Home » Course

Hands-on with the Internet of Things

A two-day course with MadLab's hacker-in-residence Asa Calow

25th June. £145

This is a two-day course, starting Saturday 25th to Sunday 26th June. Course starts at 10:00am and finishes at 4:00pm both days.

Hardware… software… everywhere! There has been a rise in recent years of ‘the Internet of Things’: new internet-connected hardware, everything from mobile-connected wearables through to city-wide sensor networks and internet-connected ‘smart home’ appliances.

This workshop will take you through the need-to-know essentials when tackling your own Internet of Things project – everything from picking the right prototyping platform and means of device-device communication, through to the pros and cons of different network protocols and topologies.

With a solid background in place we’ll then get hands-on with the Arduino-compatible Particle Photon IoT development kit. Going deeper into the electronics and programming necessary for controlling sophisticated electronic components such as LED arrays and high-precision sensors, before finishing up with a rapid prototype of a web-enabled weather station.

The workshop fee covers both day’s tuition, as well as an IoT experimenter’s pack (worth £50!) – including a Particle Photon Development Kit and a breakout board for Bosch’s BMP280, a high-precision temperature and pressure sensor.

Over both days we will go through:

  • IoT essentials: development platforms and means of communication (from bluetooth low-energy to mobile 3G); network protocols and topologies; power management, when it matters and how best to do it
  • Getting started with the Particle Photon
  • A peek under the hood: how does the Photon communicate with its cloud?
  • Sensors and integrated circuits (microchips with specific tasks such as LED drivers)
  • Communicating with SPI and I2C, “USB for microcontrollers and sensors”
  • Prototyping an internet-connected weather station, with live web updates

This is an extended two-day course, in which you’ll take an in-depth look into the Internet of Things.

Who is this aimed at?

This is an intermediate level course, for those who have a basic understanding of electronics prototyping (e.g. Arduino) and programming already. We will be going deeper into these two subjects – interfacing custom electronics with software running on a remote computer, and made accessible through a web or mobile app.

What do I need to bring?

You will need a laptop running a recent version of either Windows, Linux or Mac OS X. Make sure it’s got a working USB port through which to connect and program the Photon.

You would also benefit from bringing a USB wall charger, and a smartphone running either Android or iOS, but this is not essential.

Booking your place

For your convenience, we offer a number of ways to book:

  • Book via Eventbrite
  • Invoice or PayPal – by phoning 0161 839 6324 or emailing
  • Payment by cheque – made out to MadLab CIC, and sent to MadLab 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester M4 1HN
  • We also accept card payments in person

Please find MadLab’s Cancellation Policy here.


Your Tutor

Asa Calow is a creative technologist and co-founder of MadLab. He has been working with (and teaching) electronics prototyping since MadLab’s inception, with commissions including a wearable lie detector, an Oyster Card operated tarot machine, and more interactive light sculptures than you can shake a stick at. Most recently he has been building low-cost laboratory equipment using old lightbulbs and disk drives.

Book your place!

Any questions? Send us an email at