If you are planning to create your own IoT device, it is important to invest in the hardware and development boards that can measure up to the task. Arduino boards have become very popular with makers and hobbyists due to the wide variety and the robust community of supporters.
What is a Development Board?
A development board is a printed circuit board that has some basic hardware and circuitry already in place to help expedite the development process. Depending on what the design system needs, there is a variety of pre-built development boards that you can choose from. Having all of the foundational hardware and circuitry already constructed makes life much easier and is much more conducive to experimentation and general prototyping.
What is Arduino?
Arduino is a company that manufacturers open-source hardware and software solutions. They design and manufacture single-board microcontrollers and micro controller kits. The user community helps build devices for different purposes and functions. These devices can be digital and may also be interactive depending on the requirements of the maker.
Arduino stands out from the rest because they are programmed through the Arduino IDE. Because of the user community emphasis, codes can be written and uploaded by anyone for the benefit of the ecosystem.
With Arduino, you can choose development boards that have the capability of running with the use of a 3.7V battery which is very common and easy to acquire at low costs from most electronic component stores online. Other development boards may need to run from at least 5V power source. Arduino IDE is a cross platform application written in Java that virtually anybody can use that has a basic understanding of C and C++ programming languages. There is a vast software library already written for Arduino users.
What is a microcontroller?
The brain of the Arduino board is the microcontroller (MCU). One of the things that Arduino does best is manufacture and assemble microcontroller development kits and starter kits that includes almost all the hardware and wiring components a beginner may need to build a new project. Most microcontrollers are dedicated to one task and almost always has a processor, memory and specific peripherals that make it unique to its task. A basic breadboard is is nothing more that a construction base that has nothing on it yet and to use it, you will need to install everything a microcontroller already has before it can be purposed for your project. Therefore most makers prefer to buy an Arduino starter kit, the Arduino Rev 3 boards or an Arduino ethernet shield that may save the developer hours or days in development.
Saving Time With Minimal Investment
Many of the hobbyists we speak with love using microcontroller development kits over building their own microcontroller from a basic breadboard is because the preconstructed shields and kits from Arduino, Raspberry PI kits and event the Seeduino microcontrollers are so easy to work with, low cost and they save the part time maker many hours doing the same old tedious tasks before actually constructing and programming what they wish to make. The inturn makes using Arduino development boards for IoT projects fun.