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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 5 months ago

Arduino Kit Overview

Complete Arduino Kit



What's in my kit?

Your contains everything you need to start prototyping physical computing interactions. The parts are meant to be used, but you should be aware that some of the parts are much more expensive than others. While a resistor costs about $0.01, an accelerometer may be $30.00. The contents of the entire kits is worth about $150. You can see a complete part list with vendor names, part numbers, and prices as a Google Spreadsheet, as well as a list of assembly steps for each kit.


Arduino Diecimila board with Prototyping Shield ($$$)


At the core of your kit is the Arduino microcontroller platform. Most important links:

The Arduino is pre-loaded with a custom version of the Firmata firmware. With Firmata, you don't program the chip on the Arduino directly. Instead, you can read/write values from software running on your computer such as Processing and Flash.

On top of the board sits an Adafruit Prototyping shield with a solderless breadboard. The breadboard allows you to build simple circuits without soldering. For more info, see the Breadboarding page.


USB Cable ($)

USB cable

The board connects to your computer through a USB cable. The cable provides communication as well as up to 100mA of current at 5V.


9V Battery Connector ($)

9V Battery Connector

You can power your Arduino board through the USB connection, or through an external power supply with a 2.1mm center positive barrel jack. A 9V battery is a great way to power your Arduino board when USB power is not enough - i.e., when you use any kind of motor, or many LEDs simultaneously. BYO battery.


Breadboard Jumpers (c)

Breadboard jumpers

These insulated wires with bare ends allow you to quickly build circuits on the breadboard. See the Breadboarding page.


Input Devices and Sensors

Tactile Switches (buttons) (c)

Tactile switches (buttons)

These momentary switches (buttons), are open by default, meaning the circuit is interrupted. While you depress them, the circuit is closed.


Rocker switch ($)

Rocker switch

Switches are open in the off position, closed in the on position.


Force sensitive resistors ($$)

Force sensitive resistors

Force sensing resistors are great for detecting human touch with varying degrees of pressure.

CCRMA page with detailed info on FSRs


Rotary encoder and Potentiometer ($)

Encoder, Pot

The two look similar, but function very differently. The potentiometer (long shaft) is an analog input device that changes resistance as you turn the shaft. This allows you to detect its absolute position. It has hard minimum and maximum positions. The encoder (short shaft) is a digital input that gives you information about relative movement (i.e., one step to the left, three steps to the right). It does not have limits.

Data sheets:

Bend Sensor ($$)

Bend sensor

These sense deflection in one direction (the little plates facing the outside of the bend arc). They were used in the original Nintendo PowerGlove.


Infrared Distance Ranger ($$)

Sharp IR ranger


Two-axis Accelerometer ($$$)


This is a two axis, +-2g accelerometer with analog output. The Z pin on the board is not connected.


Output Devices - Light & Motion

LEDs (c)



Standard Servo ($$)

Standard Servo


Continuous Servo ($$)

Parallax continuous servo

Vibration Motor ($)

Vibra motor parts

TIP120 transistor, 1N4004 diode, and a tiny vibration motor, as you would find in a pager or cell phone.



Resistors (c)


We've included 5 each of 220Ohm (for LEDs), 1K, 10K and 22K (for bend sensors, FSRs).

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