Arduino is an open-source platform
used for building electronics projects. Arduino 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.
The Arduino platform has become quite popular with people just
starting out with electronics, and for good reason. Unlike most previous
programmable circuit boards, the Arduino does not need a separate piece
of hardware (called a programmer) in order 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.
Finally, Arduino provides a standard form factor that breaks out the
functions of the micro-controller into a more accessible package.