Biomakespace Forum

Biomaker Winter Software Challenge - Apply Now!

(Jenny Molloy) #1

The Biomaker Initiative is running a technical challenge over the 2018-2019 winter - to produce graphical programming resources for new hardware in XOD, a visual programming interface used in the Biomaker Challenge to build low-cost sensors and instruments for biology. The winter challenge is best suited to engineers, programmers or participants who have, or are willing to gain programming skills in C/C++.

The Challenge

Develop XOD nodes for code-free programming of scientific instruments and real-world tools for biology.

We will provide teams with a low-cost development platform based on the Open-Smart Rich UNO R3 board, which contains a variety of embedded components. The board is Arduino compatible, and can be programmed directly from the graphical programming environment XOD (C++ source code available). XOD nodes can be programmed using C++ (see guide here), or composed from low-level XOD nodes (e.g. I2C device support).

Potential projects might involve the production of code for new i2C devices, serial communication routines for use with programmable touch screens or integration and documentation of existing nodes for scientific use.

Application Process

Please submit an application form to in an editable format such as .odt or Word .docx ( not PDF ) and attach any images separately to the email.

Applications should include:

  1. Team details, including contact details and hardware or programming experience
  2. Project title and brief abstract
  3. Description of the intended challenge.
  4. Expected outcomes and benefits

The full application should be no more than 2 pages, excluding any figures, photos and diagrams which can be inserted at the end of the document and referenced in the text.

Learn more and apply >>

Applications are invited from Monday November 26th, and will be evaluated on a rolling basis until applications close on Sunday December 16th . Participants will be able to pick up their Starter Kits in the Department of Plant Sciences before the end of term, otherwise they will be mailed.


At least one participant from each team should have a connection with the University of Cambridge, John Innes Centre, or Earlham Institute - but we encourage wide extra participation from outside institutions and across career stages.

Biomaker Winter Challenge Mixer

Monday 10 December 2018, 19:00
Biomakespace, Biomedical Innovation Hub [​Clifford Albutt Building], Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0AH
Join us to learn more about the challenge, have a play around with XOD and the hardware kit, share ideas for projects, and meet potential collaborators! RSVP via Meetup >>>

Or post on our Hackster discussion page and we’ll help match people and projects!

Organised by the University of Cambridge Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative and OpenPlant. Please email with any questions.