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stevech
PostPosted: Mar 25, 2006 - 05:32 AM
Raving lunatic


Joined: Dec 18, 2001
Posts: 5216


I saw no reference to Auduino on this forum, so here's some info...

Arduino seems to be a group of folks that have taken an IDE from another world and put it on top of GCC. To this they present the IDE user with a really simplified reduced portion of C and a small library of I/O functions. The sum of this seems to be targeted to non-technical users, e.g., artists using MCUs to animate lighting displays. Anyway, it's odd and interesting. The IDE and compiler (GCC) are open source.

They have an interesting low cost PCB with a mega8 on it, with serial or USB. It's sold in Europe or (USB only) at SparkFun Electronics. It uses a bootloader (USB or serial, I presume).

Apologies if this is old news - it seems to have been around for a year - and their forum/blog says there's 500 boards out in use.

I wonder if this class of user wouldn't be better off with something like ZBasic or BasicX hardware+software (AVR based). Not sure if they know about AVRFreaks. I think I saw a reference to UCLA's involvement though. Seems to be mostly in Italy.

http://www.arduino.cc/

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/produc ... ts_id=666#
 
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JohanEkdahl
PostPosted: Mar 25, 2006 - 12:53 PM
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Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 21397
Location: Lund, Sweden

Oh, very interesting. The mega8 looks like it's been soldered to the board rather tham socketed which is a pity as this makes it harder to throw in eg a mega168 instead. (Nothing a length of solder wick can't resolve.)

Am d/l'ing the IDE as I type. Trying it out will keep me from the project I should work on this weekend, but I'm just too curious. Will the Arduino setup break the WinAVR setup? How tight is the language/lib tied to the board design? What does this language look like?
 
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stevech
PostPosted: Mar 28, 2006 - 05:15 AM
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Joined: Dec 18, 2001
Posts: 5216


I think their boards are made to be expendable - use for one class
What language? It is just GCC wiht their IDE and they kind of "hide" most of libc from the novice users.

I tried the IDE here - odd, but quite useful.
 
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nleahcim
PostPosted: Mar 28, 2006 - 06:40 AM
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Joined: Feb 19, 2003
Posts: 2289
Location: Seattle, WA

product id is 666. Bad sign!
 
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LCD*AVR4me
PostPosted: Mar 28, 2006 - 06:51 AM
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Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Posts: 459
Location: Louisiana,USA

I saw this.........i a give it an A just because it supports Mac. Wink The SparkFUN USB one is only $30.......and it has a socketed mega8 ......

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Crybaby
PostPosted: Apr 18, 2006 - 07:44 PM
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Joined: Feb 09, 2005
Posts: 17
Location: Stockholm

I attended a lecture by one of the main guys behind Arduino.

The idea behind it is that it is open source/ open hardware (you can buy it at "production cost") and that schools with no electronics experience, and virtuall no funding in any country shall be able to use it.

The students all build their own development board, that's lesson no 1. Then they go on inventing stuff etc.

Crybaby
 
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stevech
PostPosted: Apr 18, 2006 - 08:53 PM
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Joined: Dec 18, 2001
Posts: 5216


I don't get their concept of a unique language for liberal arts majors.

Seems to me to it's just a subset of C, as if they de-tuned GCC for the students and omit floating point to make the run time fit in a Mega8. Still have the rather arcane syntax of C for the intended audience (semi-colons and curly braces probably drive them nuts).

I got this impression after looking at the classroom videos on their website.
 
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Crybaby
PostPosted: Apr 18, 2006 - 10:38 PM
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Joined: Feb 09, 2005
Posts: 17
Location: Stockholm

You're probably right about the language. I haven't looked into that, but the way I understood it, the language (or libraries?) was developed for some Gomputer Graphics artist-programmable environment, and ported to AVR several years later.

One thing that I found interesting, that is not mentioned on the web site, is the 3 different species of Arduino programmers available. (The lecturer showed them to us.) Serial port connected, USB connected, and Ethernet connected. That's pretty impressive for a DIY pregrammer.
 
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