Micro is powered by ATmega32U4.

The board is equipped 20 digital input/output pins (of which 7 can be used as PWM outputs and 12 as analog inputs), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, microUSB connection, a ICSP header and a reset button. The Micro includes everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a microUSB cable to get started. The Micro even has a form factor that lets the device be easily placed on a breadboard.

Arduino Robot

The Arduino Robot is the very first official Arduino on wheels. The robot is equipped with two processors — one for each of its two boards.


The motor board drives the motors, while the control board is tasked with reading sensors and determining how to operate. Each of the ATmega32u4 based units are fully-programmable using the Arduino IDE. More specifically, configuring the robot is similar to the process with the Arduino Leonardo, as both MCUs offer built-in USB communication, effectively eliminating the need for a secondary processor. This enables the Robot to appear to a connected computer as a virtual (CDC) serial?COM port.

Arduino Esplora

The Arduino Esplora is an ATmega32u4 powered microcontroller board derived from the Arduino Leonardo. It’s designed for Makers and DIY hobbyists who want to get up and running with Arduino without having to learn about the electronics first.

The Esplora features onboard sound and light outputs, along with several input sensors, including a joystick, slider, temperature sensor, accelerometer, microphone and a light sensor. It also has the potential to expand its capabilities with two Tinkerkit input and output connectors, along with a socket for a color TFT LCD screen.

Arduino Mega (2560)

The Arduino Mega features an ATmega2560 at its heart.

It is packed with 54 digital input/output pins (of which 15 can be used as PWM outputs), 16 analog inputs, 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header and a reset button. Simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started. The Mega is compatible with most shields designed for the Arduino Duemilanove or Diecimila.

Arduino Mini

Originally based on the ATmega168, and now equipped with the ATmega328, the Arduino Mini is intended for use on breadboards and projects where space is at a premium.


The board is loaded with 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 8 analog inputs and a 16 MHz crystal oscillator. It can be programmed with the USB Serial adapter, the other USB, or the RS232 to TTL serial adapter.

Arduino LilyPad

The LilyPad Arduino is designed specifically for wearables and e-textiles. It can be sewn to fabric and similarly mounted power supplies, sensors and actuators with conductive thread.

The board is based on the ATmega168V (the low-power version of the ATmega168) or the ATmega328V. The LilyPad Arduino was designed and developed by Leah Buechley and SparkFun Electronics. Readers may also want to check out the LilyPad Simple, LilyPad USB and the LilyPad SimpleSnap.

Arduino Nano

The Arduino Nano is a tiny, complete and breadboard-friendly board based on the ATmega328 (Arduino Nano 3.x) or ATmega168 (Arduino Nano 2.x).

The Nano has more or less the same functionality of the Arduino Duemilanove, but in a different package. It lacks only a DC power jack and works with a Mini-B USB cable instead of a standard one. The board is designed and produced by Gravitech.

Arduino Pro Mini

Powered by an ATmega328, the Arduino Pro Mini is equipped with 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 8 analog inputs, an on-board resonator, a reset button and some holes for mounting pin headers.


A 6-pin header can be connected to an FTDI cable or Sparkfun breakout board to provide USB power and communication to the board. Note: See also Arduino Pro.

Arduino Fio

The Arduino Fio (V3) is a microcontroller board based on Atmel’s ATmega32U4. It has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 8 analog inputs, an on-board resonator, a reset button and holes for mounting pin headers. It also offers connections for a lithium polymer battery and includes a charge circuit over USB. An XBee socket is available on the bottom of the board.

The Arduino Fio is intended for wireless applications. The user can upload sketches with an a FTDI cable or Sparkfun breakout board. Additionally, by using a modified USB-to-XBee adaptor such as XBee Explorer USB, the user can upload sketches wirelessly. The board comes without pre-mounted headers, facilitating the use of various types of connectors or direct soldering of wires. The Arduino Fio was designed by Shigeru Kobayashi and SparkFun Electronics.

Arduino Zero

Last year, the tandem of Atmel and Arduino debuted the Zero development board – a simple, elegant and powerful 32-bit extension of the platform. The Arduino Zero board packs an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 MCU, which features an ARM Cortex M0+ core. Additional key hardware specs include 256KB of Flash, 32KB SRAM in a TQFP package and compatibility with 3.3V shields that conform to the Arduino R3 layout.


The Arduino Zero boasts flexible peripherals along with Atmel’s Embedded Debugger (EDBG) – facilitating a full debug interface on the SAMD21 without the need for supplemental hardware. Beyond that, EDBG supports a virtual COM port that can be used for device programming and traditional Arduino bootloader functionality. This highly-anticipated board will be available for purchase from the Arduino Store in the U.S. on Monday June 15th.

