An Arduino is simply an electronics platform for #electronics enthusiasts to build cool projects. It is a combination of a microcontroller and an #IDE and is one of the most popular technology among students these days.
But the real question is why are these used so extensively these days? It is a #technology that is simple to learn for beginners and has widely flexible applications. They are inexpensive, have a clear programming environment, and most importantly is open-source.
You all know for sure know what an #Arduino board is now! There are various types of Arduino boards that are used by students and teachers. Let us take a look at the most common ones used in everyday projects.
Arduino Uno: This is the board that comes to everyone's mind when they hear the word, Arduino. The Arduino Uno uses Atmega16U2 and consists of 14-digital I/O pins, where 6-pins can be used as PWM, 6-analog inputs, a reset button, a power jack, a USB connection and more. In order for this to work, all you need to do is to connect it to a PC using a USB and provide the power supply.
LilyPad Arduino Board: This is an application-specific Arduino that is commonly used as wearables and in e-textile technology. As a matter of fact, these are washable! These are favored for their functionalities such as light-weightedness and round packaging. This type of Arduino board comprised of IO, power, and also sensor boards which are built especially for e-textiles. It consists of an Atmega 328 with the Arduino bootloader and also to keep it as a small minimum external component are required.
Arduino Mega: This is very similar to Arduino Uno as it includes I/O pins (from that, 14-pins can be used as PWM o/ps), 6-analog inputs, a reset button, a power jack, a USB connection, and a reset button. This is often referred to as Uno's Big Brother and the extensive number of pins makes it effective for designing the projects that need a bunch of digital i/ps or o/ps like lots buttons. Additionally, these have SDA and SCL pins nearby AREF.
Arduino Leonardo: This is the first development of an Arduino board and is based on the ATmega32u4 datasheet. Arduino Leonardo is a board based on ATmega32u4 which includes 20 digital IO pins, a crystal oscillator, a USB connection, an ICSP header, and a reset button. This is a very simple and cheap board that uses a microcontroller alongside. This is an all-packed microcontroller and all you need to do is to connect to a PC using a cable. As a matter of fact, it lets you handle USB directly, program libraries are obtainable which lets the Arduino board follow a keyboard of the computer, mouse, etc.
RedBoard Arduino: The Arduino board that looks burning red in color can be programmed using a Mini-B USB cable using the Arduino IDE. It is designed to work in Windows8 OS without modification in internship settings. The RedBoard Arduino can be controlled using a barrel jack and all you need to do is to plug the cable, upload the program and you are good to go!
Bonus: There is also another type of Arduino called Arduino Shields that are prebuilt circuit boards to connect multiple Arduino boards. These can be stacked on top of one another to give additional features such as wireless communication, LCD Controlling. There are a few of these kinds such as Wireless Shields, Ethernet Shield, and Proto Shields.
These are some of the most commonly used Arduino Boards and their common functionalities.
Now let us compare their properties.
Which is the best Arduino? This is a common question that might pop up in your mind after reading till here. But it not practically possible to declare a single Arduino as the "Best". This is mainly because of the fact that different Arduino is better according to the application.
But since this article is mainly focused upon beginners who wish to start off with Electronics by doing simple projects, Arduino Uno would be best recommended. This is because it is the standard board and operates at 5V throughout. There is also a lot of sample code and try-at-home projects that will give good support.
These are a few modules that are most commonly used with Arduino.