So you want to get started in Arduino development but you aren’t sure what to buy. We think that someone getting into the hobby should buy more than the just the board and USB cable. Without things to do, just writing code will be pretty boring. We want to help you determine the best kit for you based on your budget and learning goals. Keep in mind that you could purchase all of these things separately but that would take a lot of time and still cost more than a kit. Speaking of cost, we will not recommend the Arduino brand starter kit. It isn’t that the Arduino kit is a bad product, there just isn’t enough in their kits to justify the $90 price tag. We want you to get good value for your money and if you do have $90 to spend we want you to save some on the starter kit and apply it to your first robot. Here are 3 options to get you started in Arduino.
The bare minimum:
This kit represents the absolute minimum we want someone to have starting out. It is also an incredible value. For the same cost as an Arduino branded board you get enough parts to get excited by what you’re coding. Along with the Uno board and USB cable you get a Screen, Servo, LED’s, Potentiometer, and buzzer give you plenty of opportunity to work with digital and analog I/O and the breadboard and jumpers mean you won’t have to solder anything. There are 25 video tutorials to follow that should keep you busy for awhile. Remember you can always add more parts later. If you aren’t sure if Arduino is for you, spend $24.99 and let this kit convince you. See more here.
The refined middle ground:
This kit strikes a good balance between value and polish. With it’s retail quality packaging and photo packing list, it would make a great gift. On top of everything in the previous kit it has the addition of a dot matrix display, stepper motor, sonic rangefinder, IR bump sensor, an Infared remote, and some sweet looking buttons. This kit has the additional advantage of providing better looking builds. It includes an acrylic base to mount the controller, easy to use serial LCD, and breadboard. It is currently on sale for $30 and would make for a smooth transition into prototyping. Read our full review.
This kit is for someone who wants it all right now. It honestly is slightly overwhelming how much is here. Elegoo says complete and they mean it. They provide 2 plastic cases so you can keep everything straight. There are over 33 lessons on the included disk along with the Arduino IDE and programming libraries. That makes this kit the best for someone with limited internet access. They include a breadboard power supply and a prototyping shield to make things easy to wire. The extra sensors include motion detection, water level, temperature, and a real time clock. There are additional input options as well: a joystick, RFID reader, and keypad. This kit will teach you most of the ways you can interact with an Arduino and as you develop your own ideas you will come back to parts of this kit over and over. For $52.99 this is a great way to stay busy for awhile. See what else we had to say about this kit here.