Arduino AtHeart

The Arduino AtHeart program was specifically launched for Makers and companies with products based on the open-source board that would like to be clearly identified as supporters of the versatile platform. The program is available for any device that includes a processor that is currently supported by the Arduino IDE, including the following Atmel MCUs:

Participants in the program include startups like:

EarthMake – ArLCD

The touchscreen ArLCD combines the ezLCD SmartLCD GPU with the Arduino Uno.


Bare Conductive Touch Board

The ATmega32U4 based Touch Board can turn nearly any material or surface into a sensor by connecting it to one of its 12 electrodes, using conductive paint or anything conductive.


Blend Micro

The RedBearLab integrated dev platform “blends” the powers of Arduino with Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy into a single board. It is targeted for Makers looking to develop low-power IoT projects in a quick, easy and efficient manner. The MCU is driven by an ATmega32U4 and a Nordic nRF8001 BLE chip.


littleBits Arduino Module

The fan-favorite Arduino module, which happens to also be based on an ATmega32U4, lets users easily write programs in the Arduino IDE to read sensors and control lights and motors within the littleBits system.


Smart Citizen Kit

An Arduino-compatible motherboard with sensors that measure air composition (CO and NO2), temperature, light intensity, sound levels, and humidity. Once configured, the Smart Citizen Kit is capable of streaming data collected by the sensors over Wi-Fi.


Uno is giving you all the info you need right on your wrist

The average person takes their phone out, unlocks it, and checks messages over 150 times a day. Uno says that’s too much. 

Seattle-based startup Uno believes that most of us take out our smartphones too many times per day, and has devised a way to solve that issue. Unlike a number of other wearables on the market today, the Noteband is focused primarily on notifications, a feature that caters to today’s on-the-go lifestyle.


The device, which is currently live on Indiegogo, displays messages from incoming calls, texts, emails, calendar reminders, as well as social feeds such as Twitter and Facebook. And for the gamers out there, the Noteband is even integrated with Xbox Live, Playstation Network and Steam. Meaning, you’ll no longer need to put down the controller to access a message, game alert or invitations.

Spritz, the speed-reading app, allows wearers to a notifications up to 80% faster at rates ranging from 250 to 1,000 words per minute. This eliminates any need for dual-hand scrolling, which enables users to get through that long email in a single click. When an alert is receives, the wristband vibrates and displays the message upon a tap of the finger. Swipe right to turn notices on, swipe left to get rid of them. It’s as easy as that!


Built around a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 MCU, the Noteband is equipped with an OLED display, Bluetooth Low Energy, and a battery capable of lasting for days on a single charge. The device, which is compatible with both the Android and iOS operating systems, also packs a six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer to let users to keep track and achieve their fitness goals, while syncing with the Apple Health and Google Fit platforms. Interested in learning more? Hurry over to its official Indiegogo page, where the team has already well exceed its $50,000 goal.

Tracking cat eyes with Arduino and Kinect

A Maker by the name of jgbradley1 recently shared his innovative graduate project on Instructables that describes how a Kinect and an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) can be paired to create illustrated cat eyes that “track” an individual.

Aside from the Uno and Kinect, key project components include:

  • Creepy cat poster
  • 2x 1 1/2″ wooden balls
  • Paint
  • 2x standard servo TowerPro SG-5010 motors
  • 8xAA batteries (battery case optional)
  • IC breadboard
  • Hot glue gun

jgbradley1 kicks off the project by cutting out and painting eyeholes, mounting the eyeballs onto server motors, attaching the motors to the back of the poster and configuring the circuit.

“Since we need to power two servos at the same time, we cannot rely on power from an Arduino alone. An external power source is required for the motors. Each servo is rated to work at 4.8V – 6V,” the Maker explained.

“Therefore, a 12V power source (an 8 AA battery pack works well) for the motors should be fine. If the motors were controlled one at a time, you could easily run both off of the Arduino.”

In terms of programming, jgbradley1 uses a servo library on the Arduino side, with Processing (simple-openni library) chosen for the Kinect.

Interested in learning more about the building your own tracking cat eyes? Check out the project’s official page here.

Building an all-in-one remote with the Uno

An electronic engineering student with the handle “Victor8o5” has designed an all-in-one remote control using a number of basic hardware components, including an Atmel-based Arduino Uno (Atmel ATmega328 MCU), LCD keypad shield, infrared LED and infrared sensor.

Victor8o5 kicked off his AiO project by gathering the codes of the various remotes around the house using the infrared sensor.

“Once the code has been uploaded and the sensor connected we go to ‘Tools’ and we click on ‘Serial Monitor’ [in the sketch]. You will see a message that says ‘Ready to decode IR!’ now, by pressing any key of the remote while facing the sensor, we will be able to obtain the code,” he explained in a recent Instructables post.

