Arduino is a hardware and software company, project, and user community that designs and manufactures computer open-source hardware, open-source software, and microcontroller-based kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control physical devices.
The project is based on microcontroller board designs, produced by several vendors, using various microcontrollers. These systems provide sets of digital and analog Input/output (I/O) pins that can interface to various expansion boards (termed shields) and other circuits. The boards feature serial communication interfaces, including Universal Serial Bus (USB) on some models, for loading programs from personal computers. For programming the microcontrollers, the Arduino project provides an integrated development environment (IDE) based on a programming language named Processing, which also supports the languages C and C++.
The first Arduino was introduced in 2005, aiming to provide a low cost, 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.