Arduino is a popular open-source single-board microcontroller 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 input/output support. The software consists of a standard programming language compiler and the boot loader that runs on the board.
There are a great many Arduino-compatible and Arduino-derived boards. Some are functionally equivalent to an Arduino and may be used interchangeably. Many are the basic Arduino with the addition of commonplace output drivers, often for use in school-level education to simplify the construction of buggies and small robots. Others are electrically equivalent but change the form factor, sometimes permitting the continued use of Shields, sometimes not. Some variants even use completely different processors, with varying levels of compatibility.