Arduino Shield

Arduino Shield

What is Arduino Shield?

Arduino Shields, also called expansion boards are boards that can be stacked on top of the Arduino board to provide specific functionalities. There are hundreds of shields out there.

Arduino Shields can be categorized into two types:

  • Shields provide hardware only
  • Shields provide hardware + controller

Arduino Shields provide hardware only

Hardware on the shield is connected directly to Arduino board's pins. We can control hardware on the shield directly by control Arduino board's pins.

Examples of this type:

Arduino Shields provide hardware and controller

Arduino board sends commands to the shield, shield take action based on the commands and may send back responses. The commands and responses may include data. Arduino board and shield usually communicate via SPI, I2C or UART. Most of shield makers provide the library for Arduino. Therefore, you can program for Arduino using library without caring about commands.

Examples of this type:

Why Arduino Shields are Useful?

Most of Arduino shields can be replaced by their respective modules and corresponding circuit/wiring to the Arduino. So, what are the advantages of using Arduino shields instead?

Shields make our life easier because:

  • You don’t need to worry about the circuitry. All the components you need are on the shield.
  • All electronics for a specific circuit are neatly packaged in the same footprint as an Arduino.
  • Shields are easy to connect. You just need to stack on the Arduino board –> less-error prone than connecting the separated parts.
  • You can easily attach/detach the shield from the Arduino board whenever you want, without worrying about doing the circuit and wiring everything again.
  • Shields add new features to the Arduino in an easy manner. Without shield, It would be difficult to create.
  • You can attach multiple Shields on a single Arduino
  • You can focus your coding with minimum hardware knowledge

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