The Arduino Inventor's Guide

Arduino Inventor's Guide

Learn Electronics by Making 10 Awesome Projects
by Brian Huang and Derek Runberg
June 2017, 336 pp.
Full Color

Look Inside!

The Arduino microcontroller makes it easy to learn about electronics, but it can be hard to know where to start. The 10 projects in this book will teach you to build, code, and invent with the super-smart Arduino and a handful of parts.

First, you’ll master the basics with a primer that explains how a circuit works, how to read a wiring schematic, and how to build and test projects with a solderless breadboard. Then you’ll learn how to make your hardware move, buzz, flash, and interact with the world using motors, LEDs, sensors, and more as you build these 10 projects:

  • The classic first Arduino project: blinking an LED
  • A miniature traffic light
  • An LED screen that displays animated patterns and shapes
  • A fast-paced button-smashing game to test your reflexes
  • A light-sensitive, color-changing night-light
  • A challenging ball-balancing game
  • A temperature-sensing mini greenhouse with an automated fan and vent
  • A motorized robot that you can control
  • A racing timer for toy cars
  • A tiny electric piano that you can actually play!

With each project, you’ll learn real coding skills so you can tell your inventions what to do, like how to store temperature readings with variables, start a timer or spin a motor with functions, and make decisions using loops. You’ll even find tips and tricks to put your own twist on each gadget and take things further.

Uses the Arduino Uno board or SparkFun RedBoard

Author Bio 

Brian Huang is the Education Engineer for SparkFun Electronics. Before SparkFun, Huang spent eight years as an electrical engineer, followed by a second career as a high school physics and robotics teacher. Now, Huang combines his knowledge of teaching and engineering to create professional development materials that help educators integrate electronics into the classroom. 

Derek Runberg works in the Department of Education at SparkFun Electronics, where he runs workshops about technology in classrooms and at conferences. Before joining SparkFun, Runberg was a middle school technology teacher who taught kids and educators about circuits, Arduino, and Processing. Runberg is the author of The SparkFun Guide to Processing.

SparkFun Electronics is an online retail store that sells electronic parts for DIY projects. It offers classes for the public as well as resources, tutorials, and professional development for educators through its Department of Education.

Table of contents 


Electronics Primer
Project 1: Getting Started with Arduino
Project 2: A Stoplight for Your House
Project 3: The Nine-Pixel Animation Machine
Project 4: Reaction Timer
Project 5: A Color-Mixing Night-Light
Project 6: Balance Beam
Project 7: Tiny Desktop Greenhouse
Project 8: Drawbot, the Robotic Artist
Project 9: Drag Race Timer
Project 10: Tiny Electric Piano

Appendix: More Electronics Know-How

View the detailed Table of Contents


“An absolutely excellent choice, perhaps my favorite at the moment (and totally up to date) Arduino starter book. There is plenty of preliminary information to get a total novice started, and each project is rich in detail and very fully and expertly described.”
Greg Laden, National Geographic's ScienceBlogs

The Arduino Inventor's Guide will appeal to the gadget freak as well as those who like to put their own spin on things.”
Microcontroller Tips

“This is probably the best Arduino starter book out there! I highly recommend it for every library and classroom.”
Sequential Tart

“Quite excellent book for a parent/child combo.”
Damien Kee – Domabotics

“A great addition to makerspaces that want to take coding and electronics to the next level.”
School Library Connection

“The explanations are well-written, the asides are interesting and educational, and the projects are fun and easy to build upon.”
Game Vortex

“Interesting to read, easy to follow, and encouraging. I felt empowered to use the materials and do the coding with my daughter on these projects and understood both what we were doing and how it was working.”
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

“Very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections.”
Midwest Book Review


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