Getting Started with Robotics/Physical Computing

Sometimes the most difficult part about robotics is knowing where to start and knowing which of the many options are the best to go with. Below we have a selection of tutorials to get you started with Arduino Kit. Arduino is an open source platform that has some really great features to make learning to interact with the outside world easy, fun and fast.

Arduino Tutorials - A Great Place to Start

Resistor Codes - Including calculator

MindKits Arduino Tutorials

More added all the time. Check out the Arduino Tutorials home page here


In my humble opinion these books are the complete toolkit for robotics and tinkering - How to use the Arduino, getting a workspace setup, trouble shooting, making sensors, deep diving with Arduino and robotics...Perfect!

All of these are great starting guides for Arduino and electronics and take you through the learning curve from the start. You just can't beat Jonathan Oxers book for being a complete reference though and is my personal favourite.

Getting Started With Arduino - Massimo Banzi
Electronics Sensors for the Evil Genius - Thomas Petruzzellis
Practical Arduino - Jonathan Oxer

User Groups and Clubs

MindKits Arduino Meetup - Monthly meeting on the second Thursday of the month to catch up over a beer, talk and learn.

  • Guest speakers - delivering information on current areas of interest or requested info.

  • An opportunity to ask experts for advice and help with problems

  • A show and tell so you can share what you've been working on with others

  • A chance to meet people interested in the same stuff as you

  • A fun way to quench your thirst over a beer

  • Bit or byte swap - exchange your goodies for others stuff

http://kiwibots.org - Christchurch based robotics enthusiast group but their mailing list is active with people all over New Zealand. Very friendly bunch with great support and regular meet ups.

Information Sites

http://www.freeduino.org/ - Fantastic Archive of everything Arduino. If you ever wondered if Arduino could interface with a piece of hardware this is a great place to start. Lots of code and tutorial links.

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/tutorials.php -The great people at SparkFun have put together a series of tutorials which you may find helpful. Things like how to make a power supply for your breadboard to how serial communication works. It's not specifically Arduino based but is very helpful indeed - Thanks SparkFun.

Video Tutorials

A great tutorial by Make Magazine to help you get started with the Arduino Basics.