Did you know that the Arduino project is TEN YEARS OLD? Step back for a minute and think about everything that’s happened in the last ten years of your life. There’s no denying that Arduino played a very considerable role in the creation of the maker movement, and it is probably the reason why you’re even bothering to read my blog. Today is International Arduino Day, a 24-hour extravaganza of celebrations around the Arduino platform and everything it has done to empower people over the last 10 years. Read Signe Brewster‘s excellent Gigaom article about the significance of the Arduino platform. It includes quotes from me and two of my maker compatriots, Mitch Altman & Michael Shiloh. You should also tune into the special Arduino Day Live Stream from Adafruit Industries at 7PM EST (4PM PST).
Let’s cut to the chase before I start getting all nostalgic about Arduino. In honor of Arduino day, you can take 35% off the price of the print edition of my book, Exploring Arduino. Simply use the code VBH20 when ordering the book from Wiley.com. This code is valid globally for the next few days.
How Arduino Changed my Life
Seeing as how today is Arduino Day, it seems like a good time to reflect on the impact that it has had on my life. My first exposure to Arduino was in my sophomore year at Cornell. I took the inaugural INFO4320 course, taught by Professor François Guimbretière. The course, titled “Introduction to Prototyping and Physical Computing,” focused on using laser cutters, 3D printers, CAD tools, microcontroller platforms, and electronics to build interactive projects. As you may have guessed, the microcontroller of choice for the course was the Arduino. This was not my first time using microcontrollers, but it was my first experience with the Arduino. I picked it up quickly, and dove into building projects like the SudoGlove (my final project for the course). The Arduino “kickstart” I got from this course set the rest of my career into motion. Before long, I was giving talks about engineering education using open source platforms, producing wildly successful Arduino tutorial videos, designing 3D printer electronics based on the Arduino, and doing tons of other exciting engineering projects. Even today, I teach Arduino classes in my “spare time” at Google, and I consistently support hardware hack-a-thons, develop educational curriculum based around Arduino, and donate to STEAM causes via Blum Idea Labs (my consulting firm). Most recently, my Arduino experience came full circle when I found out that INFO4320, the class that first taught me Arduino at Cornell, is now using my book as the course textbook! My videos have taught engineering concepts to students of all ages in every country on earth. Even researchers in Antarctica have watched my videos and read my blog! I am extremely humbled and honored to know that so many people have learned from me. I’m thankful that the Arduino platform has made it easy to teach people, and I promise to continue doing everything in my power to promote engineering education using open hardware platforms like the Arduino.
How is Arduino Changing your Life (and the World)?
I’ve talked to thousands of people about the exciting ways that they are using Arduino. I want to give you the opportunity to tell the world about the amazing Arduino projects you’re working on. Click the button below, and replace the capitalized text with a link to your Arduino project, and hit the “Tweet” button. I’ll select the coolest projects and feature them on my blog next week!