5 Intermediate to Advanced Arduino Projects

Test out your Arduino skills with these Arduino projects.

Close up of male hands holding an Arduino microcontroller board

Ernesto r. Ageitos / Getty Images

Perhaps you've been introduced to the world of Arduino through one of our Arduino projects for beginners, and now you're looking for a challenge. These five project ideas combine the Arduino platform with a variety of other technologies and uses. They're sure to stretch your abilities as a developer, while underscoring the versatility of the Arduino platform.

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Control an iOS Device

You can use an Arduino to interface with an an iPhone or iPad. Doing so opens up a range of possibilities for home automation, robotics control, and interaction with connected devices. This project creates a simple interface between Arduino and iOS using a ​RedPark breakout pack. The connection allows you to create iOS apps that will control Arduino modules without requiring jail-breaking or modification of your iOS device. Electronics that are controlled by your mobile phone will become a popular interaction method, and this Arduino project creates an easy prototyping platform for experimentation.

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Create a Twitter Mood Light

Use your Arduino to control a mood light—an LED lamp that glows in a variety of colors—so that the color represents the overall emotion of worldwide Twitter users at a given moment. Make it glow red for anger, yellow for happiness, or any other color you'd prefer. The project allows you to quickly sense the mood of the world—or, more accurately, the world according to Twitter.

While it may seem frivolous, the project introduces the concept of aggregating data for alternate purposes. For example, by coupling Arduino with a web interface like Twitter, you can track a number of useful public metrics. If you are a brand manager, you can monitor the number of conversations about your product. By pairing a powerful web monitor with a physical indicator like an LED light, you can give users access to an array of personalized data points that are easily read and understood by anyone, regardless of software experience.

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Make an Open-Source Quadcopter

Many quadcopters are used as toys, but they have a variety of practical, artistic, and scientific uses as well, with cameras, monitors, and other tools that can be fastened to the chassis. Quadcopter designs allow for a stable and maneuverable platform in a device that can be operated both indoors and outdoors. There are a number of open source specifications for a multi-rotor copter, the two notable ones being AeroQuad, and ArduCopter. These projects combine Arduino with robotics disciplines, including telemetry, navigation, and real-time environment sensing. The specifications for a variety of UAVs are included, along with open-source code to control the vehicles.

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Build a Self-Balancing Segway Robot

Similar to the quadcopter project, Arduino enthusiasts have built a self-balancing robot. The Arduway began as an undergraduate computer science thesis, and like the quadcopter it can help develop skills related to programming, machine robotics, and product prototyping. Arduway is created by combining an Arduino with gyroscope and accelerometer sensors, as well as parts from a Lego NXT programmable robotics kit.​

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Make an RFID Access Control System

RFID is an important technology in the field of supply chain logistics. Walmart, for example, has made use of RFID to undergird its sophisticated global logistics system. This Arduino project uses this same technology to provide access control to a variety of physical devices and objects, such as the front door of your house. Using Arduino, the system can read passive RFID tags, query a database, and allow access to approved tags. In this way, one could also vary the access by tag, allowing different levels of access for different people. This access control system doesn't have to be limited to doors, as it can also be applied to appliances, computer systems, or whatever else you can imagine.