Workshops Listings

EcoHome Lab

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Eco Home Lab

Eco Home Lab

Title: EcoHome Lab
Location: MadLab, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester M4 1HN
Link out: Click here
Date: 26-09-2013
Start Time: 17:00
End Time: 20:30

A monthly hangout for people taking control of their home energy usage and generation. We use open-source hardware and software to enable better understand our homes and how they work, making best use of the energy we generate and reducing the energy we waste.


We’ll be some reporting back on which gas meter sensors have worked and building some more and working on DIY SAP modelling of our own houses.


Each month we’ll expand on our understanding and starting to integrate the monitors in to different areas of Carbon Co-op’s development.

Topics will include:
- Yaye, more sensors! – air quality, ventilation flows, dew point
- User interfaces – your smart home on your smart phone
- Integrating Open Data sources
- Taking the power back! – Making better use of the surplus power we generate
- Zoning and home automation: “Monitors have only interpreted the home in various ways, the point is to change it.”


- Anyone using OpenEnergyMonitor kit: come and get help making it work better for you or share your knowledge and shiny dashboard goodness.
- Anyone with skills in physical electronics, web development, interface design or programming who wants to use that knowledge to avert this whole climate apocalypse thing.
- Anyone! There will be open space for small groups to focus on adding new sensors or hacking the user interface, there will always be a ‘newbies’ group for people interested in finding out more.

Come join the energy geek revolution.

Beginners’ Guide to Arduino and Physical Computing

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

arduinologoTitle: Beginners’ Guide to Arduino and Physical Computing
Location: MadLab
Description: This course tells you everything you need to know about working with the Arduino platform, from software development and simple circuit building, to prototyping new controllers and building robotics.

Date: 06-07-2013
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 17:30

Booking: sign up here

Arduino devices open up the exciting new world of physical computing, making real-world applications available even for non-experts to explore. The possible uses of these micro-controllers are limitless – all you need to add is your imagination.

This course tells you everything you need to know about working with the Arduino platform, from software development and simple circuit building, to prototyping new controllers and building robotics.

You’ll learn not only what you can achieve with Arduino boards, but also strategies for integrating them into larger projects, from installations to sensor networks.

And how could you use it? For functionality, for art… for making life more interesting.

Imagine a clock, with hands not telling the time, but where members of your family are by automatically sending back information about their movements. Imagine a bakery that can instantly send a tweet to its followers to tell them when their yummy baked goods are fresh out of the oven. Imagine a beautiful water-based display that spells out letters and numbers with bubbles.

Now imagine what YOU could do with it!

Real World Examples

Here are some of our favourite projects using the Arduino:

What you need to be familiar with

You’ll need to know how to use your computer, edit files, and save them.

Some programming background is useful, but not essential; if you’ve ever written Javascript, Pascal, C, C++, Java or Actionscript, you’ll find the Arduino programming language very familiar. If you’ve written Macros in Excel or any desktop software, you’ll find this will help you understand what’s happening.

Software and costs

The fee of the course is £120. Included in this price is a hot buffet lunch, with vegetarian options (please notify us if you have other dietary requirements).

You will also receive an Arduino Uno, breadboard, holder, USB cable and parts bundle. Each parts bundle contains jumper wires, two pushbuttons, two potentiometers, resistors, 10 LEDs, and a photoresistor.

Additionally, you will receive an electronic copy of the teaching materials, software, and programmes we write on a USB stick.

All software is freely available and copies will be distributed with the course materials on the day.

We will be using the Arduino IDE, version 0021,  which can be downloaded from for all platforms.

We will also be using the Processing IDE, version 1.2.1, which can be downloaded from for all platforms.

Equipment you’ll need

You will need to bring a computer, ideally a laptop, with a recent version of  Linux, Windows or OSX installed. You will need a USB interface on this computer.

Suggested preparatory work

  • Install the Arduino IDE
  • Install the Processing IDE

Make sure both applications start and run properly on your computer – on some Linux distributions, you need to install extra software.

