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Arduino refers to an open-source electronics platform or board and the software used to program it. Arduino is designed to make electronics more accessible to artists, designers, hobbyists and ayone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. An Arduino board can be purchased pre-assembled or, because the hardware design is open source, built by hand. Either way, users can adapt the boards to their needs, as well as update and distribute their own versions.
A pre-assembled Arduino board includes a microcontroller, which is programmed using Arduino programming language and the Arduino development environment. In essence, this platform provides a way to build and program electronic components. Arduino programming language is a simplified from of C/C++ programming language based on what Arduino calls "sketches," which use basic programming structures, variables and functions. These are then converted into a C++ program.
Other open-source electronics prototyping projects, such as Wiring and Processing, provide the underpinnings for Arduino technology.
Google Android Open Accessory Development Kit is also based on Arduino.