Your search for the best and most cost-effective IoT starter kits for building IoT solutions ends here with these outstanding smart device kits.
The Internet of things (IoT) is the next blue-chip technology that will persuade industries to invest billions of dollars. If you are a technology enthusiast and electronic geek, you must try IoT as a career option.
Building a career in IoT requires that you know its software and hardware. The best way to learn is by building live projects using IoT starter kits.
Read on to learn more about IoT kits, their use cases, and the features of the best kits. Later, you will also explore some smart device kits that expert IoT developers use to create real-world projects.
What Is an IoT Starter Kit?
The IoT starter kit includes electronic accessories, software documentation, and tutorials to build smart IoT devices. You can build IoT gadgets like world clocks, climate nodes, weather stations, plane spotters, smart robotic arms, thermostats, self-driving cars as toys, and more.
The equipment designers create the bundle so that you learn the whole process interactively. You go through the guided instructions to build, disassemble, and rebuild several IoT devices from one bundled kit.
Most IoT starter kits come with cross-compatibility for all the cloud IoT development platforms. For example, IBM Watson IoT, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and more.
Why Do You Need an IoT Starter Kit?
IoT starter kits are a fun way to learn smart home engineering and software development without breaking the bank. Here are some reasons why smart home geeks rely on IoT starter kits over other learning resources:
One kit is good for different kinds of smart gadgets. Hence, you can build a smart device. Try it out for a few days. Then, disassemble and start building a new one using the same toolkits.
These bundled electronic equipment are perfect for promoting STEM learning enthusiasm in kids, teenagers, and tech-savvy adults.
IoT starter kits serve as inexpensive live lab projects for the Internet of Things learning courses.
Online learning platforms that offer IoT courses can use these kits to guide their students through real-world IoT projects.
You could also gift a bundle to your friend, family member, and colleagues you know are tech-savvy and love do-it-yourself (DIY) projects.
Next, we will look into the various features to look for in an IoT starter kit.
Features to Look For in an IoT Starter Kit
The online and offline market has no shortage of smart home device kits. However, you can not buy just any of them. You must go through this ultimate features list before buying your IoT project kit:
The kit comes with elaborated training guides and how-tos to help you with software development on a compatible computer like Linux.
There are enough accessories like sensors, Wi-Fi boards, microcontroller boards, breadboards, wires, etc., to build different kinds of smart home devices.
Also, look for FCC-compliant electronic equipment over non-FCC ones.
The IoT kit bundle should be compatible with various IoT cloud development platforms. This offers you a good chance to learn all the IoT development clouds using one IoT starter kit.
Look for starter kits that come with modular accessories and do not require soldering. It allows kids to learn IoT without any danger of fire and electricity shocks. Also, you can repurpose one kit for many projects.
Go for kits that require no or little programming that you can perform easily from a web browser or smartphone.
If you are getting a starter kit for a kid who knows a little programming or is interested in coding, then go for those that offer interactive coding guidance.
Now, explore various options for IoT starter kits that you can use for a hobby, academic, or professional project:
SunFounder 3 in-1 IoT Starter Kit
This SunFounder 3-in-1 IoT Starter Kit is the ultimate choice for learning IoT, Arduino, and smart cars. With its help, users can learn to build IoT projects like door and windows detection and plant irrigation using ESP8266 and Blynk.
The kit contains 192 items, such as ESP8266 and Arduino UNO-supported controller board. It also includes online tutorials for 87 projects, including Arduino, Scratch, IoT, and car projects.
It offers full compatibility with both Arduino IDE and Scratch. Hence, novice and seasoned software engineers can use it.
Moreover, the SunFounder kit can teach you to build a multi-functional smart car and create programs for line tracking, avoiding obstacles, speeding up, following your hand, and many more.
Do you want to learn IoT through playing? OSOYOO ESP8266 kit is here to meet your needs. It not only provides you with the necessary knowledge base for the future but also helps you create interesting IoT projects for school projects and science fairs.
OSOYOO IoT kit contains an ESP8266-based NodeMCU microcontroller board that supports WiFi and IDE. It uses a simplistic IoT protocol named MQTT with various open-source coding resources and mobile applications.
You will get 22 electronic component items to start your IoT journey in this kit. It offers an instructional DVD with 17 free sample lessons with a step-by-step tutorial, videos, detailed circuit graphs, and fully-tested sample codes to ease up your learning.
Robotistan NodeMCU ESP8266 Kit
Robotistan NodeMCU ESP8266 is designed to help beginners learn the principles and logic of IoT and implement those in their startup IoT projects. It comes with 16 components like LEDs, motors, and detection sensor variants, using which one can quickly start their IoT projects.
The kit already contains NodeMCU— a development board based on an open-source module. Therefore, you do not have to use any other board for your projects. Here, you also get a manual that lists all kit components, a visual explanation of circuit-building steps, and codes for the projects.
In addition, there is an ebook available for the kit users. It discusses the detailed application of the kit components for starting with your IoT projects.
ThingPulse #1 NodeMCU ESP8266
Using ThingPulse #1 NodeMCU ESP8266 kit, users can get started with their IoT projects. This 4-in-1 project kit for wireless IoT development allows you to create four home projects—a world clock, weather station, plane spotter, and climate node.
It is compatible with Arduino and contains NodeMCU V2, an ESP8266 microcontroller circuit board. Its DIY weather station for kids has all the essential elements, such as an OLED display, ESP8266 WiFi chip, USB cable, and sensors for temperature and humidity.
