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Taking Next Steps with Arduino:
These are fun and engaging gifts that go beyond blinking an LED. All of these open endless possibilities for creating useful and fun projects with Arduino.  

Want to give a gift that gets the pulse racing? Go for the
Pulse Sensor AMPED for Arduino, $25. Gently place the sensor on any area of skin and it will transmit pulse data to your Arduino for processing. The included sample processing/Arduino code lets you visualize pulse data on your computer. It’s a simple, non-invasive, inexpensive way to incorporate biofeedback into your projects. I used this to make an LED lamp that subtly changed color in response to the heart rate of the person holding the lamp.

A prototyping shield, $16.95, makes it easy to build circuits for Arduino. You can add a mini breadboard for soldlerless tinkering or connect components directly to the board for finished projects. I use these for circuits that I have transferred from solderless breadboards when I want something more permanent.

With lots of easy to connect sensors, the Arduino Compatible Electronic Brick Starter Kit, $49.99, is a great next-level Arduino gift. Just add an Arduino board and you can experiment with lots of sensors – no soldering required. This is a plug-and-play solution to get going with Arduino for people that don’t want to solder or mess around with breadboards.

The Ultimate Microcontroller Pack, $120, will keep you in stock with over 100 of the most commonly used components.

Michael Margolis

Author of the Arduino Cookbook and Make an Arduino-Controlled Robot

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