Art Institute of Chicago’s Ed Bennett has designed the ArtBus, a hardware bus and communications protocol for low speed and low data rate command with control of discrete sensors and actuators. It is useful for small embedded systems in kinetic, robotic, installation art or design projects, like Vince’s Arduino sound project, or Ard-e The Arduino Robot.
Though, it is a distributed interface, meaning that different parts of an ArtBus system can be spread out across a space such as a corridor or art gallery, which isn’t like the Arduino at all. However, its virtue is simplicity and it’s designed so near-novice programmers can extend the system for their own uses and share their work with others. So while it may not be the same as an Arduino, it certainly shares some of its characteristics.