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.
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.)