DigiFAB HACK 2021
July – August 2021

4 Weeks to Hack, Design and Build an Automated Robotic Platform 

The Institute for Digital Molecular Design and Fabrication (DigiFAB) and the Advanced Hackspace invite undergraduate students from the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering to participate in this challenge.

The Challenge

Participants will be split into two teams to design and build an automated low-cost liquid handling platform and turbidimeter, with the final aim of integrating the two systems to work together. Existing experience in prototyping development is not necessary, you just need to bring your creative ideas to hack a solution! This challenge is a great opportunity to get to know others interested in this area of research by working together.

The project will run for 4-6 weeks from early July (exact date TBC) at DigiFAB/Advanced Hackspace.

How to apply

Places are limited, so if you wish to apply, please send a short paragraph (max.100 words) on why you are interested and what you think you can bring to the team to Feng Li, DigiFAB Institute Manager [email protected], by 5 pm on Monday 31st May.

Applications will be reviewed by a judging panel from DigiFAB and Advanced Hackspace (Becky Greenaway, David Miller, Klaus Hellgardt, Ben Egleston, Annabel Basford, and Ciaran O’Brien) and applicants will be informed of the outcome by Friday 11 June.

Successful participants will receive further information and the panel will facilitate the formation of the teams.


Do I need specific experience? Existing experience is not required, getting involved will allow you to the opportunity to hone your hack skills, and learn new hardware prototyping techniques using 3D printing, and build your practical knowledge in electronics and programming!

How much time will I need to commit?  We envisage between 4-6 weeks, the exact amount of time can be decided within the team and adjusted as you make progress! We estimate you are likely to need 3-4 days a week initially.  

Will the teams have support? Yes, the both DigiFAB and the Hackspace team will provide remote and hands on support. 

Can I join remotely? Unfortunately not, you will need to access the facilities at DigiFAB and the Hackspace on the White City campus to take on this challenge! although some days you may wish to research remotely as agreed within the team. 

Can I nominate my team members or apply as a pre-formed team? You can indicate these in your application but all participants will need to apply separately. Nominations or pre-formed teams are not guaranteed. 

Can I choose the project challenge? If you have a preference please do indicate it in your application, although we cannot guarantee that everyone will be able to work on their preferred project when the teams are assembled. 

Do I need to pay for consumables/kit? No, the organising committee will cover the costs of the required kit and consumables  – you just need to bring your creative ideas to hack a solution. 

What is expected after the challenge is completed? We expect a brief report produced from each team summarising the project.

Will I receive payment or be reimbursed for my expenses? Unfortunately, we are not able to offer payment or reimbursement this time, but the costs of the kit and consumables required  will be covered.

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