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Hands-on with the Internet of Things – SOLD OUT

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

Sunday 21st February, 10:00am—4:00pm. £95

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.

This is part of MadLab’s “new hardware” series of workshops. You can book both this and Introduction to Arduino at the same time, at the cost of £189 for both. Drop us an email at if this interests you.

About the workshop

The workshop fee covers the day’s tuition, as well as an IoT experimenter’s pack (worth £45!) – including a Particle Photon Development Kit and a breakout board for Bosch’s BMP180, a high-precision temperature and pressure sensor.

On the day 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

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.

If you don’t yet have enough confidence with the basics of one or both of these things, please consider taking our Introduction to Arduino workshop first.

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.

How to book

You can use the ‘Book your place!’ link on this page to book your place, or get in touch with the MadLab office – either by email on, or by phone on 0161 839 6324.

Lunch is included in the fee, with a vegan or vegetarian option available if desired. If you have any questions, about this or any other aspect of the workshop, please get in touch using the contact details above.

General information about our courses, including our cancellation policy, can be found here.

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