SparkFun Inventor's Kit - v4.0

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 five overarching projects consisting of 16 interconnected circuits that teach everything from blinking an LED to reading sensors. The culminating project is your very own autonomous robot! No previous programming or electronics experience is required to use this kit.

The full-color, spiral-bound SIK guidebook (included) contains step-by-step instructions with circuit diagrams and hookup tables for building each project and circuit with the included parts. Full example code is provided, new concepts and components are explained at point of use, and troubleshooting tips offer assistance if something goes wrong.

The kit does not require any soldering and is recommended for beginners ages 10 and up who are looking for an Arduino starter kit. For SIK version 4.0 we took an entirely different approach to teaching embedded electronics. In previous versions of the SIK, each circuit focused on introducing a new piece of technology. With SIK v4.0, components are introduced in the context of the circuit you are building, and each circuit builds upon the last, leading up to a project that incorporates all of the components and concepts introduced throughout the guide. With new parts and a completely new strategy, even if you've used the SIK before, you're in for a brand-new experience!

  • Project 1: Light
    • Circuit 1A: Blinking an LED
    • Circuit 1B: Potentiometer
    • Circuit 1C: Photoresistor
    • Circuit 1D: RGB Night-Light
  • Project 2: Sound
    • Circuit 2A: Buzzer
    • Circuit 2B: Digital Trumpet
    • Circuit 2C: "Simon Says" Game
  • Project 3: Motion
    • Circuit 3A: Servo Motors
    • Circuit 3B: Distance Sensor
    • Circuit 3C: Motion Alarm
  • Project 4: Display
    • Circuit 4A: LCD "Hello, World!"
    • Circuit 4B: Temperature Sensor
    • Circuit 4C: "DIY Who Am I?" Game
  • Project 5: Robot
    • Circuit 5A: Motor Basics
    • Circuit 5B: Remote-Controlled Robot
    • Circuit 5C: Autonomous Robot

SparkFun Inventor's Kit - v4.0 Product Help and Resources

Light-Seeking Robot

November 28, 2017

We use parts from the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.0 to create a light-seeking robot that mimics the behavior of single-celled organisms.

Clap On Lamp

November 28, 2017

Modify a simple desk lamp to respond to a double clap (or other sharp noise) using parts from the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.0.

Measuring Internal Resistance of Batteries

May 5, 2016

Classroom STEM activity that has students build a battery from a lemon, measure the open and closed circuit voltages, and determine the battery's internal resistance.

Endless Runner Game

November 28, 2017

We make a simple side-scrolling endless runner game using parts from the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.0.

SparkFun Inventor's Kit Experiment Guide - v4.0

November 15, 2017

The SparkFun Inventor's Kit (SIK) Experiment Guide contains all of the information needed to build all five projects, encompassing 16 circuits, in the latest version of the kit, v4.0a.

Basic Character LCD Hookup Guide

May 28, 2019

Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are a great way to output a string of words or sensor data to a display for visual feedback. In this tutorial, we'll learn about LCDs, how to print a string of words to a 16x2 basic character LCD and create custom characters.

Core Skill: Robotics

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.

1 Robotics

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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Core Skill: DIY

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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Core Skill: Programming

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.

2 Programming

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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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

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.

2 Electrical Prototyping

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.
See all skill levels


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.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

Based on 20 ratings:

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2 of 2 found this helpful:

Rekindling with my EE student years

I bought this kit to see if I could get an idea I had prototyped. Having moved on from being an electrical engineer into Marketing and later Management, I was apprehensive as to whether I could still pull it off. This kit was a joy to use, taking me back to my student years and walking me through the paces of building and programming from scratch in such an easy way. It's clear to see that the team at SparkFun really understands what it takes to introduce makers to the world of embedded systems and programming. I can only recommend this kit. Excellent job!

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Very cool kit with great manual/instruction booklet.

I went through a number of these projects on a family vacation and we built the final project - the mobile robot. Everything worked as advertized and we had no problems. I do have two suggestions, though. First, it seems odd to include the paper clip instead of a caster wheel. Also, it was quite disappointing that the manual did not include circuit diagrams for any of the projects. These diagrams are essential to teaching someone how the circuit works. The wiring diagrams are great, but they are nearly useless for this purpose. If these were included the in the manual, it would truly be outstanding.

