We’re looking for some engineering students to join our open source atomic force microscope (AFM) project involving students from UCL, Tsinghua and Peking universities. The aim is to make a device which would allow school children and citizen scientists to explore the world on a nanoscopic scale, something that has previously been restricted to research labs with six-figure budgets.
We’ve been working on refining a prototype of an AFM which was built for £100 during the week-long Lego2Nano summer school held at Tsinghua University in Beijing. During the week we got very close to a working design, and we’ve had a lot of commercial and media interest since. Our next step is to build a fully-functional prototype using a hacked DVD head and an Arduino, so we would especially like any engineering students (undergrad or postgrad) with an interest in electronics, hacking, or programming to get involved in the project.
We have had a paper accepted to present our work at the Interaction and Design for Children conference, which will be held in Aarhus in June, and will include a tour of the Lego factory! The Engineering Faculty at UCL has offered to pay for two engineering students to attend the conference with our group, including travel, accommodation and conference fees. The exact travel dates haven’t been confirmed yet but it will likely be from the 14th – 20th June. Funding may also be available for a trip to Beijing for a second Lego2Nano summer school, currently planned to be held in September.
This is a great opportunity to get involved in a very exciting project and put your engineering skills to the test. If you would like to apply to be involved, please send a brief description of your skills and interests along with your motivation for applying to James Lawrence (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 12pm on Thursday 1st May. See the links below for more information about last year’s Lego2Nano summer school and the IDC conference.