For climate node, weather clock, and plane spotter projects, the kit offers a comprehensive 60-page guide containing step-by-step methods. Above all, all purchasers get premier customer support from the company to answer questions or concerns.
SunFounder Raspberry Pi Ultimate
SunFounder Raspberry Pi Ultimate is a kit that students, educators, electrical engineers, programming beginners, and tech enthusiasts can use, even without prior knowledge.
It contains all the necessary hardware and software a beginner might need.
The Raspberry Pi starter kit offers you 45 video courses and online tutorials. Using these step-by-step online tutorials, you can develop 161 interesting projects, including 59 Python projects, 44 C++ projects, and 30 Node.js projects. On the other hand, the video courses help you master Raspberry pi.
KEYESTUDIO Smart Home Starter Kit
You can consider KEYESTUDIO Smart Home Starter Kit as your entry-level coding toy that assists you in learning electronics and programming while having fun. Use it to create a model smart house with laser-cut wood boards, a control board, and many sensors and actuators.
Using it, you can do 15 different projects about modules like buttons, LEDs, and sensors.
Once you upload the code to a computer and power it with 6 AA batteries, you can control it from your mobile app.
GAR Micro Starter Kit
For those looking for a micro starter kit for their STEM or Robotics projects, GAR Micro Starter Kit is an ideal option. It includes 52+ components for project development, like an Arduino-compatible Uno R3 main board and ESP32 development board with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced user, it helps you explore programming electronics in Arduino using popular sensors and modules. Besides creating wireless projects, the Wi-Fi Transceiver, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth Module, and HC-05 Bluetooth Module of this kit let you experiment with IoT ideas.
Its all-in-one kit offers you extra accessories and free access to PDF guides and tutorial links on the GAR Dropbox Cloud. All components of this kit come in a durable toolbox.
SunFounder Raspberry Pi Pico
SunFounder’s Kepler kit, aka Raspberry Pi Pico, offers 117 different projects on smart devices. Consequently, the IoT starter kit contains a lot of electronic accessories, up to 450 components.
The kit is suitable for IoT devices and software development based on Raspberry Pi and Arduino technologies.
Its computational circuit board includes standard features like an RP2040 microcontroller chip, Arm Cortex-M0+ processor, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, and 26 multifunction GPIO pins.
The kit supports IoT program development on software development platforms like MicroPython, Piper Make, and C++. Easy-to-understand online tutorial is also available for these programming platforms and 117 projects.
GAR Colossus Starter Kit
If you need to develop a smart car with robotic functionalities for academic or hobby purposes, you can try out the GAR Colossus kit. The kit could also be a good STEM learning for kids above 3 years of age.
The starter kit includes Wi-Fi modules, Bluetooth modules, Systems on Chip (SOC), five different motherboards for the smart car, various accessory shields, car chassis, sensors, and LCDs.
All the sensitive electronic parts come in a rugged container of 22-inch in size and Husky 2-Level protection. Additionally, you get a 16 GB USB stick and free access to GAR Dropbox Cloud to access hardware and software development tutorials for the smart car.
Arduino MKR IoT Bundle
The Arduino MKR starter kit is ideal for developing various Internet of Things models for business and home automation. You can log in online to the Arduino IoT Cloud for device programming, access control, data analytics, and automation triggering.
The bundle includes the MCU board, MCU, LCD, motor for mechanical control of actuators, battery power connector, USB power port, and more.
You can access the Arduino tutorial from its website and follow a five-step tutorial to develop your smart home device for business needs, academic projects, or just for fun.
OSOYOO Wi-Fi IoT Learning Kit
When it comes to being familiarized with IoT, programmable electronics, and Robotics, OSOYOO Wi-Fi IoT Learning Kit helps you to become innovative. You can use it to build IoT projects and configure the automation of your smart home.
Everything needed to develop a creative, smart home is included here, such as WiFi Shield, Arduino Basic Board, motion sensor, Obstacle Sensors, Ultrasonic Sensor, sound sensor, Photoresistor, and Temperature/Humidity sensor. Moreover, you can manage and control the IoT system through mobile apps.
DAOKI ESP8266 Starter Kit
Do you want to build a weather station for IoT Arduino IDE? Choosing DAOKI ESP8266 Starter Kit for the purpose would be the right choice.
Here, you will get an ESP8266 development board, a 0.96″ OLED display, a temperature and humidity sensor, a breadboard, a USB cable, and other components.
Using this kit, one can develop four wireless IoT projects, including a weather station, world clock, plane spotter, and climate node. For connectivity, it uses USB, and its OLED display comes with a resolution of 128×64 pixels.
Arduino OPLA IoT Kit
Arduino OPLA IoT Kit is the perfect choice for beginners and professionals as it only needs some basic DIY experiences. However, experienced users can use it to take control of their IoT data and processes.
Major components of this kit include an Arduino MKR Wi-Fi board, Arduino MKR IoT Carrier with OLED display, 24 V relays, moisture sensors, capacitive touch buttons, an SD card holder, and onboard sensors for light, temperature, and humidity.
With this kit, you get free access to the Arduino coding platform for 12 months. Using this open system, you can develop customized smart devices and control them as you want to.
Here are the best IoT starter kits you can conveniently buy and start your first Internet of Things project. Go through the technical features of the smart device kits above. Get the one that is ideal for your project and kit budget.