The pocket-sized Arduino microcontroller gives anyone with a creative spark and DIY bent the ability to build electronics projects. The Arduino has been a staple in the millions-strong maker movement for years—which means that not everyone wants to make something simple with blinking lights. Experienced makers everywhere are asking for a next step.

Geek book publisher No Starch Press has released that next step. “Arduino Playground” (No Starch Press, $29.95, 344 pages) walks makers through building 10 outside-the-box projects as they delve more deeply into hardware design, electronics, and programming. Some of the book’s projects are practical, others are pure fun, but each provides an opportunity to build something new with electronics and push the envelope a bit.

According to author Warren Andrews, an experienced engineer and journalist, this is a book for those looking for more fun and challenging Arduino projects. “I wanted to provide a wide range of projects to demonstrate the flexibility and versatility of Arduino,” Andrews says. “I’ve been able to adapt Arduino to several other devices and technologies, which makes building more inventive, refreshing, and downright entertaining.”

Among the book’s 10 projects (all of which include complete code, circuit board templates, hands-on instructions, and tips for customization), readers will find:

° A reaction-timer game;

° A garage parking assistant that blinks when a vehicle is perfectly parked;

° An automatic wristwatch winder decked out with bright, colorful LEDs;

° A custom power supply that can be set to any voltage;

° A testing device that can simulate sensor signals and feed them to a circuit

“This book is for hobbyists looking to push the limits with what they can create,” says No Starch Press founder, Bill Pollock. “We’re dedicated to making people smarter and better able to push the limits. ‘Arduino Playground’ ( fits squarely in that niche.”

The author, Andrews, received his first amateur radio license at age 12 and has been writing about electronics for more than 30 years. His work has been featured in publications like “EE Times,” “Electronic Design” and “Computer Design.” Andrews has done technical consulting for several major corporations, including Motorola and GE.