The Maker Group at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a forum for all members of the Center to explore constructing low-cost hardware and software engineering tools. The Group focuses on supporting projects that will directly benefit a wide range of research at the Center but also encourages fun home projects. By promoting custom engineering projects at the Center, the Maker Group serves as a significant source of cross discipline training to the postdocs, graduate students, undergraduates, technicians and staff.
The Maker Group was founded in fall 2013 by postdoctoral researchers, Doug Bryant, Noah Fahlgren and Malia Gehan, who saw a need for low-cost plant phenotyping tools and software that would complement the Center's Bellwether Phenotyping Facility. The state-of-the-art, facility is comprised of a custom, controlled environment growth house, fully integrated with 3 imaging platforms. The automated, high-throughput platform allows multi-parametric, non-destructive analysis of up to 1140 small to medium sized plants at multiple time points over a desired growth period.