Makers you need to know: Massimo Banzi 3

Massimo Banzi at decoded conference 2010


 Editorial Staff

 6 July 2015

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Makers you need to know: Massimo Banzi

The “Do-It-Yourself” culture is booming throughout the world. Is the market unable to understand its real needs? Roll up your sleeves and do it yourself!

That was the thinking behind Massimo Banzi, co-founder of the Arduino project.

Massimo Banzi at decoded conference 2010

Massimo Banzi at decoded conference 2010. Photograph: decoded conference on Flickr CC BY 2.0


About Massimo Banzi

Massimo Banzi is an Italian interaction designer and professor. He worked as consultant for big brands such as Prada, Adidas, Artemide, Persol, Whirlpool, and V&A Museum. He spent 4 years teaching at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea and gave lectures and workshops around the world.

He is also author of the book Getting Started with Arduino, and he is a regular contributor for the Italian edition of Wired Magazine and Che Futuro, an online magazine about innovation.

After working several years as software architect for clients such as Italia Online, Labour Party, BT, MCI WorldCom, Sapient, SmithKlineBeecham, BSkyB,, and Storagetek, Massimo Banzi is now teaching Interaction Design at SUPSI of Lugano, in south Switzerland, and also works as a professor at CIID of Copenhagen.

And, of course, he is involved in the development of the Arduino Project.

Arduino: the idea

The project started in 2005 in Italy when students of Banzi’s Interaction Design course were unable to find microcontrollers for their robotics projects as the options available were too difficult to use.

At that time, the electronics prototyping platforms used to be too expensive for most makers and were still too complex for the realization of those projects.

That’s when Arduino was born: an open electronic prototyping platform which is versatile, easy to use and, most importantly, affordable enough to bring interaction technology to the masses.

The board quickly reached 50,000 sold copies and even resulted in a documentary in 2010 about the history of the project development.

The Arduino platform

Arduino board

Arduino. Photograph: Gabriella Ievine on Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

To ensure that the platform was not only cheap, but also easy to use, the chosen programming language was C/C++, a well-known language to whom was already working in the field, along with the Wire Library that was designed to facilitate the microcontroller programming.

As part of the Arduino platform, there is also an integrated development environment, or IDE, as a graphical interface written in Java and available for all operating systems.

Once the IDE is installed in your computer, you can connect it via a USB cable to your Arduino board to load and test your programs.

The Arduino platform is open and offers Creative Commons licenses for the hardware and GPL/LGPL for the software. This means that makers can create other drivers or software that they want with the platform or its modifications even for commercial purposes.

Being a free hardware and software project is one of the main reasons for success for the Arduino platform worldwide.

Using all the tools that Arduino has, the makers become capable of exploring the universe with a range of endless possibilities to be created.

Translation: PlugnMake

Source: Manoel Lemos – Massimo Banzi – Makers que você precisa conhecer – 20 June 2015 – CC-BY-SA 4.0




