The Arduino is an open-source electronics platform aimed at designers, hobbyists or anyone with an interest in electronics. It's success is based on easy-to-use hardware and software and a vibrant internet community. The Arduino was introduced in 2005 and designed to give students an inexpensive and easy way to allow microcontrollers to interact with objects. It was initially based around the ATMEL AVR microcontroller series.
Most boards include a 5V voltage regulator and a 16MHz crystal oscillator. The functionality of the Arduino can be extended by allowing the CPU board to be connected to a variety of interchangeable add-on modules known as shields. Current Arduino boards are programmed via USB, implemented using USB-to-serial adapter chips such as the FTDI FT232. The Arduino Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is cross-platform and derived from the IDE used with the Processing programming language and Wiring projects. It is designed to introduce programming to artists and other newcomers unfamiliar with software development.