Beyond Arduino: A guide for the perplexed

Shahzad Muzaffar, Ibrahim M. Elfadel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Arduino IDE and boards have been used in training, hobby projects, and lab experiments because of their ease of use, flexibility, and readily available libraries. However, they cannot be used for commercial products and customized systems that target low-cost and low-power operation, are resource-constrained and need to comply with industrial and regulatory standards. This paper provides a methodology and guidelines on how to migrate a lab prototype developed using the Arduino environment and to a near-product prototype using an industry-strength IDE and MDK development environment. The guidelines involve a sequence of steps whose main goal is to minimize the hardware and software debugging effort. Each step is focused on bringing one aspect under active development while keeping everything else fixed and bug-free. Moreover, at each step, a working reference is set up to enable cross-checks in case of any unexpected problem. The guidelines are illustrated with a case study from our own work in which an Arduino prototype has been successfully transformed into a wearable with an extremely small footprint. In addition to their value for embedded system design, these guidelines have the educational value of contrasting the learning outcomes of embedded system courses based on the Arduino framework vs. those based on an industry-driven MDK and IDE.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publication2021 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, ISCAS 2021 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728192017
StatePublished - 2021
Event53rd IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, ISCAS 2021 - Daegu, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 22 May 202128 May 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems
ISSN (Print)0271-4310


Conference53rd IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, ISCAS 2021
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


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