As you may have seen from our blog post, we recently moved our injection mold for SIK cases over from China to Longmont, CO, in order to provide a quicker supply of cases when we are low on stock. Unfortunately, after we made the transition, we found our mold had begun to break and would need repair. Therefore, we created the SIK Special Edition. This SIK will not have a the normal carrying case when you receive them, but instead one of our tried and true red boxes at a reduced price. However, anyone who buys this special edition SIK will receive an carrying case, in a separate shipment at no cost to you, when we have cases again. If you are looking to purchase an SIK for the holidays be sure to head over to the SIK Special Edition page to pick one up!
The SparkFun Inventor's Kit (SIK) is a great way to get started with programming and hardware interaction with the Arduino programming language. The SIK includes everything you need to complete 16 circuits that will teach you how to read sensors, display information on an LCD, drive motors, and more. You don't need any previous programming or electronics experience to use this kit.
The full-color SIK Guidebook (included) contains step by step instructions of how to connect each circuit with the included parts. Full example code is provided and explained and even includes troubleshooting tips if something goes wrong.
The kit does not require any soldering and is recommended for beginners ages 10 and up. Version 3.2 of the kit adds a new Simon Says circuit experiment with all the LEDs and tactile buttons you will need to complete it, and a new full-color guidebook.
This skill concerns mechanical and robotics knowledge. You may need to know how mechanical parts interact, how motors work, or how to use motor drivers and controllers.
Skill Level: Noob - You will be required to put together a robotics kit. Necessary parts are included and steps will be easy to follow. You also might encounter basic robotics components like bearings, mounts, or other hardware and need a general idea of how it goes together.
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Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.
Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
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If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 76 ratings:
2 of 2 found this helpful:
I am teaching an "Introduction to Arduino Programming" class at one of our local ham radio clubs. We have students of all ages & backgrounds participating in our class. I am using the SparkFun RedBoard as the foundation for the class along with an AdaFruit Touch Shield V2 for the display. I purchased several Inventor's Kits for the students to use in the various "lessons" that I have prepared for their guided learning. The Kits are especially valuable to me because they contain a nice variety of components. The included Guidebook is an excellent complement to the activities that I am having the students perform in the learning process. Those students who complete my "learning exercises" quickly & easily can further their learning by building the circuits in the Guidebook & learning the concepts presented by these as well. Thank you for assembling and offering the Inventor's Kits for sale !!
1 of 1 found this helpful:
All the parts are of good quality and the guide book is easy to follow with terrific diagrams making it very easy to execute the projects the instructions. I would recommend this to anyone interested in getting into electronics like I was, I found it to be very helpful in my learning. The case is also very nice to keep everything thing tidy and neat for storage when not using it.
7 of 7 found this helpful:
I've never played with electronics much or micro controllers at all. I keep hearing about all of the wonderful projects people are making using the Arduino for prototyping and I wanted to try for myself. Now I have visions of an electronics workbench in my future, So many things I want to try. This is definitely an excellent kit. Wish you would come out with add on kits for it. Expansion sets would be awesome!
6 of 6 found this helpful:
I am a pretty experienced EE and so for me teaching these circuits is easy. I give some background, draw a few diagrams, and build the circuit in class and then give them some variations to tinker with for homework. That said for other collegues trying to teach anotehr class who aren't as experienced are clueless as to what they should do or assign that isnt robotically read out of the sik guide, which the students could do by themselves. It would be cool if you made a Teacher kit and instructions and then a separate student kit and instructions. The teacher one could be more expensive too as it is a 1 time buy, and maybe you could drop the price of the student kit which most teachers buy in bulk anyways.
1 of 1 found this helpful:
The Sparkfun inventor's kit is a great introduction to Arduino projects and programming. I had some hardware experience (built a CCD camera from a kit a few years back), but I wanted to learn the type of programming involved with this microprocessor. The instruction book + kit makes this very easy and allows for lots of experimentation in both the hardware and software. One component in the kit was faulty, but Sparkfun replaced it quickly with just an email. Highly recommended!
