MadLab Introduction to Arduino

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Introduction to Arduino

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

Saturday 2nd April, 10:00am—4:00pm. £120

The prototyping platform that has launched a creative electronics revolution! The original, and still the best place to start for engineers, artists, tinkerers, budding entrepreneurs… anyone with an active curiosity in making “new hardware” which links the digital and physical worlds.

Over the years Arduino has been used to make all kinds of things, from tiny wearables to large-scale interactive installations. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • LEAP. A live-action game which pits players against a laser-equipped robot security system gone rogue
  • Rachael Moat (Arduino Manchester) creates prototypes which encourage children with severe communication and learning difficulties to interact with the world around them
  • Ardu-Sat, a “low-cost space research platform”
  • Analogue Synthesizer hacking, with Arduino and Moog

Versatile, beginner-friendly, and above all fun, this workshop will give you an insight into how to get started with your own excellent digital-physical projects!

This is part of MadLab’s “new hardware” series. You can book both this and Hands-on with the Internet of Things at the same time, at the cost of £189 for both. Drop us an email at if this interests you.

About the workshop

The course fee covers the day’s workshop tuition, as well as the cost of an ARDX Experimentation Kit from Oomlout (worth £62!), containing an Arduino Uno (Classic) and all the wires and electronic components (LEDs, sensors, motors, buttons) you need to get started on a range of interesting projects.

On the day we will go through:

  • How to connect and configure an Arduino Uno, and upload programs 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 them
  • How to communicate between an Arduino and your computer
  • How to expand your Arduino, and where to find devices, support, and inspiration for new projects

Who is this workshop aimed at?

This is an entry-level workshop, for those new to electronics prototyping, writing software, and potentially both. Under-16s are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

Basic computer skills (opening software, editing files and so on) are required, and some programming experience (e.g. Javascript or Python) would be useful but not essential.

If you are already reasonably comfortable with Arduino, please consider our Hands-on with the Internet of Things workshop. This takes a more in-depth look at how to interface Arduino with more complex components such as high-precision sensors and LED arrays.

What do I need to bring?

You will need a laptop running a recent version of an Arduino-compatible operating system such as Windows, Linux or Mac OS X. Make sure it’s got a working USB port through which to connect and program the Arduino.

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.

There are two prices listed for the course, please make sure that you select the one most appropriate for you. The lower price (£80) is for those people who already have an Arduino experimentation kit (or equivalent, please get in touch if you would like a components list) and plan to bring it on the day.

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) Arduino since the very beginning, 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 using Arduino to build low-cost laboratory equipment using old lightbulbs and disk drives.

Book your place!

Any questions? Send us an email at