Ever thought of getting a Robot to mow your lawn? Or calling your pals on a self-made mobile phone?

Ahead of the Arduino and Physical Computing Course, MadLab’s Jo Slack muses on the latest developments in the Arduino world and what it means for us at home.

[Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mellis/9474701418/]

[Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mellis/9474701418/]

In August this year, for the very first time, we saw an Arduino project leave the confines of our great planet and go on a journey further than any before! Two Arduino powered Satellites (or ArduSats if you want to sound clued up) were successfully sent into ISS deployment.These satellites will be used to monitor battery life and count data packets, transmitting the information back down to Earth like our very own Space Robots!  The first report was received on Tuesday reading “XVEESRF =GMTT TEM F / DF1 A” ( don’t worry, we’re not sure what it means either).

This is a pretty big step for Arduino enthusiasts everywhere.  A DIY space mission, what could be more impressive than that? Here at MadLab, ahead of our workshop this weekend, we’re getting excited about what Arduino can do a little closer to home. Check out the examples below:

Arduino Baby Monitor

Arduino baby monitor

In August, a group of Biomedical Engineers travelled to Africa to work with a group of Engineers in Nairobi. The trip resulted in the development of an open-source baby monitor, fit for purpose and up to Biomedical device standards. This valuable workshop provided African Engineers with the expertise and techniques that allows them to manage, develop and maintain their own medical equipment, free from economical constraints.
Check it out here

Robot Lawnmower

Robot lawnmower

Yep that’s right, a Robotic Lawnmower!  A group of Arduino enthusiasts have used Arduino technology to create a self-mowing lawn-mower. You can build the mower yourself and programme it to move around your lawn randomly or lane-by-lane. Pretty neat for those days when you’d rather have a brew and put your feet up!
Check it out here

Arduino Laser Harp

Laser harp

Chris Ball, an expert in home-made musical instruments has developed an Arduino laser harp. In this visually arresting project, Chris uses low output lasers and LEDs to make it appear as though you are playing lights not strings. Beautiful!
Check it out here

DIY Cellphone


A make-your-own mobile phone! This project sees an Arduino enthusiast develop an open-source mobile that can make and receive text messages, has a phonebook and even tells the time. Shame about the lack of ‘Snake’ but you can’t have everything! Anyone thinking about an upgrade?
Check it out here

Want to try some projects of your own? Come and learn the Arduino basics this Saturday at MadLab.