Still, I loved the kit and the box in came in. Very clever to use two-sided tape to mount the motors. Love that absolutely everything you need (except scissors) was included in the kit to build everything. SparkFun rocks!


The projects are great. I had a lot of fun going through the booklet. Each lesson builds on each other and when you are done you will feel like a pro. All of the parts feel rigid and durable, great for students.

8 year old loves it!

Great little kit to get kid's interested in electronics and coding. My 8 year old was completely excited by this kit and took to building the hardware very easily. Coding is something he will have to learn slowly. Good quality stuff and well worth the price.

This is a great kit

We are learning a lot!

Good mix of parts to play with and great instructions.

The Experiment Guide is well laid out and does an excellent job of walking even inexperienced people though how all of the components work and how to start with basic programming.

Great way to get into "It"

Great modular kit, that helps you to playfully understand and experiment with robotics We are setting up a robot manufacturing company in Spring Texas and this is a cute toy and mascot

Totally fun kit for learning

I enjoyed how the projects built on each other. There are a few bugs in the code...but that just added to the fun of figuring out how to get it to work.

Oh Baby! I'm having fun.

Oh Baby! is my sailboat. With the SparkFun inventor's kit and an Arduino 9 axis sensor shield I have begun to build a heel/pitch/direction instrument with LCD display, I'm having fun learning but find it a bit frustrating getting information on the Arduino shield for now. Part of it is just being new and part seems to be lack of good documentation for that particular shield.

The SparkFun story motivated me to buy from your outlet and the kit has opened my eyes to a whole new world of adventure while the snow is falling.

Thanks to you and your team for providing a quality product at a reasonable price.

Great kit to teach electronics.

This is an excellent update to the SIK. I like that I can use this kit to teach a bit about robotics, which students seem to enjoy. The only criticism is I wish the kit included more sensors like the flex sensor from SIK3. They would have made some of the later projects more interesting.

A really great intro to Arduino

I couldn't have asked for a better starter kit. It's my first time working with Arduino. After working my way through all of the tutorials, I knew everything I needed to make the exact project I wanted to. I'm impressed with the parts included and especially the instructions. It was all much easier and more fun than I expected, which is a credit to the people who put this together. I do wish they included just a few more jumper wires; there aren't enough if you actually want to combine all of the parts into one project. A small niggle.

Reminds me of the good ole days

Playing with my SparkFun Inventor's Kit is sparking all kinds of fun memories from engineering school, when all I cared about was learning, wondering, exploring, tinkering, testing, creating, smiling... :-)

Only just begun!

Just have a gone thru the first 5 project modules, but, so far I love it! Very well written and easy to understand, in each project it has helpful additions, like “Code to Note”, and “Coding Challenges”. They also have a Troubleshooting page for each project, but, I think it would be somewhat helpful, especially for rank novices like myself, if they had a general troubleshooting guide or list, of perhaps common mistakes in wiring (for example count all of your wires to match the schematic guides correct number) and some common mistakes or misconceptions that occur in coding. But, that aside, the kit seems to boarder on perfection, so far ;)

Super easy to use, super fun to work on, has tons of different things to try with, absolutely outstanding! Would highly recommend.

Great start to electronics.

Gives you enough of a guide to follow in the manual. Leaves enough room for you to research and learn more things on your own.

0 of 1 found this helpful:

Very Good!

Awesome Product! Easy to use with very good explanations. Thanks for create this product. Please think in to create more kits.

Perfect Christmas gift!

We bought this for our 12 year old son who loves coding on the computer and has expressed interest in learning about electronics. It is just at the right level for him. He is completing the experiments by himself without any help from us, or at least from me! He may be getting some help from Dad but not much!

Fantastic starter kit

Very Clear and easy to understand instructions, though for a more advanced understanding of programming you might want to view some u-tube tutorials. Lots of fun to play with and learn the meaning and uses of different Electronic components.Love it.

Kids are enjoying this kit

Our Scout troupe (Venturers) has thoroughly enjoyed building and experimenting with this kit. This has opened a new world to them.