Hi Guys! Hope you’re well today. I welcome you on board. In this post today, I’ll walk you through the Introduction to Arduino Esplora.
Looking like a videogame controller, the Arduino Esplora is an electrical device that contains an Arduino Leonardo board (microcontroller) and a number of outputs and inputs. There are a colored LED and a buzzer as outputs. And there is a light sensor, four buttons, a joystick, a microphone, an accelerometer, and a temperature sensor as inputs. In other words, it is just like another Arduino Board with integrated actuators and sensors.
Just stay with me for a little while, as I’m going to document the complete Introduction to Arduino Esplora covering pinout, working, pin description, how it’s different than other Arduino boards, and applications.
Let’s jump right in.
Introduction to Arduino Esplora
Introduced by Arduino.cc, the Arduino Esplora is an electrical device that is based on the Arduino Leonardo board and contains integrated actuators and sensors.
Similar to the Arduino Leonardo, the Esplora board is incorporated with an Atmega32U4 AVR microcontroller that carries a 16 MHz crystal oscillator.
The Esplora comes with onboard light and sound outputs, and many input sensors, like a temperature sensor, an accelerometer, a joystick, a slider, a light sensor, and a microphone.
It also contains two Tinkerkit input and output connectors to enhance its capabilities and a socket used for the LCD screen.
Arduino Boards like Arduino Esplora are developed to provide both hardware and software platforms in one place. You can control the board with Arduino software as you like better. Plug and play with the device without getting hands-on experience in electronics.
It can mimic a keyboard or mouse that gives you the ability to use it with any 3D software.
Arduino Esplora board contains two actuators and 11 inputs. It carries a light sensor, an accelerometer, a multiplexer, and a mic, an RGB LED, and a buzzer.
This board contains all built-in sensors and actuators, the reason it’s easy to program and easy to handle through Arduino IDE software.
The Arduino Esplora is a great package for beginners, with built-in features, giving you the ability to plug and play with the device and get desired results on the fly.
This board is not compatible with the Arduino Shields, but you can connect this device with the external LCD module.
To connect the other modules, this device carries two output and two input ports. These ports are compatible with the signal, voltage, and ground pins and are known as 2 pin TinkerKit ports.
The Arduino Esplora is an ideal pick for creating a remote control device for your electrical project. You can develop external communication with your project without any hassle.
A micro USB cable is attached to the board, and it carries almost everything to get you started without having to combine and assemble anything from outside.
Information is extracted from the inputs and is used to write the program in the software which is then used to control the outputs on the board or your computer just like a remote controller.
Arduino Esplora is compatible with the Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment) like other boards.
Plus, you can also run this device with Arduino Web Editor that is hosted online and is incorporated with the latest support and features for all boards. Read this guide on how to use this browser and upload your sketches online.
And if you want to use this board offline, you need to install the Arduino IDE desktop version.
This board contains everything built-in to get you started. You need to simply connect the board with the computer through USB cable and start your work.
The reset pushbutton is located at the upper left corner that is used to restart the board.
Esplora carries four LEDs as follows:
ON LED is colored green that identifies if the board is getting a power supply
Accessible through pin 13, L is a yellow LED that is directly connected to the microcontroller.
RX and TX are yellow LEDs that determines the information received or transmitted through USB communication.
Arduino Esplora Features
The following are the sensors available on the Esplora board:
push-button of the joystick
2 TinkerKit input connectors
4 separate push-buttons
The following are the actuators present on the board:
2 TinkerKit connectors
Arduino Esplora Set up with Windows
First, you require a standard software developed by Arduino.cc known as Arduino IDE. This software is used to program and control the board through your system.
Now connect the board with the computer through micro USB that is used to transfer the program from the computer system to the board.
As you connect the cable the green power LED (labeled ON) will turn on and then the yellow LED will start glowing that is marked ‘L’. The yellow LED will go blinking on and off after 8 seconds indicating your board is connected with the computer.
When you connect the board, the Windows will automatically start its driver installation process. It the installation process doesn’t start automatically, go to the windows device manager then (Start > Control Panel > Hardware) and go to the Arduino Esplora listing. Right-click this listing and pick Update driver.
At the next popped up window, select "Browse my computer for driver software", and click Next
Now click the ‘Browse’ option. It will return another window: find the folder with the Arduino software that you have installed. Choose the drivers folder and click OK, then click the ‘Next’ button
You will get a notification that reads, “the board has not passed Windows Logo testing.” Click on the option “Continue Anyway.”
After a while, a window will open that reads “Windows has finished installing the driver software for this device” Now click the ‘close’ button.
These instructions are for the system having Windows 7 operating system. If you have a MAC or Linux then read this post on how to connect Arduino Esplora with the system.
All pictures placed here are from Arduino.cc
The following are the applications of Arduino Esplora.
Used in Arduino Wifi remote controller
Used in robotics and electronics
Incorporated to identify free-fall detection using an accelerometer
Employed to emulate mouse or keyboard
That’s all for today. I hope you find this read helpful. If you have any questions, you can approach me in the section below, I’d love to help you the best way I can. Feel free to keep us updated with your valuable feedback and suggestions, they help us generate quality work customized to your exact needs and requirements. Thank you for reading the article.
I am Syed Zain Nasir, the founder of The Engineering Projects (TEP). I am a
programmer since 2009 before that I just search things, make small projects and now I am sharing my
knowledge through this platform. I also work as a freelancer and did many projects related to
programming and electrical circuitry. My Google Profile+Follow