UNO R4 Stars: Meet Michael Cheich
The launch of the Arduino UNO R4 marks a huge leap forward for our community. For us, it’s also the chance to celebrate the people who bring our ecosystem to life with their bright ideas, radiant enthusiasm, and shining insight.
That is how the UNO R4 Stars blog post series began: to highlight makers who have not only created amazing projects with Arduino, but who are giving back to the community by sharing as they go and helping others make anything they wish.
We invite you to discover each profile, hoping you might find a North Star to navigate around an expanding galaxy or venture into completely new universes.
Learning can be overwhelming for anyone – and we mean anyone. Michael Cheich studied neuroscience and spent 20 years in the US military flying helicopters, yet candidly admits he was intimidated when he first began exploring his passion for programming and electronics.
Discovering the Arduino ecosystem turned around his perspective, allowing him to solve every challenge he encountered. Building projects that leverage technology now gives him a sense of accomplishment — a feeling he hopes to share with the almost 200K subscribers to Programming Electronics Academy.
On Cheich’s YouTube channel, you will find weekly videos that promise to give viewers not only the information but also, and more importantly, the confidence they need to keep learning. Just pick among hundreds of tutorials from basic to advanced – including a 90-minute masterclass on programming – as well as product reviews and project ideas.
For example, Cheich recently has had a ton of fun building a ChatGPT terminal and decided to start writing an Arduino library for interfacing the large language model (LLM) with Wi-Fi-enabled microcontrollers. “I’ve always been fascinated by AI, and I just can’t express how amazing it is that an average guy like me has access to such powerful tools. It’s a great time to be alive and be a maker.”
And his creativity does not stop at your typical coding or IoT endeavors. Cheich is also the mind behind The Arduino Paradox (use this affiliate link to support him!), a graphic novel written by Mark Lambert and illustrated by Brandon Scribner. We may not be the most objective, but we thought it was a great read!
We asked Cheich, “What’s your favorite part of the UNO R4?”
- The wireless capabilities of the UNO R4 WiFi, which make interfacing with LLMs really accessible.
- The bigger, more powerful processor: “I am excited to explore some edge AI applications.”
- The debug port in the UNO R4 Minima, making it easier than ever to catch and correct any mistakes.
In his full review of the Arduino UNO R4 Minima, Cheich also pointed out how he appreciates both what has been improved in the new revision and what has been kept the same: while packed with new exciting features, in his eyes the R4 is still perfect for beginners. And clearly “Arduino has thought hard about the hardware compatibility between the R4 and its predecessor, the R3.” So, no matter where you are on your learning journey, head to his Programming Electronics Academy for a booster of knowledge and confidence!