Category Archives: Blog

Meet ASCUS Lab


“A lab is somewhere you can’t go unless you’re a scientist”…not anymore! ASCUS believes that a laboratory should be a facility accessible to everyone, like a library, so they’ve opened their own at Summerhall in Edinburgh and it sits at the intersection of art and science.

The ASCUS Lab is:
‐A permeable membrane between research / academia and the rest of us: a place where hands‐on engagement happens.
‐A community space for people to meet, explore, debate, learn and experiment together.
‐A space for independent research in art and/or science, and for citizen science.
‐A place for research, development, testing, demonstration and experimentation.

ASCUS Art & Science is a non‐profit organisation dedicated to bringing art and science (in their broadest sense), and artists and scientists, together.

Visit the ASCUS Lab and delve into the weird and wonderful world of DIY Bio. The ASCUS Lab is present in Summerhall year round and for the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire they’ve invited some exceptional ‘Bio Makers’ to join in on the fun. From live Taxidermy to DNA analysis, there will be plenty to excite the bio-curious! Check out their website for programme updates and more information.


Meet Robotical

We caught up with Alexander from Robotical to find out more about their amazing robot Archie*.

At Robotical we’re making a low cost walking robot that’s more than a toy. Fully programmable, 3D printable, and really hackable and expandable. Our little robot can walk, turn, dance, kick a ball, and more – add a camera and you can even get him to play football! He’s designed to be a great way to get into robotics – for example, by programming movements in Scratch – but to also let you get into some really advanced topics if you want to.


The robot was born as a side project from my PhD. I wanted to make a walking robot that was cheap and easy to build, easy to program, but which had a huge amount of capability. It had to be really expandable – it works standalone but can also hold a Raspberry Pi, and all the parts can be customised and 3D printed – and it had to be something that would be as easy to get started with as a toy. I came up with a mechanism for the legs which I thought was pretty neat, and designed the rest of the kit around that, 3D printing all the parts at home.

We’re now trying to go from these functional prototypes to a real product, and will be crowdfunding soon!

*Archie won’t be called Archie for very much longer… it turns out that name is already taken, so he needs a new name! If you suggest the name we choose, you’ll win a robot! Find out more here.

Robotical will be at the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire on Sunday 10 April. Get your tickets here.


Animation at the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire

Visitors to Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire on Sunday 7 April may have come across the Craigmillar Arts and Environment Project and their fantastic Future Animation Workshop.

Here’s what they made!

You’ll find more examples of the project’s animation work with children and young people on their YouTube channel.

Fix your stuff at the Repair Cafe!

What do you do with a chair when the leg has come loose? With a toaster that no longer works? Or with a woolly jumper that’s full of holes?

Toss it? No way! Bring it along to the Repair Café at the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire.


Brought to you by Glasgow’s MAKLab, designers, crafters and people who make and fix stuff will be ready and waiting to make your object good as new or find it a whole new purpose. They’ll even talk you through how they did it.

Any broken, badly-designed or malfunctioning object is welcome, but how about…

  • Electronics and small electrical items – headphones, speakers etc.
  • Clothes – knitted, or for darning or patching
  • Household items and gadgets

The Café will be open all day. No need to pre-book, just grab a seat and see what MAKLab’s makers can create!

Find out more about MAKLab at

The Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire will take place at Summerhall on Sunday 7 April from 10am-5pm. Tickets cost just £2.50 and under 5s go free.

Book online at or call the box office on 0844 557 2686.

Part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival which runs from 23 March – 7 April 2013.

Meet another Maker!

Discover the unique sound creations of artist and musician Sarah Kenchington.

As well as taking part in the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire, Sarah will appear at the Mini Maker Faire Afterparty on the evening of Sunday 7 April, celebrating a successful day of making and the end of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Tickets for both these events are available now. Visit for more details and to book, or call the box office on 0844 557 2686.

On Another Note from Keiba Clubb on Vimeo.

Phonograph – discover a piece of sound history

Visitors to the Mini Maker Faire will have the rare opportunity to experience one of the world’s earliest music machines – an original working Edison phonograph.

Phonograph1 - credit Gordon Rutter

Photo: Gordon Rutter

Phonograph3 - credit scienceatlife

Photo: Elin Roberts







This amazing machine was first designed by Thomas Edison in 1877. While he was not the first to come up with a sound recorder, his was the first device that could also play the recorded sound back.

Composer and sound engineer Sarah Angliss and artist Colin Uttley will be performing live demonstrations on the phonograph and you’ll also have the chance to try it out for yourself.

Phonograph2 - credit scienceatlife

Photo: Elin Roberts

Tickets for the Mini Maker Faire are now on sale. Click here to book.

The Edinburgh International Science Festival runs from 23 March – 7 April.

Browse and book online at or call the booking hotline on 0844 557 2686.

Another confirmed maker! – Dirty Electronics

At the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire you’ll have the chance to experience the cutting-edge of music with digital makers Dirty Electronics. Join designer John Richards for a half-day workshop to build your own version of the Mutesynth II (dotmatrix), a hand-held synth with visual display.

The instrument features a noise generator, feedback and oscillation, wave shaping and a sequencer with internal and external clock control.


At its core is a versatile mini patchbay that provides expansion and modification permutations and a grid-like visual representation of patched parameters. The patchbay encourages playfulness and a particular interaction with the instrument.

The printed circuit board artwork features multiple electrodes in the form of small grid-like squares that provide a labyrinth of possible connections and resulting behaviours. Different sequences and visual patterns are created through hybrid 4-bit binary coding, feedback and distortion.

The full version of the Mutesynth II will be released by Mute Records later this year.

Price: £35

Further details and booking information will be available on announcement of the Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire programme.

Polyfloss Factory confirmed!

We are delighted to announce our first confirmed makers, the Polyfloss Factory, who will grace Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire with their vibrant take on plastic recycling.

Like every good funfair we’ll have a candy-floss machine ready to please the crowds at Edinburgh Mini Maker Faire, but this colourful fluff is not as tasty as it might look… The Polyfloss team have developed an awesome technique for small-scale plastic reprocessing that is based on the same technology which brings us that fluffy funfair favourite.

le processus_1

Polypropylene plastic (recycling symbol no.5) is ground up, and fed into a heated spinning drum. The plastic granules are pushed to the outside of the drum where they meet a nozzle. The plastic melts, allowing it to flow through the nozzle and then shoot out into the air where it quickly cools. With lots of small nozzles positioned around this rotating drum thousands of wispy strands of plastic are formed in a couple of minutes and the resulting fluff can be scooped out, ready to be molded into new objects, wrapped, melted, knitted, felted or used in a thousand as yet undiscovered ways.


We’re looking forward to showing off the Polyfloss Factory and finding out what strange creations will be made with this colourful but disappointingly sugar-free material.

tuiles - copie