Review of Arduino Esplora

Table of contents

RoadTest: Arduino Esplora

Author: mattdaddy2005

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Arduino Due

What were the biggest problems encountered?:

Detailed Review:

     The day finally came when I heard the doorbell ring and I ran to answer it. It was the

UPS driver and there was a large box in front of my door. Surely this couldn’t be the

famed Arduino Esplora? Nope it wasn’t but the bag with the Esplora in it was nestled

behind it against the wall. As I grabbed the other package and scurried to my

workshop aka the dining room table I suddenly realized “What am I going to build?”

All these ideas rushed into my head but then another thought arose. I didn’t need to

go through all my containers of components to find just the right switch or the

brightest LED all these and more were already on the board! As I took it out of the

box it was like opening a present with a dozen more inside of it. As I logged onto my

laptop and went to the Arduino website I quickly found the correct environment for

the Esplora. I was looking through the software which already had project code in it,

I just had to hook up the board to the included USB and copy and paste the code. I

may make it sound too easy but it is! I could quickly see what lines of code did what

to the components on the board. There were also projects that used more than one

component to actually show this truly was an all in one dev board.


     I began getting interested in electronics when my son was born with a physical

disability. I wanted to make things to allow him to be able to do things that “normal”

kids can do. While that is still my plan I am still in the design phase of what I am

trying to build. With that being said the Arduino took a temporary turn but albeit

important role for the time being. While this design phase continues and constantly

changes I needed to keep track of the temperature in the server room at work. I was

wondering how best to do this when a light bulb went off, literally. We lost power at

work and this meant no air conditioning for the servers. My thoughts quickly turned

to the Esplora which has a temperature sensor built right into it. Like I mentioned

before the coding environment is quite easy to set up and it had a program to track

temperature readings. It only took a few times of trial and error mainly to see what

the output would be and how I wanted it to look like. I did I have it running grabbing

the temperature every 5 minutes.  My code is the same as what’s included I just

took out the reference to Celsius as that did not pertain to me. You may be

wondering how I did this without any power? The power outage was a brief one

lasting just a couple of minutes but it got me to think in everyday use on how I can

use my Arduino.


     Now what I used the Arduino for is very simple but don’t let that fool you. This board

is just waiting to bust out. Not only does it have several on board sensors it has

ways to expand as well.  It has 2 Output Tinkerkit Connectors and 2 Input Tinkerkit

Connectors. It also has a TFT display connector so you could hook up other devices

that use the SPI protocol. Now I don’t have any other devices that I could hook up to

this board but I did have a servo from an old RC car that still worked. I just looked up

what each of the three (3) pins on the Tinkerkit outputs were and figured out what

the corresponding wires on my servo were and hooked it up to the board. It wasn’t

pretty but it still worked. I think I would like to check out what all the Tinkerkit

connectors can do.

     For the price ($60 US) it’s a great way to get up and running with very little know

how but also a great tool to quickly be able to add to or just try new programs

without having to worry about every little connection.