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I bought the kit for my kids (10 and 8) to try and get them interested in electronics and robotics.
The kit has everything required to build complete projects, beginning to end, and also a full range of projects utilizing a variety of components, from LEDs to motors and display. The guide diagrams are very good in helping children wiring the solutions together. After going through a couple of projects with them, thay started wiring the projects in the book themselves and even learned how to upload the code; they now spend hours wiring and uploading; I believe this experience is both educational and helps them develop problem solving and troubleshooting skills.
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I bought this kit to get into Arduino. I love to tinker and have some experience with electronics and programming. The kit has everything you need to get started and all of the programs (sketches) are available online. The instructions in the guide are easy to follow and the comments in the sketches make following the programming easy too.
To get five stars, my only suggestion for improving the SIK Guide is to include suggested modifications to challenge people to think about how to modify and build on what they have learned. If there is not enough room to print it in the project section of the book, consider referencing a modifications section (after the last project) or an Online Extras section on the website. I think this addition would "Spark" more learning and fun, otherwise it is too easy to just hook everything up and upload the code and not really learn much. Examples:
Project 1. Add a second LED/resistor combination to a different pin. Experiment with controlling the different blink rates, try different on and off delays. Use the blink rate to make the LED appear steady, but dim.
Project 2. Add another analogRead line to the code for a faster response to changes. Use the serial print and serial monitor to see the numerical value of the delay (a great feature to debug). What is the fastest rate you can tell it is still blinking.
Project 3. Add a potentiometer to control the delays. Experiment with the programming.
Project 4. Add a potentiometer to control the delays. Add a push button to control which light module is running. Consider giving hints as to how to do it like adding a state variable and using 'do while' loops. Write another module to control the lights two at a time from outside to in (ex, pins 2 & 9, then 3 & 8, etc.).
Project 5. Add a third button or use a jumper as a switch and experiment with different logic combinations. Use serial print and serial monitor to print each button state. Use three buttons to control the RGB LED.
Thanks for the great tips. Happy hacking!
3 of 3 found this helpful:
Bought this for my son (11) and he totally loves it. Spent many hours over christmas break making (and breaking) things. Worth the investment.
2 of 3 found this helpful:
Excellent way to get started with the Arduino.
2 of 4 found this helpful:
I'm sure the content is great, but to cram all that content into a relatively small book they used small enough print (often on a grey background) that I find difficult to read even with reading glasses. You're making me feel old dude...
1 of 2 found this helpful:
The Inventors Kit is very professionally made. My students are enjoying the projects in their kits. We are on Circuit 4 so far.
1 of 3 found this helpful:
This is a Christmas gift for my pre-engineering teen student, and we'll be looking forward to digging in after it's unwrapped Christmas morning! Keep up the great work Sparkfun!
I am very excited with all kind of experiments can be done with this kit. A very good selection of sensors and actuators. I mounted all the projects and everythihg worked as expected. I loved it, specially the flex sensor, flexible potentiometer, servo and display simple projects.
Congrats for this excellent kit. I was also suroprised by the very fast shipping service. I live in Nicaragua, Central America, and this kit came in a week or so, faster than any other thing I have bought on line ever. Thanks.
Well thought out kit. Covers how to configure pins for digital, serial and analog control. Liked the red board and bread board on the mounting plate. Book is well written and illustrated. Over all great.
Now I'm ready to work on the remote semaphore signal project. Can't wait for the pwm boards to arrive.
... because I am one. Great explanations and fun to learn/work with. The Arduino API is also nice, and the content sparkfun has created along with it is also awesome. Just had difficulties in the beginning getting the drivers to work on my Win 8.1. Took me a few good hours, but once it worked... it worked. Thanks, sparkfun! You'll see more of me.
