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Python Programming for Arduino Paperback – February 27, 2015
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About the Author
Pratik Desai, PhD, is the Principal Scientist and cofounder of a connected devices start-up, Imbue Labs, where he develops scalable and interoperable architecture for wearable devices and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms during the day. At night, he leads the development of an open source IoT initiative, the Semantic Repository of Things. Pratik has 8 years of research and design experience in various layers of the IoT and its predecessor technologies such as wireless sensor networks, RFID, and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. His domains of expertise are the IoT, Semantic Web, machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Pratik completed his MS and PhD from Wright State University, Ohio, and collaborated with the Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled Computing (Kno.e.sis) during his doctoral research. His doctoral research was focused on developing situation awareness frameworks for IoT devices, enabling semantic web-based reasoning and handling the uncertainty associated with sensor data. In his personal life, Pratik is an avid DIY junkie and likes to get hands-on experience on upcoming technologies. He extensively expresses his views on technology and shares interesting developments on Twitter (@chheplo).
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Top Customer Reviews
Those subjects are covered in the first 47 pages and are not explained in depth, but all the main features are properly introduced.
Anyone who is familiar with a high level language can find this jump start suitable for his needs.
The book is full of interesting tools and tips to speed up your learning experience.
I particularly appreciate that there are many examples of code; first of all in Python, but often also in Arduino's own language.
The next part of the book provides a lot of recipes for various components (servo and DC motors, LEDs, speakers and so on) presenting a mini-project with the appropriate hardware configuration and a suitable Python program to deal with it.
If you need to find the proper hardware to complete those mini-projects, you will be pleased to notice that there is a very useful choice of URLs to online stores (such as Amazon).
Then, the author describes how to build graphical interfaces with a GUI library called Tkinter, storing and reading data from files and plotting charts with input values from sensors.
At the end of this part, a more complex example is introduced: DIY Thermostat. To complete this project, Raspberry PI is described and there are the main guidelines to use it to deploy the project.
Another half of the book is devoted to illustrate the use of Arduino and Python dealing with networks. At the beginning the basics are presented; then the author deals with "Internet of Things" projects and very advanced features such as web servers, REST interfaces and Amazon AWS services.
A last project summarizes all the concepts listed above.
The book is very well written and covers many subjects. A reader can start with the parts that he finds more interesting, but reading the entire book is a must for everyone who needs a really good coverage of Arduino and Python.
Sometimes I would have liked to get a more detailed description of some topics, but I understand that it would have been impossible, considering the impressive number of examples and projects discussed in the whole book.
I consider this book an ideal reading for programmers who want to work with sensors.
I have been professionally involved with microprocessors and microcontrollers, even after retirement. I've taught
college level courses on the micro. I know and have used quite a few languages from assembly to C++.
Going all the way through this book would keep anyone out of trouble for a long time. I must admit not getting
all the way through at this writing, although I have skimmed the remainder.
The author, in his easy to follow style, is honest and points out when Python should be used and when other "static"
(compiled) languages such as C would be better choice. He demonstrates use of both C and Python in the examples.
Fair treatment of the three major operating systems is refreshing. Those are Windows, Mac, and Linux. Linux
may not be the most popular, but many experimenters who would find this book useful do use Linux. He also
spends a good amount of time bringing new users of Python and the Arduino gently up to speed. Some background
in writing computer programs and elementary knowledge of electronics is desirable, but may not be necessary
as he explains most things in detail.
The "Firmata" protocol was totally foreign to me, and I finally figured out (correctly?) that the more common
term might be "debugger". First time encountering that term, but of course "sketch" (meaning source code) was also
foreign to me before encountering the Arduino. I did not see the common term "bootloader" mentioned. The
author is using the terminology of the Arduino enthusiast rather than those of mainstream hobbyists and
The reader is led through some varied and interesting projects including mating with a Raspberry Pi and other
I/O modules and making a web server. Since the Pi is a substantial outlay of money, I believe the advertising
for the book should give some indications of what is required to fulfill the books projects. To that end, I
would suggest at beginning of book a complete list of materials needed for all projects so reader can order
them before needing them. Many can be ordered through Amazon or eBay from China for little expense and free shipping,
but it takes about 2-4 weeks to receive them.
There is a good intro to Fritzing and how to put it to good use in the projects. Fritzing produces more of
a pictorial view of a project which is great for beginners, but addition of an actual schematic diagram
would be more satisfactory for seasoned users and a good learning tool for the beginner.
Wow! This book goes far beyond my expectations in the projects to include ethernet, wifi, IOT -- expect to
spend some money on the items needed, but the education will be worth it. I do not believe I've seen a
book cover this much territory with such easily understood directions. The author even managed to get Twitter
involved! The book seems quite suitable for a class textbook, easily for middle school grades, and maybe
for advanced elementary school students, but is certainly not dumbed down to insult an adult.
I highly recommend this book -- the author has managed to write for nearly all persons of various backgrounds.