Institute for Personal Robots in Education Blog

The standard method for

Mon, 2012-03-19 17:31

The standard method for working with the Arduino is not Processing, it is the Arduino IDE. ( This is a fairly full featured IDE that uses a C like language derived from Wiring (which is modeled on Processing). It is actually uses the gnu C/C++ compiler and is basically C/C++ with some syntatic sugar and libraries.

If the arduino is to be used only in a PC connected environment and the author does not want to learn/teach the Arduino environment, then I can understand using Calico or Processing or whatever. However, if the goal is to teach Physical Computing, sooner or later they will need to do C. The arduino environment makes it pretty simple. I've taught high school and younger (4th grade even!).

There are thousands of libraries and projects built using straight arduino ide. Most are open source and easily adapted. The basic IDE and almost every library includes an Examples that is directly accessible from the File>Examples menu.

For example, here is the Blink sketch, which is roughly equivalent to the Calico example. It will blink the (usually built in) LED on pin 13 on/off.

  Turns on an LED on for one second, then off for one second, repeatedly.
  This example code is in the public domain.

void setup() {
  // initialize the digital pin as an output.
  // Pin 13: Arduino has an LED connected on pin 13
  pinMode(13, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
  digitalWrite(13, HIGH);   // set the LED on
  delay(1000);              // wait for a second
  digitalWrite(13, LOW);    // set the LED off
  delay(1000);              // wait for a second


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