I have to say I loved it. We went through the 10 projects on the file. Each one of them show the wiring in color, in a very clever way to guide a student on making the proper connections. My wife really enjoyed playing with this stuff. She is now setting up a gardening system for their student's sience fair and also making some changes to introduce Arduino into the Junior High Curricula. Thank you very much for a great and didactic product!
I'm having a lot of fun with the kit so far. My son and I are playing around with it and really enjoy the exercises. Only bit of advice, the instruction book shows the board and bread board on opposite sides since my Sparkfun label was upside down.
In the States when I was growing up (80s-90s), nerdy kids were really only presented with Med school and Law school as careers. I totally missed out on engineering. When I discovered computers in graduate school, I really wanted to understand their low level operation and how they could interact with the physical world. This is a perfect kit to get started. My kids will not miss out on engineering like I did.
After a struggling time with getting the serial drivers, its working fine. I purched it to learn Arduino programming but all the header information does most the work for me. Probabley woulded buy it if I knew this ahead of time.
I run a makerspace in Newport, WA. I was looking for something that had good beginner type projects as well as the possibility for growth beyond the book. This kit provides for that and more. The wide range of parts that come in the kit really have our kids thinking outside the box when it comes to projects. Additionally, the RedBoard's Arduino compatibility allows us to piggyback any standard shield as well as our own circuits on a proto-shield. All in all a great product.
Circuit examples are straight forward and easy to follow. One thing that might be cool if the SIK Guidebook linked off to some of the Sparkfun tutorials for those that wanted to go more in depth with the nuts and bolts of things. All and all, a nice quality kit for getting started.
Enjoying it thoroughly.
Got started at a presentation at Broomfield Library. I am retired and so I have been spending lots of time on the SIK. On Saturdays one of my daughters joins me on the SIK. I have had it for about 3 weeks now. I expect to make another order next week. Will get more parts for ME!!! May get an SIK for a granddaughter and a grandson also, I plan to order a small graphics LCD and other things.
This kit is a fun return for this retired engineer's roots of early kit building and experimenting for educational purposes. And I am about to order a Tektronix oscilloscope TBS-1052B-EDU and its associated coursework package. There are many posted lab units that use the Arduino as a signal source and test example. This will replace my 40 year old Heath Kit Oscilloscope that still works but old technology. Thanks to the Denver Post article, that introduced me to Sparkfun. Also have Photon kit on back order.
the electronics kit my father bought me in the '60's, this one is a better value. The old one had a greater selection of primary components, one or two transistors (but no IC's or LED's) for which the jumpers were secured between the coils of springs.
I bought this for my nephew as an educational gift. He was mesmerized by the kit and would not put it down for days. It has definitely provided a spark in is interest in electronics. I could not be more pleased with the kits capabilities.
I'm a software developer and writing code comes easy to me but when it comes to building circuits and electronics I have no idea where to begin. I love how this kit walks me through designing and building so I understand what's going on and how I can use those skills in future projects. I like how the kit has everything I need to get started.
The Ardunio Inventors kit is working great! When can I get it for Raspberry Pi?
The SparkFun Inventor's Kit v3.2 is a fantastic entry to the world of arduino and circuitry. My 8 year old son is soaking it all in and always looks forward to the next lesson. He can't wait to get to the final lesson so he can start building his own circuits to do what he wants.
The kit is good. It works and comes in a convenient plastic box with small chambers to hold the tools. The biggest shortcoming is that it does not come with a cable to allow someone to power the arduino with a 9V battery. It can only be powered by a USB cord.
I'm a long time programmer, total newb hardware/circuit board guy. I've gotten a few different starter kits from other companies/groups and have been pretty disappointed with how easy it is to get caught on one bad component. I once spent a week on a different kit trying to get a simple temperature sensor to work only to have a more experienced person tell me that my component was "obviously" broken.
THIS kit everything was straight forward, worked, and had great bonus materials around the actual projects. Really really great experience for novices.
