The name Arduino is an Italian masculine first name, meaning
“strong friend” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Arduino . It’s a microcontroller based on a PIC chip family of microcontrollers. They have a small programme preloaded to make it possible to programme them from
a normal PC – generally in some variation of ” C”.
Arduino is an open source hardware and software project, created to be as simple as possible. Arduino is not some hardware you should be afraid of. It comes in a variety of flavors and sizes. It is used by artists, hackers, hobbyists, and professionals to easily design, prototype and experiment with electronics. Use it as brains for your robot, to build a new digital music instrument, or to make your house plant tweet you when it’s dry. An Arduino contains a microchip, which is a very small computer that you can program. You can attach sensors to it so that it can measure conditions (like how much light there is in the room). It can control how other objects react to those conditions (room gets dark. LED turns on).
The project is based on microcontroller board designs, produced by several vendors, using various microcontrollers. Microcontrollers use inputs and outputs like any computer. Inputs capture information from the user or the environment while outputs do something with the information that has been captured. A switch and a sensor could be a digital and an analog input respectively into the Arduino. Any object we want to turn on and off and control could be an output. It could be a motor or even a computer. These systems provide sets of digital and analog input/output (I/O) pins that can interface to various expansion boards, which are often called “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 Arduino language is very similar to C. It’s almost the same language but Arduino provides us with several libraries to make things a bit easier.