Have you ever wondered how your body functions? Irrespective of your wonder, start making notes! Let me get you started with some basic questions.
Q1. If we were an advanced robot, how do we see?
Ans. Through the eyes (Duh!).
Q2. How do we hear?
Ans. Ears. (Don't chocolates and new toys sound great?)
Q3. How do we differentiate between touching a soft kitten from touching a stone?
Ans. Skin. (I know you prefer a soft kitten more than a stone, trust me, so do I!)
Our nose, ears, skin are all what we call sensors. (Remember, we are all advanced robots!)
And what happens when we touch something hot by mistake? We quickly withdraw our hands. Now a normal kid would not notice this, but you, as an invention-hero, would ask the right question-why does this happen?
Our skin, which is a sensor, senses the hot object and wants to protect itself from damage; it sends a signal to our brain through electrical pulses and returns with instructions on what to do-MOVE AWAY!
Our brain is a microcontroller. A microcontroller is what makes our bodies intelligent, and like any normal human being, a microcontroller is as intelligent as the amount of information that you store in it. (Think about the last time you did not study well for a test, were you able to answer the questions?)
A human body has millions of tiny sensors and has the most advanced processing controller-the brain!
Now how does your mom's cellphone know which friend of hers in calling?
She 'taught' the brain of the cellphone what name a number matched to.
So we reach our most important conclusion of the chapter-microcontrollers are only as intelligent as we make them.
Now here's an exercise for you:
Can you use the internet to find out what sensors can be used to replace human nose, ears, and skin to make a small cardboard robot that will sleep when you turn off the lights and keep the room quiet and stroke it gently? You will build it in due course of this book.
In the afore mentioned system, we see that all the inputs need to go to the brain to get instructions. The brain of this robot will be Arduino.
Stay tuned to find out more fun stuff!