What is Arduino?

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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

arduino-duemilanoveIt’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
  • Phidgets
  • and many others

Advantages over other microcontroller platforms

  • Inexpensive
  • 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.)