Problem: Arduino with a relay and thermocouple

I found this tutorial of how to connect arduino to a relay.

It connects to the relay through a transistor. My question is is the transistor really needed, or can I just connect the arduino output to the relay controll itself? Assuming relay has turn on voltage of 3V and off voltage of 1V.

Also, I connected the arduino's analog input to a power supply and I get the desired output, but when I connect to my instrument (250mVDC, amplified output from a thermocouple), the output function is inverted. What can be the problem

thx in advance


Arduino can't drive a relay directly.. you need some kind of an amplifier to increase the available current, like th transistor in that diagram.