At its most basic sense, an Arduino is a microcontroller, and takes inputs, does stuff with that, and sends it to outputs (http://www.arduino.cc). Sounds kind of boring right? Well, it’s very much like Legos, Knex, or any other creative type of toy. It’s just a collection of pieces but when you get creative you can do really interesting things. Check out some of these projects that people have done: http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Projects/. I didn’t know what exactly I’d make, but I bit the bullet and bought a basic arduino kit.
Now I wasn’t starting completely from scratch as I’d taken a class at the University of Oregon called “Programming for Artists” taught by Craig Hickman, and we used these things for about half of the term, so I at least knew some of the basics. However, with a lot more programming under my belt, I think I’ll be much more successful this time around. Like I said, I don’t quite have any ideas of what exactly I’m going to do with this (currently just working through some basic tutorials) but I’m excited to see where this new toy goes. Look for some arduino related tutorials or posts to show up soon!