IT LOOKS like an experimental cooking class as participants taste a green powder, pull faces and then mix it into a concoction of fruit and milk. But the event organised by Open Wetlab in Amsterdam has a more serious goal than to come up with new recipes for smoothies: finding ways to make spirulina—an algae which is full of proteins and vitamins, but tastes disgusting—more palatable.
Welcome to the world of biohacking. In its original sense, hacking involves taking things apart and putting them back together again in new ways. Such tinkerers helped to create the “maker movement”, which has grown into a worldwide community of people constructing things ranging from 3D-printed jewellery to robots. Biohackers have also started to organise themselves, under the umbrella of a movement called DIYbio.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell with Google Hangouts On-Air is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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