Arduino and Open Source Technology

Technology is one of the fastest growing industries
of our time. Over the course of human history the amount of technological advances is tremendous
and still growing today. The next advance in this era, is open source technology. Open-sourced
technology promotes people with experience in the field to share their knowledge in a
simple way so the common man can understand, use and modify this to his needs. Open-sourcing
your project allows others to have input in your project and make it better with ideas.
This new era of innovation is breaking the barrier between professionals and common people
who have amazing ideas but don’t know how to implement them. An example of open-source
technology is the Arduino. The Arduino is “a computing platform based on a microcontroller,
and a development environment for writing software for the board.”The simplicity and
feasibility of the Arduino and its open-sourced technology allows people without much background
in building or programming to let their creative minds take over without devoting their whole
life to programming or engineering. Availability is one of the most important
factors to consider when creating a product. It is a key component to the success of the
product. The Arduino has an extremely high availability for various reasons. Firstly,
it has open-source hardware and software. Open source technology has vastly grown over
the years and can take a role on the success of the Ardunio. It is an advance in the technological
era which allows for the common person to access the source. Open source technology
has greatly increased in popularity in the past years and is being utilized with the
Arduino. Arduino claims that ” In particular, we believe that people should be able to study
our hardware to understand how it works, make changes to it, and share those changes. To
facilitate this, we release all of the original design files (Eagle CAD) for the Arduino hardware.”
Secondly, the Arduino has variety a of different products. Arduino holds kits for beginners,
intermediate, and advanced users. the variety of kits for differently skilled users will
result in an increase in popularity. It has over 30 different boards and shields for users
to buy. Arduino also has Arduino Single-Sided Serial board which can be easily etched and
assembled for users who want to create their own board. Thirdly, another factor to its
availability is its cost. The Arduino has a price-tag so the common user wouldn’t be
investing much. With the starter kit being only approximately $80.00. The prices can
range from $20 to $200. In conclusion, with the utilzation of open source technology,
its variety of kits and parts for different users, and cost efficient price-tag creates
large availability which will allow for the Arduino to grow in popularity.
A products’ difficulty level can greatly affect the success of the product. The learning curve
should be small, so more people will be able to understand and execute projects. Open source
allows for the learning curve to become mild. A large advantage to open-sourced technology
is that inexperienced people can understand it very easily, and quickly. The Arduino is
a very good example of this because its extremely simple to program, you can get projects and
help from many online forums, and there’s many levels of projects to try out. Firstly,
the basic programming language that the arduino uses is both easy to get and easy to use.
The code is similar to many other languages as it is based off of AVR C programming language
so the learning curve isn’t steep. If you need help, whether it be a hardware or a software
issue, there are many online forums and Arduino provides starter documents to help start inexperienced
users on their projects. Lastly, if you don’t think you are ready for the massive and complex
arduinos, you can settle for a simple one like the Arduino Starter pack for starters,
and move up to things like the Arduino Mega 2560 for larger projects. In conclusion, the
Arduino and open sourced technology has adaptable difficulties to allow for inexperienced users
and advanced users to make use of the Arduino. Although the Arduino seems really simple and
easy to use, if you take the time to understand it completely, you can make it do amazing
things. Firstly, the world of bike safety can be altered by the Arduino. There are many
free online tutorials showing you how you can build and program a jacket that with built
in turn signals on the back. its made with some off the shelf push-buttons and LED’s.
Miscommunication is a big cause of bike and car accidents and this simple and easy project
can help solve this problem and save a few lives and broken bones. Secondly, the many
sensors that the Arduino can handle can manipulate the world of exploration as well. Again, you
can find articles and blogs online that can show you how to build and code an underwater
ROV (remote operated vehicle) that is about 1000 times cheaper than the ROV James Cameron
used to explore the Titanic. With only 5% of the world’s oceans explored at this moment,
projects like these can help a lot in the exploration industry. Lastly, war and military
industry can be greatly altered by the Arduino. For example, there are easy to build Arduino
powered quadrocopters that are cheap and easy to make and completely remote control. Things
like this can be used both for good and for bad in the war industry with heavily modified
drones, as well as small improvised ones. Unreliable sources. Counter: Open source technology
can have less reliable sources to a certain degree, as it is much easier to access the
code. However, since many more people can access such code, it allows for more people
to find bugs and fix them so these unreliable sources don’t become a large issue. Argument:open source is usually free or extremely
inexpensive. Counter: Some arguments can be made that open source
technology doesn’t generate enough profit to run a business. So how do they earn revenue,
there are various other methods open source companies use to generate revenue. Paid support
is one of the most common sources of revenue. Companies also package more substantial (and
expensive) professional services with open source software. Often a customer needs help
implementing the open source tech or may need help customizing it for their particular needs.
They’ll pay to ensure it’s expertly installed and maintained. Other professional services
may include quality assurance and training. They can also sell licenses for commercial
use. The Arduino and open source technology will
grow in popularity in the next 10 years. It has availability, adaptability and capability
to prove to be successful.

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