Duration: 6 hours

This tutorial is meant to be an interactive activity where participants are supported in the manufacture of a working device based on low-cost and/or recycled materials old electronics. Under the supervision of the instructors and after a brief presentation, participants could work independently in order to create a working device. A jury will assign a price offered by the European Physical Society to the best and most efficient device.

Two main activities will be presented:

1) Creation of an environmental sensor ( humidity, temperature) for agricultural appplications: In this activities, participants will use electronic platforms, such as Arduino, and low-cost components for assembling a simple sensor. Old electronics will be unmounted to recover the componentes needed for the assembly.

2) Low-cost Microscopy: Recently, new solutions became available to design and build low cost microscopes either for education or research. Inspiration is found in:

• Arduino electronic platform
• Components obtained recycling (i.e. lenses CD drive)
• 3D printing
• Rapsberry Pi mini computer and camera
• Availability of LEDs at multiple wavelength enabling for example easy excitation of fluorescence
• Adaptation to smartphones (not so low cost but will become soon)

We propose here to build a microscope based on the transformation of a web cam by reversing its lens. It is quite simple to do and present good performances. The cost is essentially the cost of a web cam (<10€), a used web cam may also do the job.


  • Low-cost Microscopy
  • Environmental sensors