A Mobile Lab for the Amateur Scientist

Many of you who involve yourself in citizen science projects, or personal amateur research might dream of designing dedicated laboratory spaces in ones’ own home or garage. Sort of like the “man cave” (or, “woman cave”!) for the science geek. This luxury might not always be possible due to space requirements, zoning conflicts, or just having too many kid toys to stash in the only non-inhabited room in the house.

Steven Roberts Computing and Biking Across America

Steven K. Roberts of … somewhere in the United States … had his own related complications with personal lab space, and developed a plan to create a new lab that was mobile. Mr. Roberts, who developed some fame after biking 17,000 miles across America between 1983 to 1991 in a digitally tricked-out bicycle, had developed a life-long personal technology skill that gave him the means to design the ultimate solution for the roaming amateur scientist.

In a Make: Magazine four-part series, Mr. Roberts outlines his development of Polaris, a mobile lab space, complete with computers, Ham radio, solar battery power, a long-range Wi-Fi connection to the Internet, and a minimum, yet effective, collection of parts, tools and computing resources.

Starting with an empty utility trailer, Mr. Roberts steps through the process of designing mounting racks, ceilings, lighting, and locking drawer systems. Of course, a personal mobile lab must be tailored to the interests of the individual, so he tries to outline a range of tips and ideas on what he found useful while designing his own perfect lab.

Mobile Lab designed by Steven Roberts; Courtesy Make: Magazine

If you are sitting on the couch just pouting that you have no space to build your own personal lab space, or just don’t want to limit the re-sale value of your home, then Mr. Roberts has the outline of the solution that will make your science cave come true.

After developing your own mobile (or static) lab space, please submit your photos, tips and stories to Dynamic Patterns Research to help others follow their geeky science dreams.

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“Make it anywhere with a mobile lab” :: Make: Magazine, online, 4-part series May – August, 2010 :: [ READ ]

Nomadic Research Labs

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Last updated October 26, 2021