skip to content

Department of Plant Sciences

Biomaker logo and page heading

A new and expanded version of the Biomaker handbook is now available

Jim Haseloff and colleagues Matt Wayland and Stephanie Norwood have just released a new handbook on no-code programming for biologists who are keen to grow their skills in electronic controllers, advanced sensors and wireless communications.  The new edition extends the no-code programming tutorial material in the first edition, and includes more material on hardware expansion and building prototypes.

Versions of the guide have formed the basis for a series of international training workshops run in the UK, US, Mexico, South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Egypt and online during the pandemic. Biomaker has paired simple hardware kits with an open source graphical programming tool XOD, to allow no-code programming of Arduino-compatible microcontrollers, and use of electronic components such as screens and sensors to build custom instrumentation for biology.

Designed for those with little or no previous experience with coding and hardware, the Beginner’s kit aims to get biologists started building simple prototypes and give an idea of how these skills can be applied to real-world biological applications.

The Biomaker team are developing advanced training materials for those who have completed the first stage. These makes use of the Seeed Studio SensCAP K1100 kit, with Wio Terminal, an Arduino-compatible microcontroller with built-in RGB LCD screen and both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It also includes sensor modules with AI vision sensor and long range LoRa module to create wireless communication systems perfect for field and agriculture applications. Advanced training will focus on tool development for three application areas: measurement and control in the laboratory, remote sensing in the field, and electronics for microscopy.

More workshops are planned over the summer. If you are interested in participating in an introductory workshop, or getting involved with the development of advanced material, please contact Jim Haseloff at


Visit the Biomaker website!!


More on Biomaker
Biomaker aims to lower the barriers that impede interdisciplinary work, and to promote the kinds of training that are useful for building instruments and devices for biological experiments in the lab and field. We develop starter kits for no-code programming that allow biologists to build bioinstrument prototypes for measurement and control of biological systems. These have a wide range of applications including instrumentation, microscopy, microfluidics, 3D printing, biomedical devices, DNA design, plant sciences and outreach and public engagement. You can find examples of documented projects on the Biomaker website.

Biomaker used open source and low-cost tools and hardware, which facilitate equitable access to fundamental knowledge and technology, encourage a collaborative environment, and support the establishment of an open, sustainable bioeconomy.