Arduino is an open-source computer hardware and software company, project and user community that designs and manufactures microcontroller-based kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control the physical world.
The project is based on a family of microcontroller board designs manufactured primarily by SmartProjects in Italy, and also by several other vendors, using various 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontrollers or 32-bit Atmel ARM processors. These systems provide sets of digital and analog I/O pins that can be interfaced to various expansion boards (“shields“) and other circuits. The boards feature serial communications interfaces, including USB on some models, for loading programs from personal computers. For programming the microcontrollers, the Arduino platform provides an integrated development environment (IDE) based on the Processing project, which includes support for C, C++ and Java programming languages.
The first Arduino was introduced in 2005, aiming to provide an inexpensive and easy way for novices and professionals to create devices that interact with their environment using sensors and actuators. Common examples of such devices intended for beginner hobbyists include simple robots,thermostats, and motion detectors.
Arduino boards are available commercially in preassembled form, or as do-it-yourself kits. The hardware design specifications are openly available, allowing the Arduino boards to be manufactured by anyone.