[ Thanks to Carla Schroder for this
“Arduino is family of tiny single-board computers. The Arduino
hardware platform is red-hot, and for good reasons. It’s flexible,
it’s open, and it’s friendly to beginners. The hardware is open,
with freely available specs and CAD files. The Arduino programming
language and libraries are open, licensed under the GPL and LGPL.
All documentation is open, licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution Share-Alike license. Arduinos are used in myriad
projects: robots, music devices, race cars, games, little
airplanes, greenhouse monitors and controllers, clothing with
blinky light animations, animated signage, burglar alarms,
deer-scaring devices, and all kinds of imaginative devices.
“Arduino boards are inexpensive, ranging from around $25 to $80.
Arduinos are powered by 8-bit Atmel ATmega single-chip AVR
microcontrollers. These are modified RISC controllers that use
on-chip Flash memory for storage, so you can write and load
different programs and have all kinds of fun.”