ECE seminar series: How Arduino is open-sourcing imagination

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 ( 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm )

Location: Babbio Center, Room 319

Prof. Yingying Chen ([email protected])

How Arduino is open-sourcing imagination

“You don’t need anyone’s permission to make something great.”


BY Dr. Massimo Banzi

CO-Founder at Arduino



Computer-based interactivity used to be beyond the reach of most artists, designers, and other electronics amateurs who wanted to make their work respond to light, sound and other stimulus by moving, beeping, tweeting. Then, in 2005, Italian engineer Massimo Banzi and his team created the Arduino microcontroller, a small, cheap programmable computer, bringing interactive technology to the masses. With a variety of sensors, the Arduino is versatile and easy to use. Since its inception, the device has popped up in projects as varied as an exhibit on brains at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, to a DIY kit that sends a Tweet when your houseplant needs water. Arduino, a tiny, easy-to-use open-source microcontroller that has inspired thousands of people around the world to make the coolest things they can imagine — from toys to satellite gear. Empowering and inspiring innovation and entrepreneurship the world over.



Massimo Banzi is the co-founder of the Arduino project. He is an Interaction Designer, Educator and Open Source Hardware advocate. He has worked as a consultant for clients such as: Prada, Artemide, Persol, Whirlpool, V&A Museum and Adidas. Massimo started the first FabLab in Italy which led to the creation of Officine Arduino, a FabLab/Makerspace based in Torino. He spent 4 years at the Interaction Design Institue Ivrea as Associate Professor. Massimo has taught workshops and has been a guest speaker at institutions all over the world. Before joining IDII he was CTO for the Seat Ventures incubator. He spent many years working as a software architect, both in Milan and London, on projects for clients like Italia Online, Sapient, Labour Party, BT, MCI WorldCom, SmithKlineBeecham, Storagetek, BSkyB and Massimo is also the author of “Getting Started with Arduino” published by O’Reilly. He is a regular contributor to the Italian edition of Wired Magazine and Che Futuro, an online magazine about innovation. He currently teaches Interaction Design at SUPSI Lugano in the south of Switzerland and is a visiting professor at CIID in Copenhagen.