Arduino: The technology of the future

Nowadays, technology has dominated, to a great degree, our lives. One of its “miracles” is the Arduino. Most people probably don’t know what Arduino technology is or, even if they do, they have not fully understood its full potential. However, its range of operations makes it a useful tool for the future. As Edward Teller once stated: “the science of today is the technology of tomorrow.” Hence, the capabilities and the way this small scientific “miracle” works need to be described and communicated sufficiently.

arduinoArduino is an open-source computer hardware and software company, a project and a user community that designs and manufactures kits with a scope of creating digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control the physical world [1]. Arduino programming language is based on Wiring, which contains some data from C and C++ as well. In other words, it is a platform with which the correct programming can contribute in the development of robotics. In order to program Arduino, computer software provided by the company should be downloaded and then users can start creating projects with this platform. The simplest thing you can do is to make an LED blink automatically via a computer [2]. For more complex applications like aiding vision for patients, you also need various “boards” such as Arduino Uno [3], Robot [4], Pro [5], and Mega 2560 [6]. In general, whoever has imagination and patience, can manufacture whatever he/she wants using Arduino. Moreover, no advanced programming knowledge and techniques are needed – basic knowledge is adequate.

Many medical problems people face today are difficult to solve, but Arduino may provide helpful solutions. Arduino is capable of making medical devices and low-cost PLC controllers. Such devices will open up a whole host of options and capabilities that never existed for medicine. Specifically, these methods may expedite simple examinations such as blood pressure, so that doctors can deal with more complex problems such as treating cancer or attending to patients in need of emergency care. In addition, Arduino can be used to develop an infrared heart sensor. This device would be used on a subject’s finger to measure blood flow through the patient’s finger. The amount of oxygenated blood will be shown in the finger, causing the infrared light to reflect off the skin and towards the transmitter. A sensor wired to an Arduino will show the fluctuations of the oxygen and detect the heartbeat of the subject. Lastly, Arduino controlled devices can assist the elderly by prompting them to take their pills.

In business, Arduino can allow businesses develop more products that are easily upgradeable. For example, there is no way for consumers to alter the functionality of a washing machine or a microwave they purchased. Therefore, if such products used an Arduino board, then consumers would be able to modify the interface in a way to meet their needs. Furthermore, this board could reduce the minimum volume necessary to include a control and sensing system within consumer goods and allow businesses to bring many more unique devices to the market at lower volumes.

Whether it’s medicine, business, or industry, the endless possibilities enabled by Arduino makes it the technology of the future.

References:

  1. “What is an Arduino”. Accessed April 3, 2016. https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/what-is-an-arduino
  2. “Experiment 1: Blinking an LED”. Accessed April 3, 2016. https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sik-experiment-guide-for-arduino—v32/experiment-1-blinking-an-led
  3. “Arduino Uno”. Accessed April 3, 2016. http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/1682209.pdf
  4. “Arduino Robot”. Accessed April 3, 2016. https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Robot
  5. “Arduino Pro”. Accessed April 3, 2016. https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardPro
  6. “Arduino Mega 2560”. Accessed April 3, 2016. https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardMega2560
  7. “PC-based heart rate monitor using Arduino and Easy Pulse sensor”. Posted on June 9, 2013. Accessed April 3, 2016. http://embedded-lab.com/blog/pc-based-heart-rate-monitor-using-arduino-and-easy-pulse-sensor/
  8. “Build an Arduino-powered Pill Reminder clock”. Posted on September 2, 2014. Accessed April 3, 2016. http://www.freetronics.com.au/blogs/news/15273309-build-an-arduino-powered-pill-reminder-clock#.V0hXbMfrNX8

Image References:

  1. Adapted from Reference 7

Stamatis Kavidopoulos is a second year student at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki majoring in Mechanical Engineering.He is interested in the field of Biomechanical Engineering & Health.

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  • Petros Diakoumakos

    VERY NICE ARTICLE THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION MR KAVIDOPOULOS