Intermediate to Advanced Arduino Projects

Close up of male hands holding an Arduino microcontroller board

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Perhaps you've been introduced to the world of Arduino via one of our Arduino projects for beginners, and now you are looking for a challenge. These five project ideas combine the Arduino platform with an array of technologies from across many disciplines. These projects will stretch your abilities as a developer, and really underscore the power and versatility of the Arduino.

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Connect an iOS Device to Arduino

Apple's iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad offer an interface that many users have grown accustomed to. Mobile apps are increasingly becoming the way a wide audience of tech users are interfacing with information, and mobile interaction paradigms are becoming the norm. Creating an interface between an iPhone or iPad app and Arduino opens up a range of possibilities for home automation, robotics control, and connected devices interaction. 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 in this area.

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Twitter Mood Light

This project outlines the creation of a mood light, an LED lamp that glows in an array of colors. However, instead of a random cycle of colors, the light color represents the overall emotion of worldwide Twitter users at a given time. It glows red for anger, yellow for happiness, and a number of other colors for different emotions. This allows one to quickly sense the world's mood, based on a sampling from Twitter. While this may seem somewhat frivolous, it touches upon a number of powerful ideas of how Arduino can be used. By coupling Arduino to a web interface like Twitter, you can track any number of useful public metrics. For example, if you are a brand manager, you could monitor the number of conversations about your product, how well your product is becoming part of the conversation. By pairing a powerful web monitor with a physical indicator like an LED light, you can give users access to an array of personalized, relevant data points that are easily read and understood by anyone, regardless of software experience.

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Open-Source Quadcopter

Quadcopters have become very popular of late, with a number of recreational models available, some of which can be controlled from mobile devices. While many of the recent applications of this technology have emerged as toys, quadrotors, or quadcopters represent an important area of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research. The quadrotor design allows for a stable and maneuverable platform in a small 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 various disciplines in robotics, including telemetry, navigation and real-time environment sensing. The specifications for a variety of UAVs are posted, along with open-source code to control the vehicles.

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Self-Balancing Segway Robot

In a similar vein to the quadcopter project, Arduino enthusiasts have found a way to use Arduino to create a robot that can move on land efficiently. The Arduway is a project started as an undergraduate computer science thesis and is an example of a self-balancing moving robot using Arduino. Like the quadcopter, the Arduway uses Arduino with a number of important technologies in the robotics and machine sensory fields and highlights the versatility of the platform. Not only has the project demonstrated that Arduino can be used for prototyping robotics devices, but the Arduway shows the accessibility of the project to the general public. Arduway was created by combining Arduino with gyroscope and accelerometer sensors and parts found as part of the Lego NXT brand of robotics parts.​

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RFID Access Control System

RFID has become an increasingly important technology, particularly in the field of supply chain and logistics. Wal-Mart, for example, has made extensive use of RFID to support the world-class logistics system that is their main source of competitive advantage. This Arduino project uses this same technology to provide access control; for example, this project could allow you to control your house's doors using an RFID card. Using Arduino, the system can read passive RFID tags, and 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 doesn't have to be limited to doors, but can be applied to appliances, computer systems, and many other everyday items and tasks.