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What is Arduino ?
Arduino-STM32 Software
Arduino-STM32 Board

What is Arduino ?

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform, designed to make the process of using electronics in multidisciplinary projects more accessible.
The hardware consists of a simple open hardware design for the Arduino board with an ATMel AVR processor and on-board I/O support.
The software consists of a standard programming language and the boot loader that runs on the board.

Arduino hardware is programmed using a Wiring-based language (syntax + libraries), similar to C++ with some simplifications and modifications, and a Processingbased IDE.
The project began in Ivrea, Italy in 2005 to make a device for controlling student built interaction design projects less expensively than other prototyping systems available at the time.
Founders Massimo Banzi and David Cuartielles named the project after a local bar named Arduino.
More information could be found at the creators web page and in the Arduino Wiki
To make the story short - Arduino is easy for the beginners with lack of Electronics knowledge, but also do not restrict the professionals as they can program it in C++ or mix of Arduino/C++ language.
There are thousands of projects which makes the startup easy as there is barely no field where Arduino enthusiasts to have not been already.
Arduino has inspired two other major derivates - MAPLE and PINGUINO.
Based on 8-bit AVR technology the computational power of Arduino boards are modest, this is why team from MIT developed MAPLE project which is based on CORTEX-M3 STM32F103RBT6 microcontroller, the board have same friendly IDE as Arduino and offers the same capabilities as hardware and software but runs the Arduino code much faster.
Maple project can be found at:

The Software


The Hardware

Some Arduino-STM32 boards are here: