The Arduino Corporation is this month’s Supplier Spotlight feature – a company that revolutionized microcontroller prototyping, lowered the bar for DIY electronics, and could change the IoT design cycle just the same. With an onslaught of new products, an evolved programming platform, and an extremely vast community of users, Arduino has become a pillar of the electronics industry.
As an avidly open-source electronics platform, Arduino has been through taxing times in building its brand. Historically having faced several trademark lawsuits amongst its founders, Arduino has (much to our satisfaction) unified into a company staged for growth and an exciting future. With their roots in the Maker, DIY, and electronics education communities, Arduino has become a reckoning force in electronics education and prototyping and is now focused on brining IoT design to everyone.
The key mission of the Arduino Corporation is to make electronics accessible to anyone regardless of skill level. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional engineer, Arduino is an easy-to-use hardware and software platform that can, in one way or another, assist in your design. Common uses of Arduino hardware are one-off solutions for people who play with electronics or design single-solution gizmos for the sake of solving a problem. However, Arduino has begun expanding their value into the Internet of Things world by supplementing their product line with IoT-centric products.
Additionally, because of the Arduino UNO’s acceptance into the prototyping world, major companies are building UNO-compatible shields to show off their products in a familiar, easy-to-use platform in hopes of sparking a design-in journey for customers. This wide and deep ecosystem of Arduino UNO compatible products is truly staggering – not even Arduino themselves know of its true magnitude. It has become paramount for understanding microcontroller, sensing, and communication design.
There are several products worth highlighting from the Arduino Corporation, as they offer multiple tiers of products for varying application and feature needs. Based off a variety of microcontrollers and connectivity modules, the MKR series features 6 different wireless connectivity options on varying low-power boards and nearly all the functionality of the famed Arduino UNO with a smaller footprint. If you’re looking for a bigger-faster-stronger version of the UNO, the MEGA has drastically more power. For a deeper dive into their differences, and those of the Micro as well, be sure to peruse this article.
Best of all, Arduino is completely open source, making their company an invaluable resource of software and hardware reference designs. Designing with Arduino opens a world of opportunity for any product that requires microcontroller capability.