Familiarise yourself with the introduction to the Processing IDE (the Arduino IDE is based on it) at

Learning Outcomes

  • How to connect and configure Arduino Uno devices to a computer, and download programmes to it
  • How to use a breadboard to prototype circuits, and interact with components through software
  • What different kinds of components exist and how to use photoresistor, potentiometers, and LEDs
  • How to communicate with an Arduino using USB and Processing
  • How to expand your Arduino and where to find devices and support


Brazilian Sandflies and Hacked Webcams

Monday, July 30th, 2012

DIY feeder with mad invetor and an enthusiastic assistantOn the 29th July, the Manchester DIYBio group hosted a double bill of scientific wonders featuring Brazilian sandflies (that’s Phlebotominae to you and me ) and DIY microscopes.

The first session was led by Dr. Rod Dillon from the the University of Lancaster who, along with his team, gave us some background information on the Brazilian sandfly and, most importantly, the diseases it spreads. Sandflies infected by the protozoan Leishmania parasite spread a disease called Leishmaniasis, a disease with the next worst impact on humans after malaria. This disease can cause disfiguring afflictions as well as lethal complications within the spleen which can be seen as the victims’ abdomens swell up, leading to their eventual death. Scientists are still working on a vaccine, so research into the parasite’s genome is crucial. In fact, genome based screening techniques are already used to screen potential vaccines.

We were introduced to several techniques commonly used in the lab – all with a suitably DIY twist. For example, instead of using a commercial feeder filled with blood kept at a constant temperature, Dr. Dillon gave a demonstration with a cocktail jigger filled with warm sugar solution (and some added red dye for artistic effect), some pieces of chicken skin and a makeshift clamp made out of bamboo and elastic bands. (more…)

Citizen X workshop:Heath Bunting

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Citizen X

Title: Citizen X workshop:Heath Bunting
Location: MadLab
Description: In the run up to this years AND Festival in Manchester join Heath as he leads a series of bi-monthly workshops at Madlab that will give you the skills to develop new identities.
Start Time: 11:00
Date: 2012-02-25
End Time: 17:00
Booking: Free, but essential.

Heath Bunting has worked with performance, intervention, pirate radio, fax/mail art and BBS systems before becoming an active participant in the explosion of the Internet. In 1996, Bunting also set-up the server, a system for irrational information and products for the roaming and displaced.

In the run up to this years AND Festival in Manchester join Heath as he leads a series of bi-monthly workshops at Madlab that will give you the skills to develop new identities.

Entailed to prepare you for the final stages of the Bankster-generated economic collapse, participants will be encouraged to acquire some solid assets, a weapon and an exit strategy at this workshop, with the help of some useful maps you can learn how to build a new off-the-shelf identity to help you escape! The message: Don’t be content with rioting and looting! Arm yourself with your rights and really get even! The workshop is based on concept the that “our identity is constructed as human beings that can possess one or more natural persons and control one or more artificial persons. The higher up in the class system the better the access to status variety.”

To register for the workshop please email and we will send you more information prior to the workshop.

*Tea and cake will be provided, but no guns or gold.

Girl Geek Tea Party – Coding Workshop

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Girl Geek Tea Party

Title: Girl Geek Tea Party – Coding Workshop
Location: MadLab
Description: Manchester Girl Geeks is a not-for-profit group which organises networking events, talks and hands-on workshops for women and girls with an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Start Time: 14:00
Date: 2012-02-19
End Time: 17:00
Booking: Get your places here!

Manchester Girl Geeks celebrate the Code Year 2012
- with an intro to coding!

codecademy screenshot

With the help of, our very own girl geek Kat (aka @binarykitten) will walk and talk you through the first steps to writing your own code (in JavaScript, to be precise). This short intro class is aimed at absolute beginners, who have little or no knowledge of programming, as well as people who would like to refresh their coding skills. Children from age 10 and older who know how to use a computer are more than welcome, too! Feel free to bring your young ones and share a laptop with them.

The class will be around 2 hours with plenty of explanations of what and why you are coding. And as always, there will breaks for tea, biscuits and chats with other girl geeks and soon-to-be geeks!

We only have limited spaces for this event. In order to make sure that everyone who wants to come gets a ticket, we charge our usual £2 booking fee for this event. We will provide some tea & biscuits, but we would like to point out that our venue – MadLab – appreciates donations. Look out for the donation cat :)

For more information and to book your ticket, please visit: