Can someone who knows arduino please help me?

hey ok i have a question for someone who knows a bit about arduino. Im an electrical engineer at University at Buffalo and im trying to learn this programable system so i can use it in projects, etc. I was wondering how do you program in general, and can i use this system to possible link up maybe a motion detector or a laser or something to track someones time in an event and record the time, and possibly have this linked to a cord that plugs into my computer when th eevent is done and plug it in and up pops an excell document with all his data for each project, etc. if you can help it would be greatly appreciated. also, ide like to use this system possibly for a pneumatic rocket i have to open/deploy my parachute system so it dosent crash to the ground. is this possible and how would u use this software. im just confused becasue i dot know if i can link up random electric things like accuators or anythign for that matter to this programable device, have it recognize what is attached to it and use the program that is made by me to actually use that device...please help

-Pat

What do your tutors/lecturers/instructors think?

Well this isnt through my school at all, its just projects im doing on my own, and as far as asking professors, ive asked my circuits professor but he saiys he dosent know anything pertaining to that, he only relaly knows about his certian area of study and thats it..so i need help if possible. ide like to find a cheap arduino system, program it so that if it detects motion, itcounts how many times it senses this motiion over time, possibly gives average speed since i know the distance that this motion is occuring with the time, so i can calculate overall the distance traveled, the number of "laps" the average speed for each"lap" and the total average speed of the entire event.

Might be worth looking at some of your statements/questions individually.

Im an electrical engineer at University at Buffalo...I was wondering how do you program in general

It seems unlikely that you are an electrical engineer and don't know anything about programming in general.

can i use this system to possible link up maybe a motion detector or a laser or something to track someones time in an event and record the time, and possibly have this linked to a cord that plugs into my computer when th eevent is done and plug it in and up pops an excell document with all his data for each project, etc.

You can connect sensors to the Arduino, such as motion sensors and light detectors. You can attach devices such as lasers that can be turned on and off. With those, you could set up a beam that was broken when a runner passed a point.

You could detect when this happened, and record a time. You can transmit that time, via a connection to the serial port (or a USB port masquerading as a serial port) on the PC. You could write an application on the PC that read the data from the serial port, and put it in a file that Excel could import.

also, ide like to use this system possibly for a pneumatic rocket i have to open/deploy my parachute system so it dosent crash to the ground.

Having the Arduino activate a relay or servo or solenoid that would result in the parachute being deployed is possible. Having the Arduino toss the parachute out would be more work.

im just confused becasue i dot know if i can link up random electric things like accuators or anythign for that matter to this programable device, have it recognize what is attached to it and use the program that is made by me to actually use that device

You can connect a number of electric things to the Arduino. It does not know how to recognize anything that is attached to it. It knows how to turn pins on and off, and to read whether the (digital) pin is HIGH or LOW. It also knows how to read data from analog pins, to which analog devices have been connected.

Since you say you don't know anything about programming, it will be a while, I'm afraid, before the Arduino can use any code made by you.

thanks for the advice and yes i am a senior electrical engineering major. the only progrming language ive taken thus far in my studies is c++ thats why im kind of sketchy about arduino becasue ive never used it before and i dont kow what it involves. thanks for the advice tho and if you have any more ide be happy to hear about it. -pat

Well, the Arduino is programmed using C++, so, you're in luck there.

o wow awesome, alright, thanks..if i need any more assistace il definitly post it..thanks again :)