Electronic ChipsThere are many different types of microcontrollers produced by companies like Microchip, Atmega and Texas Instruments. All of these manufacturers make an array of different chips to suit different applications but there is a problem, programming equipment can be expensive and learning to properly program a microcontroller is difficult.

Luckily there is an open source hardware development board for the Atmega chips called the Arduino and they are cheap. No need to worry about programming either because the engineers at Arduino have hidden all the complex code required to program an MCU behind some very basic code designed to be understood by someone without an engineering degree or any knowledge of electronics.