This is my first step into microcontrollers. I found the detailed manual on the physical part very clear but am finding the coding to be a bit of a challenge to learn. There are lots of resources for how to program for this controller online so I think overall this kit strikes a good balance.
i can't review this yet as it was a gift and i don't have feed back
This little kit has a bunch of stuff to start building and coding right away. all the materials are high quality and the instruction manual is very clear. I was able to get the first 2 projects up and running withing minutes of opening it. My 9 year old loves all the wires and lights and I love him learning about electronics and computers. I get just as much out of it as he does.
0 of 1 found this helpful:
First impressions were awesome. Lots to learn from this kit.
Got it for my son and I might have to get another one so that he can use it. I don't share very well....... :)
I gave this to my nephew for christmas and he loved it. We made it through about half the example projects before the day was over. I left thinking that I want to get one of these for me now!
I bought two kits: one for my nephews and one for myself. I have only wired the first lab/experiment, so I can't speak the the entire kit. The only "problem" i had was the printed manual that came with it; it's all but impossible to read. The online version is better, since you can zoom in and out as needed. It's also better to be with younger kids, side-by-side, to help them wire the components; instead of "letting them loose" on their own (to get frustrated).
This is a fantastic introduction to Arduino and the quality of the kit is top notch. The only things I would change is to add projects that are more demanding and challenging and to go in depth with learning the Arduino language. The guide goes over commands used in the projects but a tutorial with the basic syntax and command list and how to apply them would be very nice. Also useful would be a detailed explanation of certain chips(such as the included IC), or at least including the datasheets(and general explanation of certain wirings instead of just a visual how to). It makes a huge difference if you actually understand what is going on inside the circuit. Definitely a fun kit and I look forward to expanding it and building projects; I am very happy with the kit and what was included. Thanks Sparkfun :-)
The Examples are very helpful to understand the circuits and software coding for the micro-controller.
The project ideas that are used in the guide book build a foundation that can be expanded into whatever your imagination envisions. From concept to prototype in an afternoon. After a few builds you find youself thinking of ideas on how using a programable microprocessor can be put to work doing important tasks.
I usually order a small quantity of this kit, I loved the wrapping of the kits and the professionalism in delivering it to us. Unfortunately after convincing my colleagues to purchase this kit, I ordered 26 pieces but received 20 unwrapped kits and they were in a bad condition. Some of the labels were ripped, no wrapping and the boxes were scratched. They looked like they were used before. 4 of these kits were awards for winner of the special award for Mishkat interactive center (http://www.mishkat.org.sa/ ). It was embarrassing! The other 6 pieces where later on sent to us after I had contacted you customer care!
If you ever receive something that doesn't look right, or is not up to your expectation, please don't hesitate to contact us. We will help figure out what is going on and try to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. But we can't begin to help you until we now something is wrong. I'm contacting you privately to discuss if there is anything we can do to help at this point. Thanks
Recently purchased a SparkFun Inventor's Kit. Having lots of fun building variations of the example circuits. Highly recommend this kit.
This kit gives you everything you need to go from someone who has no clue how a computer works to being able to not only construct the hardware for a project, but also the software. The detailed guides for both assembly and programming you acquire with this kit are phenomenal. Easy to follow. I'm so glad there are companies out there doing what you guys are.
The SIK is a wonderful addition to our high school Beginning Electronics curriculum.
Has everything you need to get into the Arduino world with a variety of projects to tickle your imagination.
All one needs to run introductory workshops that convey the all-important message to students of industrial design - coding means to be in control of external devices and interactions, coding enhances creativity.
After a workshop, the parts can be re-used, which is good and the overall packaging and presentation are neat and practical.
I plan to use the SIK for a Summer Camp in Technology in Baltimore to give the inner city youth a chance to learn about programming and electronics.
Has everything you need to learn the basics.
