Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. You typically use an Arduino microcontroller board in one of two ways:
In this Instructable we will consider case #2, using the Standard Firmata library. Firmata is a protocol (set of rules) for communicating with microcontrollers from software on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Standard Firmata is a software library that allows Arduino devices to communicate with your computer using the Firmata protocol.
In the following steps we'll show how to download, install, and test the Standard Firmata library on an Arduino Uno device plugged into a computer running Mac OS X 10.10.3. These steps should work on any Arduino-compatible device including the Arduino Pro Mini or the LilyPad. The steps should also work on either Microsoft Windows or Linux with only minor modifications.
Your first step should be to download the Arduino application from http://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software. Be sure to choose the latest version and also the correct download for your computer and operating system.
Once the software has downloaded, you can install the application using the method appropriate for your system.
After installation, start the Arduino application. After the splash screen appears, the application should open up with a default program, called a "sketch", in the text editor. This is usually the "Blink" sketch.