Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.
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.