RoadTest: Arduino Uno Board
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?: Raspberry Pi. XBEE wifi etc.
What were the biggest problems encountered?: Ordering additional parts and having them not be the parts I need to make it work.
Let me start out saying that this road test review is late. I have had major projects going on at work and still do. By the time I get home at night I don't have the energy to work on another project. So I apologize to the community.
Ok, The review. I had never really heard of Arduino until I had ordered my Raspberry PI. I did not know what it would do or what it's potential could be, but thought it would be great to try it out. When I saw that there was a Road Test for Arduino UNO I began to have delusions of cool projects that I could do for my work and home. When I found out I was chosen for the Road Test I was estatic because I was going to change the world... Well I have come back to reality and as most of you know that time and money are harsh realities for this world.
I had recieved my Arduino Uno in the mail, hooked it up to my computer via usb and created a simple program using the Arduino software and was quick to impress my family with a blinking LED. From there it became more difficult. The first project I wanted to design was a remote control. It may sound simple, however, I work for an electric utility in a nuclear power plant. All nuclear power plants have simulators that simulate the control rooms. In our simulator we have a remote control that allows the instructors to start, stop, reset and put overrides into the simulator computer. Each remote that we have had in the past has cost a minimum of several hundred dollars. So in talking with a coworker we thought that this may be a great way to interface the simulator through the Ipod touch WiFi to the device. Bluetooth will not work because the range is too short. My first pass at the remote control showed me that I needed an XBee Wifi. However, when I purchased the XBee. I must have missed something the website said because I did not order the correct unit and after an hour or two of fussing with the Digi software I realized that it wasn't the Wifi version. After finally receiving the correct XBee and Shield my coworker found a spare remote that we had purchased several years ago and the need to replace the remote became of no interest to my work at least for now.
So my next project that I am working on is to create a wifi remote control for my garage door. I have just started to gather the parts and information so I hope to have better luck with this project than the last. I was hoping to be able to tell everyone in this review that it was easy to use Arduino and about the amazing things it can do. (which I am sure it can.) However, with limited time and the need to purchase other parts to complete the various projects, it has not been as easy to change the world.