First Project Parts and Idea

Hello, I'm new to Arduino but plan to start a project very soon. Here is what I want to prototype (generally speaking): a passive sensor first triggers the Arduino board(s) when an event happens. Then a CMOS camera snaps a picture and sends it to an email or saves it to an sd card. system goes back to idle once it's completed. The system will be battery operated. It seems that WifiShield can provide me with the wifi connectivity and memory to save the picture to an SD card. But I have a few questions: 1. Is the WifiShield an additional component to the Arduino board? 2. If so, which board should I get along with it (I'll probably have 3-4 LED and 2 on/off switches)? Ideally, since dimensions and battery life are important here, I would hope for the Arduino Nano.... 3. Does anyone familiar with a very short focal length CMOS/CCD camera or sensor (low end, I just need black and white)?

Any suggestion will be highly appreciated. Thank you,



I am sure that Arduino Nano will not fit with Wifi shield. A shield in the Arduino language is a board designed to be plugged into standard Arduino UNO or MEGA or Leonardo or DUE so you don't have to wire it to Arduino one pin at a time. An arduino Nano is a small arduino without the standard footprint so you will have to wire each pin from the shield to the nano. The wifi shield(s) are around the size of a credit card (bit shorter than credit card) and a couple inches tall (or 5cm tall) when arduino and shield are stacked, then plus any antenna that may stick up.

Here is a planner dimension drawing of arduino:

The height is about 1 inch (2.5cm). Each shield adds roughly 1 more inch to the height.

I would recommend you to get arduino UNO and a wifi shield to first prototype your idea. If it flies, you can find wifi components that are not in shield form to reduce footprint.

If you do end up with a nano board, here is a cool attachment that makes wiring up things easier. I’ve got one coming in the mail, so no first hand report yet.