Arduino is an open-source computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for this board.
Arduino is open-source platform
It’s an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board.
Microcontrollers and microcontroller platforms who are similar to Arduino:
- MIT’s Handyboard
- Netmedia’s BX-24
- Parallax Basic Stamp
- and many others
Advantages over other microcontroller platforms
- Cross-platform – The Arduino software runs on Windows, Macintosh OSX, and Linux operating systems
- Simple, clear programming environment
- Open source and extensible software
- Open source and extensible hardware, based on Atmel’s ATMEGA8 and ATMEGA168 microcontrollers. The plans for the modules are published under a Creative Commons license, so experienced circuit designers can make their own version of the module, extending it and improving it.
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Arduino advantage over PCs
Arduino unlike personal computers may have additional switches, sensors and control elements (lights, motors…) and electronic devices.
Stand-alone or PC controlled
Arduino projects can be stand-alone, or they can communicate with software running on your computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP.)