The SparkFun Arduino Inventor's Guide

The Arduino microcontroller makes it easy to learn about electronics, but it can be hard to know where to start. The 10 projects in "The SparkFun Arduino Inventor's Guide" 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 --- for example, 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.


  • Authors: Brian Huang and Derek Runberg
  • Publisher: No Starch Press
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1-59327-652-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-59327-652-2


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Member #446447 / about 5 years ago / 2

    Thank you for this book. I got my start in electronics in 1978. Jump ahead to today. Micro controllers provide so much more opportunity for your projects today. However, most of the books out there deal very little or nothing with the programming aspect. It will tell you about leds and resistors and such. Then just load the blink program and you’re good. Very frustrating. THIS book does much better explaining the programming aspect. Yes it’s a beginner book but even someone with my background enjoyed this book very much. Finally programming the Arduino is explained very well. Thank you for this book.

  • Member #591757 / about 4 years ago / 1

    In my opinion, this is a GRRRRRREAT book! All you need to put it to work is an Arduino, a couple of wires and basic components (leds, resistors, etc), and you are good to go. This idea of using the card-box you received your order in to build the projects is just BRILLIANT !!! No need to buy extra robot chassis and other stuff, this really stimulates your creativity. If you can afford just one book, THIS is the one. I loved it (in case I was not clear enough).

  • Member #1148233 / about 7 years ago / 1

    There is no errata on the site indicated in the book (, so I decided to use this forum to ask about what I think is a mistake in the book. Namely, on page 26 (Project 1), there is this sentence:

    The TX light blinks because you’re transmitting something to the Arduino, and the RX light blinks because as the Arduino receives the sketch, it responds to your computer to confirm receipt.

    Shouldn't the TX be RX, and RX be TX?

    For as far as I understand Arduino, these LEDs indicate the
    communication direction from the Arduino's point of view.

  • Longhorn / about 7 years ago / 1

    This book is very basic. Will be excellent for an individual who knows little to nothing about electronics, Arduino, or building maker projects but wants to learn. Five stars for that audience. However, for everybody else, I would pass.

  • Member #364265 / about 7 years ago / 1

    I'm assuming this book is written for the Uno,or possible more than one board, but we all know what assume stands for. How about offering a kit that offers the book, Uno (I assume), and just what you need for, say the first 3 projects? Or, just let us know what we need to get started. Thanks!

    • M-Short / about 7 years ago / 1

      It does work with the Uno or SparkFun Redboard, but is based of the SparkFun Inventor's Kit (SIK). There are a few differences and we are working on a bundle that has everything included, but if you are looking for a place to start I recommend the SIK or if you are just looking for the first few circuits the Tinker kit.

Customer Reviews

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Great starter book

The arduino inventors guide offers a complete overview of the necessary knowledge needed to go from beginner to capable micro controlled system creator. Filled with different projects that cover many of the aspects of coding and implementing different sensors into a system.