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The Influence of Arduinos in New Product Development

Arduinos and similar microcontroller boards are having a huge impact on the way modern products are developed. The low cost and easy to use systems mean that designers and engineers are able to prototype and test ideas in a short period of time, allowing them to make design decisions based on rapid feedback.

By ‘hooking up’ simple electronic components, one is able to test: interfaces, interactions and record data; allowing designers to make changes and improve the quality of a final product. There are a number of ways Arduinos have accelerated the new product process, which are explored below: 


Until recently, prototyping electronics using microcontrollers was an expensive process. However, since 2005, prototyping boards like Arduino have come to market, giving a more affordable solution for prototyping electronic circuits before manufacture. The current Arduino UNO, which is the original Arduino board, costs €20.

Easy to Use

Arduinos and similar boards are designed with ease of use in mind. They are created to make prototyping as simple as possible and are frequently used in schools to teach children how to code. The Arduino IDE is the development environment that allows the user to upload their own code to the board. This interface is simple and easy to use, allowing a designer to quickly create a functional prototype.

Purpose Built

Arduino currently have over 20 different board types, all with different focusses and capabilities. This ranges from boards capable of simple prototyping, to boards that have been designed to develop Internet of Things products and wearable technologies. Different shields are also available to focus the boards capabilities even further. Shields are printed circuit boards (PCBs) that stack on top of microcontroller boards, and are capable of performing a range functions. Examples include: shields designed specifically to control motors and boards with mounted relays capable of controling a higher current or voltage.


Most microcontroller boards, including Arduinos, are open source. This means that all the information about the device and IDE are available to use and modify free of charge. Arduino Mega is a highly versatile option for creating ‘proof of concept’ prototypes that ITERATE readily apply as part of our new product development process.