We were excited to be offered Arduino’s new Starter Kit to try out and are really excited about what they’ve put together. You can buy the kit and view the tutorial videos over at RS.
Liat, our wonderful intern, tried out one of the projects from the kit. Below are her thoughts on it:
The new Arduino starter kit is a real treat, I was thrilled to have the chance to explore the starter kit. The kit packaging including the special features and the overall organisation was made in good taste that leaves you want to open more and more components boxes.
The Arduino Projects Book is detailed enough with self explanatory terms that can be useful for every Arduino beginner. The visual aids of the circuits, components and explanations serve as a great reference point, which make the reading and building the circuit even more straightforward.
I was working on circuit number 10, ZOETROPE in hope of creating my own mechanical animation. Unfortunately my attempt to create a retro animation tool was not a great success. The explanation all along was understandable and made sense, however, I noticed a few technical details that might need to be improved in order to give the user a better experience.
At the first page of every new circuit there is a visual list of the vital ingredients to build that circuit. After I collected the components and started to build the circuit I realised the list did not mention the quantity needed in order to complete the circuit. It would have been better to have the quantity written by the component name, in order to prevent the user from stopping the building process and looking for more components. The potentiometer provided as part of the kit comes in two parts, when the user needs to assemble it before use. It can be time consuming for users that do not know that assembly is needed, a note in the ‘parts in the kit‘ section can save the user’s time.
As part of the circuit there is a need for a 9V battery, which is not available as part of the kit. The kit’s pushbuttons are not comfortable to use since they can not be stabilized and they tend to move when pressing them. The pushbuttons with the taller push area work better than the pushbuttons provided in the kit.
One last detail I spotted is in the code, in the typing style the zero digit is more similar to the letter O, which can cause code bugs for a beginner. On the same code matter, it would be great to have an online link to the view the full sketches.
Overall I think that the new starter kit is well designed and very welcoming for Arduino beginners and advanced as well. The Arduino starter kit can serve as an awesome holiday season gift!