Arduino IDE for BRIX₂¶
What is Arduino?
"Arduino is a tool for making computers that can sense and control more of the physical world than your desktop computer. It's an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board.
Arduino can be used to develop interactive objects, taking inputs from a variety of switches or sensors, and controlling a variety of lights, motors, and other physical outputs. Arduino projects can be stand-alone, or they can communicate with software running on your computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP.) The boards can be assembled by hand or purchased preassembled; the open-source IDE can be downloaded for free.
The Arduino programming language is an implementation of Wiring, a similar physical computing platform, which is based on the Processing multimedia programming environment."
(taken from http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/Introduction)
So is BRIX₂ an Arduino?¶
Arduinos come in a huge variety of different boards. They all have in common that they use only a small number of different Atmel microcontrollers, which have a bootloader installed that allows uploading Sketches(Firmware) to the device via the Arduino IDE. Above that, the Arduino software framework is able to generate code for all these boards from the same C/C++ source files. This is possible by using flexible libraries and a mess of makefiles.
However, this means: If a microcontroller platform uses a certain Atmel microcontroller and has the Arduino bootloader installed, it becomes Arduino-compatible. This means it behaves just like an Arduino, from the view of the Arduino IDE. And that is exactly what the BRIX₂ system does.
BRIX₂ can be programmed using the Arduino IDE, using all available libraries for Arduino and using all the knowledge that is available on the web. We basically just swapped the hardware. So you might think of BRIX₂ as an extended Arduino from now on. To be precise: The part of BRIX₂ that you will work on is the same as an "Arduino Leonardo", which means you have to select that particular hardware in the IDE in order to compile and upload your sketches.