3 thoughts on “Makers you need to know: Massimo Banzi

  • Anonymous

    I just would like to say thank you to all that have really made the arduino what it is today. I am talking about the guys that designed the thing to the many many guys and gals playing around with codes and posting they finding for everyone to learn from. This open source thing is greater than everyone realizes the magnitude of what this really is. This is just in the baby faze yet and is going to grow to become greater than the google, apple. microsoft , and yes, the internet itself!!! It is how VHS won over Beta. It is never going to stop growing. I’m 43 and discovered the little wonders of the new world. I have been an auto tech for 22 year and self employed 17 of those years. I own laundry mats and rental properties. I even have a very small factory. Its more or less my play room. I have a couple header machines, carousels, lathes, 100 ton flywheel press (u could buy these by the pound at one time) Mills. and a sorted stuff I have picked up at actions. I have learned to uses the arduino and raspberry pi boards to control them. I found these sketches for free to down load to where I am sure the big auto companies spent billion to create. I what to put this factory to work one day with costumer orders some day soon. But for now, its just my buddies and I making stupid stuff to sell and free market , craft shows, This head shop has us make these crazy this for them. Before We started using arduino’s to control the machines it would take you a long time to make all the cuts to make each piece. Now we load this sketch in and with a transfer arms that we make from parts bought from amazon and ebay, takes some times one tenth of the time it did. I mean. It cost the same to run it 1 day as the same as 365 days but it makes it easier to pay the light bill and we get extra time to mess around with other things. I love these things. My son is 18 and he isa getting pretty good at these units. He has helped us out in settting up a 1967 header to run by itself until the steel roll runs out and then tell the other raspberry pi so yet us know that we need to get an other roll of steal over to it. and also to stop running the machine and let us know that we need to take a look at it. I am working on the greatest security system ever. I am trying to get it to turn on the light and run some loud machines. I also am trying to get one of those clone copter to fly to were the the sensors have detected an intruder is and take pictures and follow them off the property while speaking a pre-recorded message to them. I would also like tot hank Massimo Banzi him self for his books that he has been involved in a well. He explain how these work and how to set them up in such a way that even not so smart guys can use then to do thing that person never thought possible. I am started in on some advanced books about one wire and data transfer and power usage. But I just can’t get enough of these things. They are like my first bike or car. You feel like you own the world!!!! I hope that one day these things come out in apple form. I know i know… but I have apple and pc. I no nothing of apple code and tons about PC coding. Apple is like a big secret. I would like to run these thing with my apple with out apple being involved or erasing my files because their third party or what ever. I just have to say is that I have always used apple to for my computing part of all my businesses and they don’t brake down. I never have the repair guy in to look at the apple computer. They are not glitzy or lock up and i feel that the hardware itself is a better product than PC. Even though it’s made in China. And let me tell you folks, Apple does NOT like these single board computes at all. I have found that apple will change the sketch some how when you down load it to the arduino board. and give it a problem in some way or another. So I have found that it’s best to use a PC when working with ardsuino. I believe that these little boards are going to one day become self aware or real intelligence. by becoming hook together as one code or unit or system. I believe these things are going to become able to write itself because of all of the people like myself that play with these little guys every chance we get. I hate to see the law suites between the guys that put this together in the first place. I feel that it only slows the development down. I just wish we could all get along and everything was free and their was no such thing as money LOL.
    anyway, i have rattled on way to much. I tend to do that. I find that talking spreads ideas and so on.I just hope that these boys get through this quickly and get back to making these arduino better and better. I wish I was their with you guys. I sure their is nothing I know that they haven’t done or know how to do already but i mostly have found that if you really want to know about arduino. You have to get books, watch youtube videos and down load what ever you can to teach yourself and talk about it with your friend (that is if you have smart enough ones to understand this) to advance your ability in this subject. I have even impressed my kids computer science teacher with what i have figure out how to use these guys to make my life just a little easier to the point that he has asked me to come in and speak to the classes about the subject matter. Ok I am shutting up now HAHAHAHA. Oh by the way. a simple 40 dollar raspberry pi installed the proper way can get by about 99% of cars security system and then allows mw in install my own remote start system. i have built ones that with the click of one button on a remote key fob. I can get the windows to roll up, sun roofs to close, the doors to look and minro cameras to start recording what is going on around the car. you can also view the cameras with a smart phone and en lock the door for some one to get into the car when you are miles away. just as long as you have a cell signal. My kids thinks I should patent this kit and sell on ebay. I just think that I would be on the phone all day helping people getting then to work. Oh one more thing you can hard wire these these right into some cars computer and take over the programming. well maybe not take over but change how the car adjusts shift point and fuel inject pules with mod to what you thing is best. you can also make them change their air fuel ratio so that it will pass the tail pipe emission test. then change it back to how you want it to run. on fords with their generic control modules. They are exciting. You can get a ford to do all kinds of stuff. Ford is definitely ahead in computer controlled this inside of their cars and trucks. And the last. I also have a love for automatic transmission. I have completely removed th valve bodies on some transmissions and then leave the shifting time to a matrix board, O have just modified the out put pressure into a PWM solenoid assembly built by my own set up and with piggy backing certain sensors created codes to apply clutch packs at the time that I think is best. I can not believe that the car companies have not done this already. it is so easy. You just need load, speed. a yawn sensor RPM and throttle position and you can determine what geat is best. again these sketches are already put together by other guyts. You might have to tweak them a little but it is already done in most cases. this guy out in CA named Gail.( his company is called transgo) He has devoted his life to transmissions and making them better than the maker. Ok Ok ok. I am done.
    Thanks for reading my nine since.
    Up Front Industries