Chapter 2 Summary

The focus of this chapter was calibrating and testing the servos, and building indicator lights to monitor the servo signals.  In addition to some hardware setup, many concepts related to electronics, programming, and even a few good engineering concepts were introduced along the way.

Hardware Setup

  • How to mount the Board of Education Shield on your Arduino module
  • How and why to provide an external battery power supply for the system
  • How to connect the servos to the Board of Education Shield


  • What a resistor does, what its schematic symbol looks like, and how to read its value by decoding the color-bands on its case
  • What tolerance is, in relation to a resistor’s stated value
  • What an LED does, what the schematic symbol for this one-way current valve looks like, and how to identify its anode and cathode
  • What a solderless breadboard is for, and how it connects electronic devices
  • How to build LED indicator light circuits
  • The parts of a servo motor, how to connect it to the Board of Education Shield
  • What a potentiometer is, and how to calibrate a Parallax continuous rotation servo by adjusting its potentiometer
  • What a pulse train is, and how to control a servo with pulse width modulation


  • How to use the Arduino’s pinMode and digitalWrite functions to send high and low output signals
  • How to use #include to add the Servo library to a sketch
  • Using the Servo library’s functions to attach and control a servo
  • Writing sketches to control the servo’s speed, direction, and run time


  • Building a circuit on a solderless prototyping area
  • Using an indicator light to monitor communication between devices
  • What subsystem testing is, and why it is important
  • Creating a reference table of input parameters and how they affect a device’s output