How was the Arduino born? How to start on Arduino ?


The arduino is an electronic board created to simplify electronics for those who want to start or improve in electronics.

It allows to make accessible the world of electronics and to create projects easily, in particular the domotics, the piloting of robot, the embedded systems…

The Arduino board has programmable inputs and outputs that allow to control many components: DC motor, servomotor, photoresistor, remote control, push button, distance sensor…

The history of Arduino

The Arduino is originally a project of students from the School of Design in Italy. In the 2000s, the tools for designing electronic projects were hardly accessible to those who were not part of the field. Mastering electronics and using its components required a lot of time and learning and slowed down the creation process for young students.

he students involved in this project will create a more affordable and easier to use platform called Arduino.

It is based on the Processing development environment developed in 2001 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

With the help of their teachers, they designed the very first Arduino board in 2005. Entirely open source, Arduino has the advantage of being cross-platform and easy to learn. The Arduino board created by the student group is called wiring and it will be the first one commercialized. This board is programmable with Processing software. A software was then developed especially for Arduino boards, called Arduino IDE.

In 2008, the group of five students decided to create their company, Arduino LLC. Indeed, the boards were produced in factory and the manufacturers owed them a royalty. A website was then created,, to gather the Arduino community, the boards, the libraries and the courses on Arduino.

Other boards were then created according to the improvements and needs of the community, we can cite the Arduino Uno board in 2010; the best known board today, the Arduino nano and Mega board. You can find all these Arduino boards at the end of our course.

In October 2017, Arduino announced the partnership with Arm to produce their microcontroller. Most boards sold on the market today have an 8-bit ARM microprocessor, except the Arduino Due board which uses a 32-bit microprocessor.

Getting started on Arduino

We will see now how to start with electronics. For this you will need several important components to get started:

a) The arduino board

The first thing you need is an arduino. The Arduino board is a small programmable electronic board, with computing power to control components and retrieve sensor values.

It is intended for beginners and electronics enthusiasts who want to make their own projects while learning electronics. The most famous Arduino board is the Arduino Uno. It is the most documented board on the internet so you will find all the resources you need to get started!

 In an electronic circuit, the Arduino board will process incoming information, such as the value of a sensor through a program and control actuators that correspond to the outputs of the board.

We recommend our course on the functioning of the Arduino board to better understand its role.

Take an official card or a copy?

The Arduino brand has developed all its boards in open source. This means that all the resources on how to build an Arduino board are available on the internet and that anyone can create one and sell it legally.

Nevertheless, is it worth it to buy a real one?

As you can see, the Arduino board “clones” are mostly cheaper. Nevertheless, they are not all good to buy. Indeed, as the card is open source, the quality of each card varies.


So we advise you to buy only brands you know, especially Elegoo and official Arduino boards!

b) The breadboard

A breadboard is a test board that will allow you to test your projects before soldering. It will allow you to check that your circuit works well and to change components without having to unsolder them.

How does it work?

There is a very particular way to put components so that they work together.

There are two lines on each side of the breadboard, the + and the -. This is where you can power all your components: By plugging 3.3V into the + and the ground into the -, then you can plug the components into these same lines to power them. These lines are connected together in parallel.

To place your components, it is in the middle of the breadboard that you can do it. The lines in the middle work the opposite of the lines at the ends, they are linked together by the vertical.

You can also use jumper wires to wire your components to test your circuits. If you need more informations about the breadboard we have done a course about it.

c) The connecting wires

The wires is used to link your components to your Arduino board. They are essential for a beginner.

When to use jumper cables or a Breadboard?

In some circuits, the breadboard can replace the connecting wires and vice versa. However, these two elements have very different roles:

The bonding wires will be useful if you have few components or if you have components that you have to move, like a photoresistor for example.

We advise you to use a breadboard if you have more than two components:

The breadboard will allow you to connect components together more easily. In addition, you can connect multiple components while keeping your circuit clean.

d) The components

The components is an essential thing that you will need for your circuit. Indeed, the Arduino board is just a gateway between your commands and the component in question.

When you are starting out, it can be difficult to know which components you need. There are some components that are more or less difficult to make work, so it’s a good idea to learn which ones you’ll use in each project:

The Resistor: This component is necessary for almost all circuits. It allows to limit the current in it and thus to protect your others components. 

The push button: It’s a switch that you operate with the pressure of your finger like a light switch. This will allow you to control components like turning on a led, a motor, or many other actions…
The push button do stay in position when you release it (instead of the dip switch for example)

The DC motor: A motor is a key part of a project. There are different motors in electronics; stepper motor, servo motor. We advise you to read the difference between each one in order to choose the one that suits you..

Where to buy the components?

There are two ways to buy components on Arduino: You can buy them one by one depending on the project you want to do if you already have some knowledge in electronics…

Otherwise if you are a beginner you can buy an arduino beginner kit which contains several essential components to get started! This will allow you to familiarize yourself with Arduino and to be able to choose the right components to make your future projects.

f) Programming Software

In order for the Arduino board to be able to execute the commands you want, you will have to program it. For this there are two types of programming software:

Graphical block programming, where the user must place blocks that form an action in order to make a program. Each block corresponds to an instruction like turning on the motor, and the set of blocks placed in the order constitute your program.

One of the best known software to program by blocks on Arduino is ardublock.

If you want to write yourself the lines of code in the interpreter, Arduino IDE is the software you will need to program your Arduino board. It will make the link between the machine language and your computer. The language used is Arduino, which is derived from the C language.

Bonus : List of Arduino boards

We made a list of all the Arduino boards according to their chronological release:
Year of marketing
2007 Diecimila
2008 Duemilanove Nano Mini
2009 Méga Méga 2560
2010 Uno
2011 Ethernet Méga Adk
2012 Leonardo Micro