Jeremy Blum is well known within the international open source and "maker" communities for his development of open source hardware projects and tutorials that have been featured on the Discovery Channel and have won several awards and hack-a-thons. Jeremy was selected as the 2012 "New Face of Engineering", he offers engineering consulting services through his firm, Blum Idea Labs LLC, and he teaches engineering and sustainability to young students in New York City. He has worked for MakerBot Industries designing 3D printers, and has built robots that can assemble themselves. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and is pursuing his Master’s degree at Cornell in the same field.
Do you dream of building robots, or at least digitally controlling your home’s appliances? The applications of microcontrollers are limitless! In this lesson, Jeremy Blum introduces you to Arduino—an open source platform microcontroller that is programmed with its own language (which is easier to learn than C). Learn what you’ll need to begin a project with Arduino (Jeremy uses Arduino Uno), how to install the software and update drivers, and how to create your first program.
In this second lesson of the Arduino series, Jeremy Blum teaches you how to program using buttons and PWM pins. Follow along: you’ll need a breadboard, resistors, an LED, and a push button for this lesson. Learn how to install the pushbutton switch and the LED—once the circuit is set up, begin writing the program to control it. Finally, using a digital PWM pin, Jeremy demonstrates how to change the brightness of the LED when the button is pressed.
In this third installment of his Arduino tutorial series, Jeremy discusses basic electrical engineering principles to help you get started. Beginning with Ohm’s Law, Jeremy covers resistors (used to control the amount of current going through an LED, for example) and how to calculate resistance, voltage dividers (used when dealing with analog inputs into a microcontroller) and potentiometers, and finally, voltage regulators (used to ensure that something draws enough current at a fixed voltage).