Physics of Arduinos

My 2017 Physics 212 project involves detailing the extensive Arduino microcontroller platform. I first became interested in Arduinos when I was 11 years old and saw a video online of a small robot with the ability to "see" its surroundings and move accordingly to avoid hitting obstacles. Wanting to learn more, I researched this type of robot which utilized a Parallax PING UltraSonic sensor to send out pulses that then bounced off an object and allowed it to gauge how far apart it was based on the time it took to return. Within the period of a couple weeks, I had become hooked on the idea of creating something similar myself and thus I discovered the Arduino microcontroller which provided a fast platform to hook various components up that could then be "taught" to work together through the use of code that could be flashed onto the board. Being 11 years old at the time, I was not very well versed in coding and mainly followed tutorials found online, but the end product was a small robot consisting of 2 stepper motors with wheels attached, an Arduino microcontroller and an ultrasonic sensor on top. This simple robot could drive up to various obstacles, stop within a certain distance, turn around and keep driving. Despite this being the extent of its abilities, the project had got me hooked on the Arduino platform and the world of robotics in general. Fast forwarding to the present day, I am now a member of the travel team for the UAF NASA Robotic Mining Competition Club which is working on a much larger project than what I started on when I was 11 years old, but nonetheless still has a basis off of the large Arduino platform that has integrated itself into projects across the globe and continues to be an important tool in both real-world prototyping and robotics education.
© 2017 Ryan Stonebraker Physics 212