I am a scientist at Delft University of Technology. I solve my problems using a MacGyver attitude. I build measurement devices using scavanged parts from consumer-electronics. I connect existing online data sources to answer relevant scientific questions. I encourage my students to learn by discovering, building and doing. I am a restless jack of all trades that likes to organize and run events. I am a public speaker on science and technology. I write a monthly column in the Dutch national newspaper "De Volkskrant". I host workshops for audiences ranging from festival-goers to primary school kids. My workshops show, hands-on, that technology is fun and that technology is for everyone, not only for beta-nerds. I am, most of all, endlessly curious.

Internet of Things that your non-dev brother can build

"I wish I could connect my lamp to the internet, but I know nothing about all that "technology" stuff that you do". Sounds familiar? In my workshop I will be teaching the teachers: I'll be giving you the tools to help your non-dev, non-technology-minded relatives have physical objects (lamps, motors, sensors) in their houses interact with the online world. We'll be posting sensor readings on twitter and we'll be activating lamps based on online weather forecasts. All using no solder: just plug and play electronics. And no code!

To be precise, we'll be using the Seeedstudio Grove system, coupled to the Particle Photon, coupled to IFTTT.

Of course, since you are devs, after setting up the click and play, no code examples you can share with your relatives, we will dive deeper in the system, changing the firmware on the photon to do our biding, making API calls from our own websites, etc.

After the workshop, you'll have the opportunity to buy the equipment used to continue playing at home.


Workshop instructions

Participants will work in pairs, at a maximum of 13 pairs. Each pair will need:

• One laptop or tablet. A phone is possible but sub-optimal

• One smartphone with the Particle app pre-installed

• An account with Particle, an account with IFTTT, plus a social media account (such as Facebook, Twitter, or even Evernote)