At the MakerBot headquarters in Brooklyn you can find this rather peculiar vending machine. It doesn’t sell Snickers, Mars and Nuts, but open source electronics instead.Arduino might be a rather unfamiliar piece of ‘nerd stuff’ to most urbanists and architects, but its functionality tends to increasingly affect cities, urbanism and design of buildings. This vending machine is filled with eighteen different items, most of them are Arduino micro-controllers. The rest are other types of shields and kits. The machine also includes Ramen noodles for ‘desktop dining’.
Arduino is open source hardware which basically enables us to connect the digital world with the physical world and vice versa. An international community of electro geeks is continuously looking for new applications for Arduino, resulting in interesting experiments, such as this art installation consisting of plastic plastic bags, and the urban game Urban Defender. We have been experimenting with Arduino ourselves while making a Twitter-controlled Christmas tree which was running during last Christmas holidays. The rise of the Arduino is best explained by a documentary explaining the impact of this single piece of open source hardware. The fact that this is the first documentary about a simple chip board probably says enough about the impact of the invention and its rich range of applications.