The best thing about Arduino is that it’s accessible to almost anyone. You do need some technical interest to get involved, but building on top of the Arduino hardware has never been easier.
Only problem is knowing exactly where to start & how to keep furthering your education.
In this post I’ll share the absolute best Arduino books to get you moving in the right direction. These books cover all skill levels and there’s bound to be something in this list for everyone.
If I had to recommend one book to complete beginners it’d be Exploring Arduino: Tools and Techniques for Engineering Wizardry. I feel this offers a nice balance between the software and hardware sides of Arduino projects.
The author is also very knowledgable and his writing style should be easy to consume regardless of your technical background.
I try to avoid the dummies books since most of the time they’re too simple and barely touch upon relevant points. But Arduino For Dummies really is a nice primer to working with Arduino boards.
Early chapters introduce you to the required tools and skills like soldering for other electronics. This also covers basic sensors and how to recognize data by coding your own software on top of the platform.
The demos in this book are based on C/C++ code so you’ll want some programming knowledge if you hope to complete each chapter. I’m a big fan of this book for the simple writing style but I know it won’t be for everyone.
This book offers a nice intro for less technical readers who know a bit about Arduino but have no idea where to get started.
If you want a real cheap and short primer on Arduino then you want Arduino: 101 Beginners Guide. This mini-book is just under 40 pages long and it covers all the fundamentals of Arduino hardware.
You’ll learn the history behind Arduino and why so many people use this platform. You’ll also learn about the hardware and software differences along with suggestions for custom projects. This book offers some best practices for project work but does not tell you how to work.
This is not the best hands-on book you can find. But it is dirt cheap and really a 101 intro course for complete novices who know nothing of Arduino.
But you can easily tear through this in an afternoon so it doesn’t have much long term potential. I’d recommend this to complete novices who just need to understand all the hype behind Arduino.
The step-by-step learning process found in Arduino Programming in 24 Hours is exactly what most beginners need. This book covers the basics of Arduino with a heavy focus on C programming.
You’ll learn C syntax and full prototyping workflows for building on top of the Arduino hardware. In my mind this is the true ultimate intro to Arduino programming with tips for installing the IDE and working with 3rd party libraries.
Everyone working on Arduino has a certain do-it-yourself mentality which permeates the tech industry. What I love about this book is how it encourages this mentality through real examples.
This book is mostly Arduino programming so there isn’t much in the way of hands-on hardware. But it’s a great introduction to Arduino and it’s especially useful for aspiring programmers who want a heavy background in C development.
Looking to build cool Arduino projects but have no idea where to start? Want to get your hands dirty with a microcontroller but do it in the right way?
Arduino Workshop: A Hands-On Introduction with 65 Projects totals just under 400 pages and in those pages you get 65 unique projects that you can build on a dime. The author John Boxall teaches how to build real practice projects that you can do from the comfort of your own home.
These projects include custom thermometers, a remote control toy tank engine, and a custom GPS built on Google Maps. The lessons are just as much focused on Arduino as they are on craftsmanship.
Many of these lessons can be fun to do with your kids or other tech-savvy friends who just like hanging out building cool shit. And the best part is this book can work for all experience levels from complete novices to more advanced Arduino users.
I highly recommend this book for a practical approach to Arduino in the real world.
With this guide you’ll learn the software and hardware offering tips for both sides of the coin. Currently in its 3rd edition, Getting Started with Arduino walks you through the basics of physical computing with simple LEDs along with more complex projects and circuit boards.
You’ll learn a lot of the fundamentals involved in modern computing from input/output transmission to cloud computing.
All the lessons in this book work on the Arduino Leonardo or Uno and can be built with just a few basic components. You’ll also learn how to install the Arduino dev environment for Mac, Windows, and Linux PCs.
What I like most about this book is how it simplifies all the major processes of robotics. You’ll learn about electricity and circuitry from the very beginning.
This is another great book for tech enthusiasts of any age that want to learn more about Arduino robots and DIY electronics.
