The question keeps popping up: is Arduino used by non-artists and non-geeks? Is Arduino used in e.g. engineering education programs? Or … is Arduino part of a research project?
The fact is that there are many projects out there that use Arduino and related initiatives as quick prototyping tools. Already during 2006, in the early stages of the project, the Casteldefels campus from the Catalunya Polytechnics reported being using Arduino as part of a PhD course in engineering. Dan Steingart post-doc at Berkeley has been using it as a substitute to much more expensive gear, and created Ardustat together with a whole series of software tools dividing the cost of a pretty good galvanometer by a factor 10. We get reports from people using it in very many different fields from medicine to fashion design, including the very relevant open source fabrication of physical goods by the RepRap project.
image copyright (c) 2007 by Dan Steingart
Dan Steingart, happens to be co-owner of WIT, a wireless sensor company aiming the industrial market. Seems that his love for open source laboratories is shared by that other company -Libelium- that has just launched sensor-networks.org. In one of their posts they explain in depth in a series of videos how to construct you own Squidbee platform out of an Arduino board, the Arduino XBee shield, and a bunch of sensors. Beyond the practical aspects of that instructable, sensor-networks.org is an international research group with academic researchers and entrepreneurs from Spain, South Africa, and Sweden.
image copyright (c) 2008 by Libelium
Next time anybody asks if Arduino is used for anything else than making Art installations and Design projects at university courses, the quick answer is that there are companies and research groups around the world using it, embracing the open tools philosophy, and openly documenting the work they do.
Are you using Arduino as part of a research project? Are you developing products on top of Arduino? We would love to hear about it. Help us promoting your work Feel free to post a comment to this article.