2010, Technology  -   35 Comments
Ratings: 8.52/10 from 31 users.

ArduinoThe Arduino is a type of open source hardware. Using an Arduino is fairly straightforward: buy a board and attach it to a personal computer via a cable.

Then load instructions into the Arduino's processor via the personal computer, William Gurstelle explained.

Once programmed, the Arduino makes decisions based on the information transmitted by whatever sensors you've hooked up, and does something corporeal, such as turn on or off the motors, displays, valves, and lights attached to it.

Arduino, a small, open-source hardware microcontroller platform has been turning heads in it’s flexibility as a prototyping platform for a dizzying array of applications, from oscillators to robots to 3d printers, just to name a few.

This documentary interviews the revolutionary beginning of the creators behind this movement, and touches upon what it will mean for students, engineers, and garage tinkerers alike.

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35 Comments / User Reviews

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  1. Boogywoogy

    That was good! I like that. what a docu. I think I'm going to buy one

  2. bluetortilla

    I think it'd be great to not necessarily automate my house for convenience, but for interaction and information sharing as well. It'd be fun to have a 'playful house' as well. For example, have your bathroom sink randomly tell jokes. Stuff like that.

  3. Marko Marjanovic IV

    I believe i read somewhere that you can build one for about US100, dont remember where, it was long time ago. Google up diy arduino or or build arduino or arduino projects..
    It does anything you tell him too, you can use it to automate almost anything.

  4. Wayne Perkins

    Great documentary. The whole idea of open source hardware is a real game changer. Can't wait to see how this pans out in the future..

  5. Peter Halpin

    This documentary forgot to tell us what it is about. maybe im impatient but 5 minutes in and no idea what the thing actually does.

    1. David Ford

      I agree. I still have no idea what that thing does. They probably should have squeezed that in there.

    2. Rodrigo Calvo

      The idea is to put face to the arduino makers, if you are not able to get the documentary, I´m the director.

  6. lebigouden

    @Wayne: "If it can't be copyrighted, controlled, and sold at a great profit, it will be rejected by the major business world. "
    In this instance, i do not think you are right. I am a procurement manager and routinely needs to buy samples made with rapid prototyping technology (3D printers). For a small/medium plastic simple part it costs anywhere from 250 up to 2000 dollars.
    The open-source 3D printer costs about 700 bucks to build(against 25000 for a non open source), it could save us quite a lot of money. I did not know about this but i am going to ask one of our engineer if he could build us a reprap.

    EDIT: Of course i expect there will be limitations compared to a full blown 3D printer, but still..

  7. Ovidiu Bledea

    This is the easiest microcontroller board to just pick up and use. Love the price as well; it's actually affordable.

  8. XenoLair

    The best microcontroller ever made!

  9. annatto

    I sat down to watch this in order to "improve my mind". I can safely say that I learned nothing at all. These people are seriously way above my league.;-)

  10. Jeigh

    @Bianca, Lol... I agree. I think the film makers were programmers. They over looked the fact that the majority of people, would have no idea what they were talking about at first. They should have started with the 3-D printer to "wow" us and explain arduino at the same time.

    1. Chris Teddi-b

      documentaries tell a story. they're not mean to "teach" you anything except the history of a thing or event. The arduino community is more than adequate to get anyone started. I don't think the documentary is meant to introduce anybody to arduino. that's just not what documentaries are for.

    2. Rodrigo Calvo

      no we are not programers, the whole idea was to put face to all plp involved.

  11. Bianca

    Wish they started with explaining what it does and talked about how it was built after... Now I see people with all kinds of gadgets but I would have preferred someone to sit down and say OK you plug this is here and then do that and that enables you to do this and this and this.

    Instead we got a lot of open source advertising, open source coat hooks included, some weird devices and people prattling on about how great it is...

    I'm not a programmer so I have to say it's not really grabbed my attention with this 'documentary' :/

  12. Tommy

    I've visited this brilliant site for the last 3 years and this is my first comment! I just wanted to say thank you to Vlatko for all his amazing effort, such big and new variety and lots to get through :-D

    Thank you once again

  13. Jeigh

    @ Atrophy, Thanks. That was very useful and farther reaching than the original- "so what difference does it make." Possibly, I didn't clarify my first comment enough. "There are of course some hangups." That implies, the nature of man is the hangup. I am not a politician however, and see no use for such scrutiny over little more than an observation. Had you simply postured your first comment, like your second comment, there would have been no need for a second comment at all. You would have gotten my usual; "Thanks, great information." reply.

  14. Jeigh

    None. I was just thinking of the possibilities; as I clearly stated. That is a cute little trick you use, time and time again. You try to make your argument seem simple and obvious, but what you actually do, is make everything more complicated than it really is, or needs to be.

    I see that with you, I need to go into broad detail, to elaborate on what I was simply posturing theoretically.

    One mentally deranged individual could have the technology placed in the palm of his hands to build a large scale assault weapon arsenal. If said individual also possessed an incredibly powerful and charismatic personality that helped him develop a, "cult of personality" army, that he then uses to kill millions of innocent people; that could be a problem...

    Before you try to recycle your same played out argument in this new scenario; think about this. Anytime you buy weapons on the black market there is an added risk of discovery, and therefor, less likelihood of the scenario playing out to begin with.

