What is Arduino ?
Arduino is an open-source platform used for building electronics projects. They consists of both a physical programmable circuit board (often referred to as a microcontroller) and a piece of software, or IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that runs on your computer, used to write and upload computer code to the physical board.
To load new code onto the board you can simply use a USB cable. Additionally, the Arduino IDE uses a simplified version of C++, making it easier to learn to program.
This boards are able to read inputs - light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message - and turn it into an output - activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online. You can tell your board what to do by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the board.
Over the years this device has been the brain of thousands of projects, from everyday objects to complex scientific instruments. A worldwide community of makers - students, hobbyists, artists, programmers, and professionals - has gathered around this open-source platform, their contributions have added up to an incredible amount of accessible knowledge that can be of great help to novices and experts alike.
All Arduino boards are completely open-source, empowering users to build them independently and eventually adapt them to their particular needs. The software, too, is open-source, and it is growing through the contributions of users worldwide.