BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable MP received a ‘tweeting plant’ when he opened a hi-tech new facility in Ellesmere Port.
The social network gadget, which was developed by teenagers Rachel O’Toole, 14, and Patrik Rabsky, 15, was presented to Mr Cable as he cut the ribbon on the new Fab Lab in the town.
The bright sparks from Ellesmere Port’s University Church of England Academy used the Fab Lab to design and make their #tweetingplant concept.
It uses a soil moisture sensor and programmable chip to contact the the busy minister via his Twitter tag @vincecable and tell him when his Fab Lab money plant requires watering.
Fab Labs – digital fabrication laboratories – have been brought to the UK by educational charity the Manufacturing Institute with the intention of bringing innovation to residents in a hi-tech community innovation hub.
They provide the expertise and equipment needed for almost anyone of any age to design and make almost anything.
Mr Cable said: “Centres like Fab Lab provide local businesses and members of the public with an opportunity to turn their innovative ideas into reality.
“This is community innovation at its best and has a key role to play in encouraging creative and digital skills in manufacturing. Crucially, it’s helping to introduce young people to exciting careers in industry."
Julie Madigan, chief executive of the Manufacturing Institute, said: “Fab Labs give everyone the chance to bring their ideas and inventions to life.”
‘Fab Labbers’ can use and manufacturing technology to make products out of wood, acrylic, moulds, silicon, cardboard, sheet aluminium, plastics, copper foil and vinyl.