Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software running on a computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP).
The boards can be built by hand or purchased preassembled; the software can be downloaded for free. The hardware reference designs (CAD files) are available under an open-source license, you are free to adapt them to your needs.
Arduino received an Honorary Mention in the Digital Communities section of the 2006 Ars Electronica Prix. The Arduino founders are: Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, Tom Igoe, Gianluca Martino, and David Mellis. Credits
The Arduino Software is free, open source, and available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
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The community of Arduino enthusiasts is vast, and includes region specific groups and special interest groups. The community is an excellent further source of support on all topics such as accessory selection, project assistance, and ideas of all sorts.
The Arduino Wiki (Playground) is a collection of Arduino knowledge, tutorials, and instructions provided directly by Arduino users.
Check out the official Arduino multi-language forum and stay connected with the Arduino community:
General announcements and thoughts from the Arduino team can be found in our blog.
The official Arduino multi-language forum is the place to start with questions of all kinds.