“Once you’ve finished with the code it should be able to work, make sure you place the infrared LED from digital pin 3 to ground, pin 3 is a PWM pin, other pins won’t work. Left and right buttons control the menus, up and down control the submenus, select sends the code attached to the corresponding submenu inside the menu.”

As Victor8o5 notes, several LEDs and a transistor can be used to boost power and range.

“This is because the power supplied by a digital pin is limited to 40mA, enough to light one or two LED’s but not enough to light an array of 5 LED’s for example,” he added.

“The resistor value for the base (middle pin of the transistor) should be around 1-2k. Due the high frequency switching a resistor may not be needed since the LED’s will handle the power. I’ve tried this myself with a standard IR LED and a 5V supply from the digital pin 3 with no problems.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s Instructables page here.

Video: Atmel & Arduino power this robotic hand

A high school student known as “Gabry25” has designed a wirelessly controlled robotic hand using an Atmel-based Arduino LilyPad and an Atmel-powered Arduino Uno.

As Julian Horsey of Geeky Gadgets reports, the wireless robotic hand faithfully reproduces the movements of an accompanying glove worn on another hand.

Aside from the above-mentioned Arduino boards, key project components include:

  • Shield to connect the Xbee module
  • Robot_Shield
  • 5 Flex sensors
  • 5 resistors: 47 KΩ
  • Battery pack with 3×1.5 V batteries
  • LilyPad FTDI adapter (optional)
  • A steel structure for the palm of the hand and wood for the fingers
  • 5 servomotors
  • Fishing wires
  • 9 V Battery

“To connect the servomotors I used the Robot_Shield from FuturaElettronica, which has also a switching regulator to power the entire circuit, but you can use any shield made for that,” Gabry25 explained in a recent Instructables post.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official Instructables page here.

Creating a SCADA system with WidgeDuino

WidgeDuino – which recently made its Kickstarter debut – is an intelligent and easily configurable Windows-based application for communication between a Microsoft Windows platform and a microcontroller based system such as an Atmel-based Arduino board.


Essentially, WidgeDuino communicates with the microcontroller system via serial protocol or TCP/IP.

“It allows simultaneous use of multiple widgets to create complete SCADA systems using simple WidgeDuino library written for [the Atmel-based] Arduino Uno,” WidgeDuino rep Shehzad Nazir explained.

“This includes, amongst others, keypad, LEDs, gauges, knobs, sliders, thermometers, tanks and buttons. Its intuitive approach to communication simplifies rapid prototyping and development of a complete automation system.”

More specifically, Widgeduino is based on Microsoft’s .NET framework, using the popular Visual Studio Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) as its designer. It leverages National Instrument controls to enable the control of devices connected to the microcontroller system. 

As noted above, the app runs on a Windows system and supports both wired and wireless connections.

“Widgeduino comes with built-in APIs which facilitate addition of user-friendly widgets to embedded designs,” Nazir continued. “The libraries are primarily designed for communication with Arduino boards.”

Widgeduino offers two primary modes of operation:

  • Widgeduino over Serial: Serial based point-to-point (using RS232) or wireless point-to-multipoint (via Xbee 802.15.4) communication between the Widgeduino application and Arduino boards.
  • Widgeduino over Internet: IP based networking to enable Internet of Things (IoT). This mode can also be used as a hybrid (i.e. with Serial and IP protocol) to connect serial devices over internet with the Widgeduino app.

“Widgeduino simplifies the process of prototyping as it has multiple widgets that are very valuable in testing a design concept,” Nazir added.

“Once you finished with prototyping and testing with Widgeduino, you can use these widgets in your real SCADA system designs. Widgeduino provides a simple serial or ethernet interface to your microcontroller based designs, with a particular focus on Arduino boards.”

Examples of current (supported) WidgeDuino applications include:


  • Prototyping of embedded systems
  • Human Machine Interface Solutions
  • Drones
  • Access control
RGB lighting
Motor control

Interested in learning more? You can check out WidgeDuino’s official Kickstarter page here.

iPod hacking with Android and Arduino

A Maker with the handle “Erroneous Data” has posted a detailed Instructables explaining how to hack an old iPod using an Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328 MCU) and Android. Oh, and yes. There is no need to break out the soldering gun for this project.

“Just leave [your] old iPod plugged into the stereo and your music will start to play when you walk in the door. The Arduino acts as a liaison between the iPod and your Droid,” Erroneous Data explained.

“Since the iPod device is connected directly to your stereo, it eliminates any error that can occur when streaming the music to a separate device.”