The author of this book Jeremy Blum is an electronics engineer with years of experience in the field. He’s been teaching online for a long time and his book Exploring Arduino just proves his prowess of both hardware and software.
In this book you’ll learn everything about Arduino hardware configurations and the basics of electronic components. But Jeremy also shares tips for aspiring engineers and computer scientists who want to program over the Arduino framework.
You’ll learn about the basics of LED lights, TCP/IP transfers, and the basics of C development for Arduino projects.
This book should be mandatory reading for anyone serious about a field in robotics, engineering, or hardware development.
Jeremy’s writing style is terse but easy to understand. His lessons naturally guide you along each step. And with just under 400 pages this book is the best introduction to Arduino for basically anyone.
I’m not much for robotics myself but I know this is a big subject for Arduino users. The 600+ page book Arduino Robotics starts from the very beginning teaching how to build Arduino-powered robotics from scratch.
Early chapters cover the basics of motor controllers and simple(yet fun) toys from scratch.
But as you progress through each chapter you’ll build upon further knowledge to craft much more complex machinery.
By the end you’ll be working with GPS-powered robots and even designing a custom lawn mower. All of the authors share ideas from their own lives talking about how they built each project and how you can replicate them.
If you love robotics or want to get into tinkering with machinery this book is a powerful resource. Highly recommend to anyone that’s up for the challenge of Arduino robotics projects.
Just the title alone sold me on this one. And all of the lessons come with illustrations and code snippets that really fulfill this awesome title.
30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius teaches C programming for Arduino with a variety of 30 different projects to work through. You’ll learn how to select an Arduino microcontroller, how to connect it to your computer, and how to write software for the Arduino interface.
Once you write some programs you can then connect the board to other hardware and build custom devices. And this book offers a lot of cool projects like a pulse monitor, a lie detector, a custom fan, and an infared remote control.
You can pick up this book with very little programming knowledge and quickly work your way through these projects. They’re incredibly fun and the illustrations make assembly a breeze.
Highly recommend this to any age group interested in engineering or computer science.
Desk references are some of the most valuable books because they last forever and can help you solve problems quicker than the Internet. O’Reilly’s Arduino: A Technical Reference offers 638 pages of technical references for Arduino boards & software.
Most of the book works from a project-oriented perspective where you work your way through projects one at a time. The author offers tips and solutions along the way, but it’s meant to be more than just a simple list of solutions.
This reference guide is also a tutorial-style book to help you learn as you go. You’ll learn about the different microcontrollers, firmware, and custom Arduino libraries made for building cool stuff from scratch.
In the final chapters you’ll learn to build a signal generator, a thermostat, and a simple launch sequence device for model rockets.
Young aspiring engineers and seasoned professionals alike will treasure this book. It’s one of the newest and most recently published books in this post so the exercises are up-to-date and incredibly educational.
I give this a huge “must buy” rating for anyone into Arduino technology.
Most cookbooks are rather advanced resource guide and I’m surprised to see the Arduino Cookbook go the opposite route.
This book targets engineers and tech enthusiasts who have very little programming knowledge with Arduino or any other microcontroller. In the 2nd edition you get over 200 unique tips and solutions for Arduino development for building cool robotics, devices, and simple toys.
You’ll find solutions for basic sensors and lighting, how to handle input signals, how to generate sound and output visuals if necessary. Later in the book you’ll even learn about memory management to improve your application’s performance.
However advanced developers may be let down with the fairly simple recipes found in this book. It’s surprisingly basic and really not the best reference for higher level projects . But if you’re fairly inexperienced and want to dive into C for Arduino I would highly recommend this title as a top resource.
All of these books span the gamut of Arduino microcontroller functionality and there’s always so much more to learn. But this list offers the best options available for real practical Arduino experience.
From hardware to software, robotics to infared sensors, there’s so much you can do with Arduino.
If you’re having trouble getting started try picking up the Arduino Workshop or 30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius. Both offer hands-on practice for beginners and they’re really fun to work through with friends or by yourself.