Make: Arduino Bots and Gadgets is a heavily illustrated guide to incorporating the Arduino platform into six projects which illustrate embedded systems concepts. The author’s stated ultimate goal is to teach the reader how to build prototypes, and in that they are largely successful. A secondary mission is to allow the reader to “learn embedded systems in a week”; here I’m not so sure they reach the objective.
The format of the book is excellent, combining a lucid narrative with clear photos of the work underway. Parts lists at the start of each project chapter list precisely the materials and tools necessary to complete that project, usually including potential sources of the materials and part numbers in many cases.
One consideration for potential readers is financial. Some projects require components that are relatively expensive, considering that the Arduino Uno can be purchased for about $30. As an example, the first project uses a Ping))) ultrasonic sensor, which costs about $30; another project in the book uses three of these sensors. This is not a massive outlay of funds, but should be factored in if you plan to actually build these projects.
You will also need some foundation tools and skills, such as a digital multimeter, soldering iron, the ability to solder, etc. Fairly generic stuff, but these are not “snap-together” projects.
Overall, this is a great read and an easy introduction to Arduino and embedded systems. Exceptionally clear instructions and excellent supporting photography make it a joy to use.