I am trying to learn internet of thing with actually doing real stuff on the hardware. Thanks to SparkFun Inventor kit. It comes with every thing to start learning. It's so much of fun and amazing toys you can build with it. In fact I have shared with some of my friends and they are also ordering it for their kits. I am loving it.
I ordered an Arduino Uno from eBay per a friend's suggestion. I had a hard time with the ebay kit because the hardware didn't matchup exactly with the basic software. I had an older MacBook. The drivers didn't seem to work. It was such a hassle.
I decided to purchase one of your kits for the documentation & support. It has been a lot of fun. Your SIK Guide and awesome software comments have been very beneficial. The packaging is beautiful.
I have been able to make all of the circuits and extend the software. It has been fun! You have made the connection between hardware & software so enjoyable.
I liked the inventor's kits when I first used them a few years back. The updated one has more color now, which is great. I would like to see less crappy buttons, (thought as an educator, I appreciate the lesson my students get from the crappy buttons....), and I'd like to see the solenoid and motors in clear plastic packaging so my students can see what's going on inside. (Pipe dreams, I assume, since keeping cost low is a priority for this kind of product, and presumably clear plastic cases cost more.... Also, most of the Yellow LEDs burned out on the first day - bad batch? They were in proper circuits with a 330 ohm resistor, so something is up. The yellow LEDs I had with the older SIKs are still working....
Hmmm, sorry to hear about the yellow LEDs. We haven't seen any issues with these before. I'm going to contact you directly so we can get this resolved.
This kit is excellent! I have learned quite a bit and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience! The only thing I wish is that sparkfun had a way to teach the code interactively instead of reading through comments. That is not too big of a deal though because the code is still learn-able in that format.
The kit is well thought out. Its great to have all the parts in one place to do a lot of experiments. The push-button switch doesn't fit in the breadboard easily, but can be made to work. I have been looking and found some materials on programming Arduino but haven't found any material I really like. I recommend this kit if your new to micro controllers and programming them.
This kit is great fun and very educational. the circuits are easy to understand and well thought out. Plus, you can't beat Sparkfun's tech support!
Great way to learn the fundamentals of electronics.
My son has been very excited to use this device. He has configured multiple projects and is using it to help better understand circuitry while having fun doing it.
The students love the hands-on activities and being able to get engaged in the process of learning basics of circuitry. It is important students install all software/drivers prior to beginning or they will have problems. May want to walk through this with class or have IT install prior to use. A couple kits were missing screws for redboard.
This kit contains everything a young inventor needs to get started. I bought this kit more for the arduino unit which is also a major plus. The included booklet also does a great job with diagrams to explain how to use all the parts in this kit. It also provides a great start to the arduino programming language, but doesn't really explain why the program does what it says it does. That is not all that important and I believe someone would still learn what they would need from this kit. Overall, a very good product!
I'm having a lot of fun with this kit. It's giving me ideas for new things to try.
0 of 2 found this helpful:
The Kit is a lot of fun and would have given 5 stars if not for malfunctioning RGB led (Green wasn't lighting up).
...when are you going to get breadboard friendly ones?
0 of 1 found this helpful:
... i will use this to teach a high school students !
'Cus it's the only one I bought.
But it's still pretty cool
'Cus it's the only one I bought.
But it's still pretty cool
First, I am thankful the product arrive really quick. It looked complete and in good condition. I am sure it will be enjoyed. Thank you.
This kit is perfect for inspiring young inventors or just someone (me) who wants to build a robot after retiring from the rat race. I had basic understanding of electronics, but this little kit has given me the tools I need to go to the next level.
My son and I have been working through the labs and they are spot on. I would recommend just putting the importand code commands at the top then all the comments after.
Love the redboard enhancements over regular arduino. Great set of components/sensors and excellent manual for all experience levels. If you're serious about learning arduino skip all the "starter kits" and get this.
Easy, well written great starter kit.