What is a Microcontroller?

Ever wonder what a Microcontroller is?  A Microcontroller is defined as a small computer on a single integrated circuit containing a processor, core memory, and programable input / output pins.

More simply, a microcontroller is a way to read sensors or data and do something with the output.   It really doesn't sound all that interesting until you see what it can do for you.

Do you like having a Thermostat that turns on the heat or AC when it's needed in your house?  How about your TV Remote Control?  Do you have an alarm system in your house?  These are all examples of items run by a micro controller.

The image to the right shows several microcontrollers and their accessories including Arduino, Basic Stamp, and Propeller microcontrollers.
Various MicroControllers

Keep checking back for specific examples and projects using Propeller, Basic Stamp, and Arduino.