Key features include:

  • Auto connect
  • Auto play
  • Auto pause
  • In-call pause
  • Alarm

As HackADay’s Brian Benchoff reports, with the right resistance on a specific pin on the 30-pin dock connector, iPods will send the track name and playlists over a serial connection, all while responding to play, pause, skip and volume commands.

“There hasn’t been much work towards implementing the copious amount of documentation of this iPod accessory mode in small microcontroller projects. [However], with a little bit of work, [he] managed to replicate the usual iPod dock commands with an Arduino,” said Benchoff.

“Using an HC-05 Bluetooth module, it’s possible to get this iPod-connected Arduino to relay data to and from an Android device with a small app. The circuit is simple, the app is free, and if you have an iPod with an old battery or cracked screen, it can still work as a music storage device.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official Instructables page here.

Super Awesome Sylvia is at the White House!

Sylvia Todd – aka Super Awesome Sylvia – has been creating and making things since she was five. Sylvia, who learned how to solder when she was 7, also hosts her very own MAKE YouTube show.

Today, Bits & Pieces had the opportunity to interview the young Maker about DIY culture and Making at the very first White House Maker Faire – which Atmel is proudly attending.

Atmel: Who, or what inspired you to become a Maker?

Sylvia: I was inspired to be a Maker/make things when I went to the very first San Mateo Maker Faire in 2006 when I was 5. That event and the ones after it showed me that making is fun, interesting, and [helps] you learn lots of new skills. After that weekend, I wanted to solder and build and take apart things even more!

Atmel: How do you feel about being chosen to attend the very first Maker Faire at the White House?

Sylvia: I am so happy and honored that I was invited to attend the White House Maker Faire. It is pretty amazing that after being inspired by the Maker Movement to create my show back in 2009, I eventually became one of the people that helped others get into Making!


Atmel: How do you think the Maker Movement democratizes the tools and skills necessary to design and create just about anything?

Sylvia: I think the Maker Movement helps give us the knowledge resources to create lots of stuff, through sharing! The internet allows us to find and share projects, sell projects, and even show others how to make things. Sharing how to’s and project details really can inspire people to get out there and make something, even if it’s not exactly what they’re trying to make, it helps them learn by doing.

Atmel: What projects of yours are powered by Atmel-powered Arduino boards or stand-alone MCUs?


I have a book coming out next moth that shows three super simple Arduino projects for beginners, all using the Arduino Uno as the base. I am also going to use the Arduino in many other projects and might soon design a custom circuit board around the ATmega328 MCU for a kit. One of my older projects was an Arduino and GPS powered RC car that could navigate around my house, and one of my latest ideas is a sensor that senses when the mail truck comes and tells me by switching on a servo to ring a bell.

Atmel: How do you think the Maker Movement and DIY culture make the world a better place?

Sylvia: I think the Maker Movement will change the world because when you have lots of people thinking of new ideas or inventions and sharing their work and results, we could solve really big issues faster! Also when kids grow up in an environment of making, they’ll be more willing to fix or reuse things instead of just throwing them away, and they’ll be making themselves smarter about the world at the same time. Making stuff rocks!

DIY tech helps conserve water

A Maker by the name of Tamberg has designed an Augmented Water device that helps save water by turning red and alerting the user when a single liter has been dispensed.

The device – which was designed and built during a recent water hackathon – comprises an Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328 MCU), flow sensor and colored LED pixels.

Additional components include:

  • LiPo battery
  • LiPo charger
Jumper wires
  • M-M
Tube fitting the sensor
  • Plastic test tube
  • Zip ties

Tamberg kicks off the project by preparing and testing the neopixel LEDS, configuring the flow sensor and testing a specially coded Arduino sketch. He then creates a tap adapter and fits the various pieces together.

“Attach the two (green) tubes to the flow sensor, with the adapter at the top. Use zip ties to attach the Neopixel strip to the assembly. Make sure the wires are at the upper end (with the adapter),” Tamberg writes in a recent Instructables post.

“Use an additional zip tie to hold the flow sensor wire, then mount the Arduino on top of all this. The Arduino’s upper side should point inwards, [so] make sure the USB port remains accessible for updates.”

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official Instructables page here.

Challenging reflexes with the Arduino-based Lightgame

Efstathios Lymperidis and Thodoris Bais recently debuted the aptly named Lightgame, which the two university student designed to challenge the reflexes of four players.

Key project components include:

“The game was developed using two Arduino devices connected in a Master – Slave configuration via the I2C synchronous serial protocol,” the duo explained in a detailed blog post.

“The Master Arduino is responsible for handling the buttons, displaying the correct RGB colors, [executing] all calculations for the score and stages of the game.”

Meanwhile, the peripheral Arduino is tasked with displaying messages on a TFT LCD screen and playing the appropriate music via a buzzer.

Interested in learning more? You can check out the project’s official page here.