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University of California, Irvine

Interfacing with the Arduino

University of California, Irvine via Coursera


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Arduino senses the environment by receiving inputs from add-on devices such as sensors, and can control the world around it by adjusting lights, motors, and other actuators. In this class you will learn how and when to use the different types of sensors and how to connect them to the Arduino. Since the external world uses continuous or analog signals and the hardware is digital you will learn how these signals are converted back-and-forth and how this must be considered as you program your device. You'll also learn about the use of Arduino-specific shields and the shields software libraries to interface with the real world. Please note that this course does not include discussion forums.


  • Module 1
    • IoT devices involve a combination of software and hardware. This module provides background on the basics of hardware design and wiring needed to build useful circuits. This module describes the functions of basic passive components and describes how to use them in simple circuits. This module also describes how to wire circuits together using a breadboard. The goal of this module is to enable students to design and implement the circuits they need to interact with basic sensors and actuators.
  • Module 2
    • This module introduces sensors and actuators and discusses how to interface with them. We’ll examine different classes of sensors and actuators. For each type of sensor/actuator, we’ll examine the circuitry needed to interface with it. Additionally, we’ll take a look at the Arduino code needed to communicate with the sensors and actuators.
  • Module 3
    • This module introduces the use of software libraries with an Arduino sketch. One of the best aspects of the Arduino environment is that the use of good libraries allows a programmer to use complicated hardware without dealing with the complexity. The Arduino environment is supported by many libraries and this module examines the use of several of the more common libraries that allow the use of hardware peripherals in the microprocessor.
  • Module 4
    • In this module we’ll examine Arduino shields and how they are used to extend the capabilities of an Arduino-based system. Shields are printed circuit boards that are stacked on top of the Arduino together with libraries that enable the new hardware to be used through an Arduino sketch. We’ll describe the benefits of shields and their basic construction as well as the use of libraries in interfacing with each shield. This module also describes how to connect your IoT device to the Internet using shields. We focus on an Ethernet shield in order to establish a wired network connection, and a WiFi shield to establish a wireless connection.

Taught by

Ian Harris


4.5 rating, based on 8 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 3871 ratings

Start your review of Interfacing with the Arduino

  • Kajal Kumari
    In my opinion, the Arduino Uno is one of the best multi-purpose devices a hobbyist, engineer, or tinkerer can have. The Arduino Uno is an incredibly capable microcontroller and it is my go-to platform if I need to make something happen that cannot b…
  • Profile image for Said Kacimi
    Said Kacimi
    I'd rate the "Interfacing with Arduino" course as quite comprehensive and insightful. It covers fundamental concepts in a clear and accessible manner, making it suitable for beginners. The hands-on approach and practical exercises enhance understanding and retention. Overall, it's a highly recommended course for anyone interested in diving into Arduino programming and interfacing.
  • Anonymous
    Professor Ian Harris is very engaging to listen to. I like him a lot. He clearly knows his stuff inside out and is good at explaining things.
  • Ellie Ireland
    This course reviews a lot from the one before in the series, but it is very informative and hands on (so long as you have an Arduino.)

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