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Are you looking for a gift for someone passionate about Arduino and electronics but you have no idea what to get them? With this guide, I will give you some ideas for making a nice gift for your geeky friends and relatives.
1. Starter Kits
If your gift recipient is a total novice and doesn’t own any Arduino hardware, don’t go any further! The Arduino Starter Kit contains everything you need to get started:
- an Arduino UNO board
- a USB cable
- a breadboard
- lots of electronic components, including a DC motor, servo motor, tilt sensor, many LEDs and an Alphanumeric LCD display
- a 170-page book with instructions for 15 projects.
If you like the idea of the Arduino Starter Kit, but you have a limited budget, the ELEGOO UNO Project Super Starter Kit is the one for you! This is one of the cheapest starter kit you can find, but it still provides a great variety of components and projects that you can make.
2. Arduino Books
If I could recommend just one book to learn Arduino, then it would be Exploring Arduino: Tools and Techniques for Engineering Wizardry. This book includes a number of cool projects that utilize different capabilities of the Arduino and covers many electrical engineering and programming concepts.
But there are many other interesting books that teach you how to use Arduino:
3. Arduino Boards
With the increase in popularity of Arduino and of the Maker Movement in general, hundreds of boards (both original and compatible), with different features and computing powers, have been put on the market.
Original Arduino boards
- Arduino Uno: this is the best board for beginner trying to get into the world of Arduino. This board has enough GPIO pins (General Purpose Input Output pins) to be used for most of the beginner and intermediate level projects.
- Arduino Nano 33 IoT: this tiny board has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, that combined with its low power architecture makes it a great solution for connected projects.
- Arduino MKR WiFi 1010: this board has been designed to offer an easy solution for makers to add Wi-Fi connectivity to their projects.
- Arduino Due: this big form-factor board it’s powered by a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor, which provides better performance and more GPIOs, opening the door to more advanced projects.
Arduino compatible boards
- Teensy 4.0: this board is based on an ARM Cortex M7 running at 600 MHz, the fastest microcontroller you can get! In addition to its unbeatable computing power, the board has 1024K of RAM and a crazy amount of input/output options.
- Adafruit HUZZAH32 – ESP32 Feather Board: this board features a dual-core ESP32 chip, that has both WiFi and Bluetooth Classic/LE support. That means that this module is perfectly suited for DIY projects in the Internet of Things (IoT) field. As a plus, there are dozens of expansion boards that use Adafruit’s Feather form-factor. If you want to get a taste of what this board can do, I used it for my #DIYConsole project.
- FLORA Wearable electronic platform: it’s a round, sewable board designed to empower amazing wearables projects. This module is used by many cosplayers to add special effects to their costumes.
- SparkFun MicroView: it’s a chip-sized Arduino compatible module with a built-in 64×48 OLED display. For this module, you need to buy also its Programmer.
4. SunFounder Arduino Robot Lizard Kit
If you’re buying an Arduino gift for a child, you need something that can capture their attention for a long time. And what’s better than the SunFounder Lizard Robot?
This kit give you everything you need to build a fully-functional and programmable lizard robot from scratch.
5. Freenove Hexapod Robot Kit
The Arduino based Freenove hexapod robot is a six-legged robot that can move like a living creature. The kit includes everything you need to build this amazing robot. You can see it in action in this video:
6. UCTRONICS Smart Bluetooth Robot Car Kit
An advanced and complete Arduino Car Kit, the UCTRONICS Smart Bluetooth Robot is designed for education, competition, and entertainment.
It comes with all the parts you need to build the car, except for the batteries. The car is controlled using the included infrared remote controller or the accompanying Android app.
7. Arduboy – Arduino based Game Development System
If you are looking for a gift for someone passionate about both electronics and video games like me, Arduboy is the perfect choice!
With Arduboy you can program your own games, or download them for free from a library of open source games. Arduboy it’s an excellent way to get kids excited about programming.
8. ELEGOO 37 Sensor Modules Kit for Arduino
The ELEGOO 37 Sensor Modules Kit contains an interesting set of 37 different types of sensors and actuators, such as temperature, humidity and motion sensors.
It comes with a CD that contains 31 easy-to-follow lessons.
It’s the perfect gift for your friends, family or kids if they already own an Arduino board.
9. Raspberry PI 4 Kit
If you want to broaden your search for a gift outside of Arduino, a Raspberry Pi Kit is a great gift. It’s a fantastic tool to learn about programming and electronics.
Also, with a Raspberry Pi you can do a lot of other things: build a media center, a retro gaming console, a home automation system, and much more.
This kit comes with everything you need to start building your own Raspberry Pi computer.
10. ELECROW Crowpi Raspberry Pi 4B Kit
If you want a Raspberry Pi kit more oriented to those passionate about STEM education, the ELECROW Crowpi Raspberry Pi 4B Kit is a great choice.
It’s equipped with large amount of sensors, buttons and output devices that can help you learn Raspberry Pi in an easier way.
Thanks to the neat case and compact layout, Crowpi is comfortable and easy to transport.
11. Adafruit Circuit Playground Express
Besides Arduino, there are other ways for hobbyist to program microcontrollers. One that is spreading fast is CircuitPython.
Python is the fastest growing programming language and it’s taught in schools and universities, therefore CircuitPython has a great educational value.
The Circuit Playground Express is Adafruit’s flagship educational board designed for CircuitPython. It includes an assortment of functionality built-in.
If you are a beginner, this is a great board to start with.
12. Brymen BM235 Multimeter
Multimeters are a must for those who want to make DIY electronics projects.
I personally recommend buying the Brymen BM235, one of the best quality and highest rated (CAT IV) electronics meter you can buy in a small form factor. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny.
If you are looking for something less expensive, the INNOVA 3320 is a good budget choice.
13. Lab Power Supply
Power supply is an essential tool for a lab or workshop for testing a project.
For an electronics hobbyist or a beginner, the lab power supply that I recommend is the Tekpower TP3005T.
It has a voltage range of 0-30V, a current range of 0-5A and all the security features you expect (over voltage protection and current limiting). All for a very low price tag.
Still not sure what to buy?
If you still aren’t sure what to buy, go safe and buy a Gift Card.