First-time fun with an Arduino

So the other day I got an early birthday present courtesy of my lovely girlfriend, an Arduino Mega2560 purchased from CPC.

I’ve only had a few hours to play around with it so far, but I have a basic circuit and Sketch (which is Arduino parlance for the C program that is to be uploaded to the ATmega chip), as you can see…

Arduino pulsing an LED

It is really basic at the moment, the program listens for input from the button and every time you press it either pauses or unpauses the PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) in-and-out fading of the LED.

The button is wired to a 10k pull-down resistor. The Arduino actually has the ability to do this itself, you get to choose whether you pull-down yourself or leave it up to the Arduino - Actually I wonder if it is the Atmega chip doing the pulldown, rather than the Arduino.

Every time you toggle the pause/unpause it sends a serial communication through the USB back for display on the Serial monitor (provided as part of the Arduino IDE). It’s really easy to do, but quite a powerful feature built-in.

I need to think up some interesting projects to do with it - Maybe some kind of robot? A robot arm? I have a RaspberryPi, maybe I can achieve something interesting if I wire them together?