La section Robotique

Hello, we are the robotics section of the CMC. Our aim is to be the go-to place for everyone who is interested in robots, electronics, hacking and general cool projects in, around and outside CERN. It should be stressed that although we're called the Robotics Section, we also have non-robotic adventures and projects.

We currently have our regular meeting on Wednesdays from 6pm in the Micro Club hut please come along to find about us in person.

If you can't make it in person check out our Github organisation here.

Current Project:

Click here to see our latest progress with a video on Youtube.

We are currently building an InMoov humanoid robot. Whilst we can more or less print modest objects with our 3D printer, we are using the Reprap Pro in Ideasquare for this, with their agreement. It's a complicated project that will require 3-5 people for a few months (maybe even a year - we've built one arm in 5 months so far) to complete. When it's finished it will be installed in Ideasquare to welcome visitors, and we can borrow it for any applications that present themselves. If you are interested in this, or have ideas for another project please contact James Devine or come along to our Wednesday meetings in Ideasquare.

What it looks like today:

InMoov Right Hand























What it will look like on completion:


Past project:

Decoding live satellite weather images, during the month of September. We're using an RTL SDR dongle and various bits of software to accomplish this, together with a fantastic antenna constructed by Ralf and Sebastien. Here are links to some of the resouces we've been using - images will be posted when we succeed!


Image captured 21st October 2015


Past events:

Raspberry Pi Robot Challenge

On Wednesday 17th June three intrepid teams entered the IdeaSquare space to compete in the first Raspberry Pi Robot Challenge. Each team was given a Lego NXT robot chassis, a marker pen and a Raspberry Pi with which they had to solve two challenges, a drawing competition and a maze. Teams were able to connect to their robots via WiFi and programme the robot's actions using a web interface called Raspbuggy written specially for the event by Brice Copy. All teams were able to successfully use the web interface, which the Robotics Section plans to re-use for future events using the Lego NXT Robots and other platforms (including dedicated Raspberry Pi buggies and modified RC cars). All teams were successful in attempting the drawing challenge with varying degrees of success, however none were able to make it through the Maze within the time limits. The competition was great fun for all involved (even the organisers) and will be repeated in a similar form later this year.

Source code for the web interface is available from our GitHub account. 



Arduino workshop

Wednesday 13th May 6:30PM in the micro club hut (Bldg. 567). We'll cover the following:

James Devine will present a short introduction to programming in Arduino (for everyone, including COMPLETE BEGINNERS), some exciting past projects and a few examples to follow during the workshop. The workshop will last 1.5 hours and wil cover:


·        What you can do with Arduino (and what you can’t)
·        What the different types of Arduino do
·        Some exciting projects people have done
·        Running and compiling the blinking LED sketch
·        Basics of PC serial communication, to and from Arduino.
·        Integration with Processing.
·        Maybe a little bit of Python too (if time allows)









Please bring: 1) Yourself, 2) Your Arduino + A USB cable 3)A computer with the Arduino environment installed.


The Arduino IDE can be downloaded from

Raspberry Pi Robot Challenge

Thursday, 17th June from 6pm till 10pm.  Located at Ideasquare (3179, just behind the globe! Access via Atlas/Point 1)

See the Event Poster

The Challenge:

Each team will be given a Raspberry Pi (standard Raspian) and a Lego mindstorms NXT robot to use. Programme your Lego robot to perform the assigned task in the shortest possible time to win. Standardised Lego robots will be issued for you to customise on the night, before attempting the challenge. Teams will have 2.5 hours to code, modify  and test their machines, before the trials. The exact content of the challenge will ONLY be revealed on the day!

Who is it for: 

CERN people only (Staff, Fellows, Users, basically anyone with a CERN access card…).

We are welcoming 4 teams, 6 people per team maximum. To register send your team name and membership to First come first served! If you don’t have a team and still want to participate drop James a line and he will try to find you a space in another team.

Would you like to know more?

Come to the CMC Robotics Section meetings in Building 567 from 6:30pm on Wednesdays or Contact James Devine ( or Brice Copy (



Current projects:

Past Projects:

  • 3D Printer - Reprap Prussa, basically finished. It 'just' needs calibrating!
  • Pleo - a broken robot dinosaur to be played with or recycled
  • Space Balloon (below, see also Blog Post)

  • Lego Stegway (below)

  • Arduino LED display (below)

  • Lego Maze Challenge

Equipment - to be played with:

  • 5 Lego Mindstorms kits
  • Multiple Arduinos
  • Multiple NXP/Arm dev kits
  • Leds, wires, nuts, bolts and bits of plastic galore
  • An android phone (that we sent to the edge of space, it still works)

Section Leader: James Devine

Deputy: Brice Copy