As everybody knows, Arduino , the ‘’magic’’ microcontroller board, is one of the most used in the world. With Arduino, it is very practical and easy to introduce prototyping to people without background in electronic and programming. Arduino allows them to learn and prototype their projects right away.
In Senegal, some engineering schools have started introducing Arduino classes in their program. Even if Arduino training programs are not yet fully operational, the initiatives should be welcomed, promoted, strengthened and multiplied across the country and the continent.
After discussing and exchanging ideas with some teachers from ESP (Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique) an engineering school of Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, we have decided to introduce 30 hours Arduino workshop for their master degree students.
Because the majority of students never used Arduino before, the workshop focuses first on Arduino’s basics and fundamentals.
First, we explained all the opportunities offered by Arduino and then we showed how it works. Afterwards, we presented Arduino’s interface and the first ‘’Blink’’ program to switch a LED ON or OFF. The different step to write the program in IDE ( Variable declaration, Void setup (), void loop () and all syntax).
Second, we showed how to connect sensors, then we explained the difference between Analog and Digital pin. That being done, we taught how to connect these sensors to the Arduino board and how to write the code according to the type of pin they will use (Analog or Digital), .
All that is followed by several practical exercises with different sensors (Motion, IR, Temprature/Humidity, Sound, Flam, etc.). Below you can see some prototype made by the students.
1. Alarm and deterrent system
2. Automatedsystem that contains air cooling
3. Develop a portable temperature, pollution level detection and display system
4. Remote control puppet
After these weeks of training, we noticed that students have learned and acquired new skills on Arduino sensor for their future academic, professional or personal project.