A Brief History of Arduino

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There is a famous saying that “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Some of the greatest invention in the history of mankind has happened because there was a need and no easy solution available for to fulfil that need. There was a time before Arduino, that students all across world had to use  BASIC Stamp microcontroller at a cost of $50, a considerable expense for many students.

In 2003 Hernando Barragán created the development platform Wiring as a Master’s thesis project at IDII (Interaction Design Institute Ivrea (IDII) in Ivrea, Italy), under the supervision of Massimo Banzi and Casey Reas. Casey Reas is known for co-creating, with Ben Fry, the Processing development platform. The project goal was to create simple, low cost tools for creating digital projects by non-engineers. The Wiring platform consisted of a printed circuit board (PCB) with an ATmega168 microcontroller, an IDE based on Processing and library functions to easily program the microcontroller. In 2003, Massimo Banzi, with David Mellis, another IDII student, and David Cuartielles, added support for the cheaper ATmega8 microcontroller to Wiring. But instead of continuing the work on Wiring, they forked the project and renamed it Arduino.


You will also hear a lot about Genuino board and sometimes it creates confusion among many. The name Genuino grew out of the split between Massimo and Gianluca (aided in part by Microsoft of course, and a trademark wrangle that went wrong). Each side wanted to appear to be more “genuine” than the other. That lead to the “Genuino” name (a genuine Arduino), and a version number war with the IDE. Both sides started making their own variants of boards, with some only available from the USA (Arduino) and others only outside the USA (Genuino).

Since they have patched up their differences now the two boards are one and the same. A Genuino Uno and an Arduino Uno are the exact same board. They always have been, there has just been arguments over the name.

But leave the differences, the impact Arduino has created on maker community and developers of electronic projects is immense. All Arduino hardware and software are open source and has helped many companies and enthusiast in forking and building their own version of hardware products. In a nut shell Arduino can be considered as a milestone for development of present electronic maker community.

Stay tuned for more update!


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