    While I often appreciate your comments Atrophy: Your need to take every little thing somebody says; turn it around to make yourself look bright and clever, gets real old, real fast and seems like a condition more that observation.

    Just because someone doesn't write a novel about the dynamics of one little theoretical comment; it doesn't mean it hasn't been thought out. Sometimes the job of imagining these scenarios is kindly left to the reader (you). I find the least creative thinkers often come up argumentative critiques that tread shallowly around the edges of much deeper thought.

    So in the future Atrophy... I have probably already thought it out further than you are able; I have no need for your catty little ego boosters, that only lead to further handicap your attempts at realistic or theoretical problem solving.

  15. Atrophy

    You can produce illegal weapons with a little know-how and the right tools and materials anyway so what difference does it make?

  16. Jeigh

    @Atrophy- thanks for the link. This thing is so cool. A machine that reproduces itself. It's hard to think of all the possibilities. There are of course some hang ups. I guess it would be able to create illegal weapons.

  17. Wayne

    You know this thing is great. Not one corporate executive looking person in the documentary.
    However, that's the problem. If it can't be copyrighted, controlled, and sold at a great profit, it will be rejected by the major business world.

  18. yiannis

    This is the best site ever. Thanks Vlatko

  19. afly_on_the_wall

    dog gone it! two years on this site and this is the first doc i i'm having trouble loading oh poo ;(

  20. Jeigh

    @doc-fan, Why on earth would you want apple to have anything to do with this? Or think they would? You do realize that the App Store and the new Lion OS are limiting the freedoms of their users right?. Apple is the exact opposite of open-source. They are genius marketers, designers, and rip-off artists. They don't want to sell cheap tools to make you rich, they sell cheaply made tools, that are not up-gradable, and last only a few years to make APPLE and APPLE only rich. They have amazing software. But, if you want to really do anything with it, you have to buy a machine that is at least two grand. I'm not a hater. I have owned four Macs over the past five years. Every single one of them had major issues. In fact I just sent one off to be repaired as retribution to a class action law suit. Finally, I said enough and learned how to put my own machines together. It was not difficult. That's another thing Mac doesn't want you to know. I get what your saying, but pigs will fly before Apple gives a $#$* about making anyone else rich.

  21. doc-fan

    Great documentary! Open source hardware sounds fantastic! I only wish Apple or other good phone companies could look at this type of technology to make more rich by selling cheap tools for users.

  22. Jeigh

    @Waldo, Thanks, you explained it perfectly. I will never post a comment before I finish the film again. If you are watching the film and are a little confused like a few of us here were, just keep watching, it will make sense. Or read the above post.

    @bogdan Me too! That things was amazing.

    This device seems like it could influence some environmental change as well. Much less fuel used to ship Happy meal parts from China.

  23. Jeigh

    Nevermind... I get it now. When I posted, the film started over and I realized I was taking his comments too literally. Lol... i@#$%.

  24. waldo

    @ Gidz

    Its basically a sort of processor for external devices. It has the ability to turn on or off the motors, displays, valves, and lights attached to it. Which basically means it can manipulate external devices like robots or 3d printers. In the past we used drivers (software that makes hardware work) to allow the external hardware to communicate with and therefore use the internal processor in your PC for the same purpose. This would reduce the load on your internal processor, which is already in heavy use by your usual PC devices. That's my take on it anyway, I may be incorrect.

    I used to be a tech head , but I am horribly out of date. When I was a techy we used DOS and the most sophisticated devices in general use were tape drives and dot matrix printers. I remember learning to program in BASIC, and thinking nothing could ever be so sophisticated and cool as the game "break away". (LOL)

  25. Jeigh

    Thanks Vlatko!

    I have a decent understanding of most things tech and of some engineering. This thing fascinates me; most importantly because it is "open source".
    I am twelve minutes in though, and I still don't understand what exactly is going on. Before anyone else says it... I know, maybe I'm not as savvy as I thought.

    The analogy that the guy uses around the eleven minute mark confuses me. He says if I want to make a dress that blinks, I have to learn a lot about electronics first, but with arduino, it would only take a couple of minutes.

    First of all, making the dress would be the hard part for me. Wiring it with blinking lights would be very easy though. Power source, relay, lights, done. How is this device going to do that in two minutes.

    I have not finished the film yet, and I will be the first to condemn myself, if the answer arises when I push the play button... but from the first third of the film, I still don't exactly understand whats up, and doubt I will by the end either.

    @Achems Razor, Thanks for the info, I will be checking it out shortly.

  26. Achems Razor

    Apparently you can get arduino at most radio shack stores.

    If you want a"getting started with ardunio.. @.. craftzine. com blog"

  27. Vitor Mendes

    I had no idea this existed and i am fascinated by it. Just when you think nothing can surprise you...

    Thanks Vlatko for posting

  28. bogdan

    i wanna make a 3d printer

  29. Gidz

    I love that they are excited about it.
    But I still have no idea what it is. haha.
    I'm not a tech head at all.
    I have sent this doco to a mate though that is going to be pretty inspired I hope.

  30. Nick

    I didn't know kits like this existed. I'm ordering one right away. Damn I love this site.

    Thanks Vlatko

  31. J

    *Geeking out*

    Thanks Vlatko for another good documentary!