Fast Jungle Face Shield

Our little jungle lab is trying to help manufacture face shields for medical workers, and we tested many designs out on the internet. The fastest design we have used so far is our own modification


based off the Georgia Tech Medical Innovation design

The headband just needs
-acrylic-laser cutter
-Rubber band

-(optional) Eva Foam or Self-Adhesive weather stripping (for forehead comfort)

For the face shield, ideally you have thin sheets of PET that you can laser cut as well, but if you don’t you can use A4 transparency sheets (like we will be) or a sliced up 3 Liter soda bottle (like we also use).
The key advantages of this design are

SPEED- Each takes only about 5 minutes to cut, and maybe 8 minutes total to make (compared to 1.5 hours for a 3D print), plus you can nest them to use less material!

and the

-The headbands can be cut out of Acrylic, PET, or most other plastic sheets you might have (could possibly use wood and MDF, but might be harder to sanitize)

-Can attach different types of simple or disposable face shields like A4 transparency sheets or 3 Liter soda bottles

There are plenty of other designs out there that may be nicer or fancier or might make sense if you have a fleet of 3D printers instead of a laser cutter. Figure out what works best with the materials you have. Here in Panama most of the stores except grocery stores are shut down, so most of these materials you can find at the Super 99 grocery store (e.g. EVA foam and Plastic sheets or soda bottles)

For the face shield, ideally you have thin sheets of PET that you can laser cut as well, but if you don’t you can use A4 transparency sheets (like we will be) or a sliced up 3Liter soda bottle (like we also use)

Val Milici

Valerie Milici is a PhD student at UCONN researching the interactions between fungus and roots in tropical saplings.

“I’m Valerie Milici, and I study how fungal diseases that attack baby trees are super important to diversity in the tropical forest. My work takes me from the forest where I make observations and collect field samples, to the greenhouse where I perform experiments, to the lab where I grow up fungal cultures and test to see if they are the diseases attacking seedlings. I love the variation in what I do and how I need to use field skills and lab skills to answer my questions. ”

Dr. Eran Amichai

Dr. Eran Amichai joined us at Dinalab this January-February. His research is about the sensory role of whiskers in nectivorous bats’ hovering flight. Neotropical nectar-eating bats hover in front of flowers similar to hummingbirds, to feed on the nectar inside while providing pollinating services to the plant. In this project, I investigate the role of the unique arrangement of whiskers these species have, which I hypothesize provide tactile information to the bat about its exact positioning within the flower.

Check out a video of his work!

Dr. Eran AmichaiEcology, Evolution, Environment, and Society (EEES) Graduate ProgramDartmouth College Twitter: @EAmichai

ValANTines fundraiser!

Send a message of love via our leafcutter friends! From now until Feb 7, you can place an order with us for $14 per word. We will send you a collection of videos of the ants carrying your words that you can give to whomever you want!

Proceeds help subsidize our scholarships for our local art+science residency program!

Pay via the following options and send an email to , and we will start filming yours!

if the ants are uncooperative, or we don’t have time to get to yours we will send you a refund!

Square Cash– use a debit or credit card  (USA) –$AndrewQuitmeyer

Paypal – Paypal account or debit cards (international)


(for venmo don’t write that it is for like “conference fees,” just write like “splitting cost of housing in Panama” which is what you are doing)

Credit or Debit Cards– (Only use this button below if this is your only option, and you need to add a 5% processing fee that Paypal charges)

Túngara model – now with sound!

Sound on!!

A while ago, I crocheted a túngara, a frog I hear a lot during the wet season in Panamá. I wanted to have my model make the distinctive túngara call, which sounds like a video game sound effect, but I didn’t know how. For Christmas, Andrew gave me a bunch of cool electronics that I can record on and embed in soft toys. He even loaded one with a recording of a túngara for me!

We opened the frog up and inserted the device.

Here’s a picture of a real túngara with its characteristic inflated dewlap.

I’m looking forward to making more noisy toys like this! Someone suggested a toucan, which should be fun.

Note: This post is by Kitty and is cross-posted over all my personal blog, 🙂

DINALAB Jungle Residency

Photo of Sid Drmay by Lee Wilkins

Página en español

Gamboa, Panama – Various Months in 2020

We are happy to announce that applications are open for our new Art/Science/Tech residency program for 2020! Come be a Junglepunk!

The goal of Digital Naturalism Laboratories (DINALAB) is to provide a space with access to incredible natural ecosystems, digital tools, and prototyping equipment to explore new ways of interacting with other creatures. Our new residency program shares the opportunity to explore art, science, technology, and design for an extended period of time in the rainforest. Our lab is situated walking distance from the Panama Canal, the Soberanía Rainforest in Panamá, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

What we provide:

  1. Access to our prototyping tools and facilities including:
    • Laser Cutter
    • 3D Printers
    • Electronics and Sensors
    • Sewing Machines
    • Silicone Mold-Making and degassing
    • Power Tools
    • and more!
  2. Housing (Private Room at DINALAB)
  3. Personal Workspace
  4. Gallery Space at DINALAB
  5. Basic art and construction materials
  6. Small, unique completion gifts!

Your Responsibilities and Costs:
Unfortunately, we are a new, independent, unfunded lab, and cannot offer a stipend or travel support. We do, however, work hard everyday here at freelance jobs to subsidize your housing costs ourselves, and we even offer a couple scholarships. The basic residency’s costs and responsibilities are:

In 2020, we are happy to announce that we can offer :

  • 3 Local Scholarships for Panamanians (no fees, and transportation from Panama city if needed)
  • 1 International Scholarship (no fees, and transportation from the Airport if needed)


Applications have a priority deadline of January 10, and positions are filled on a rolling basis throughout 2020. Fill out our short form indicating your intentions for the residency and availability, and we will get back to you if you are selected to solidify your residency dates. If you are not selected, applications will reset in the next calendar year, and you will need to apply again.


Digital Naturalism Laboratories (Dinalab) is a jungle prototyping studio founded in 2019. Our lab is fully equipped with Laser Cutter, 3D printers, hand tools, textile tools, and more! The prototyping facility is located in the Soberanía Rainforest in Panama. Our goals are to:

  • Help field biologists build their own experimental tools
  • Help designers explore new interactions with nature
  • Discover new ways of experiencing the natural world

We are also keen on documentation and open-source dissemination of all knowledge in a variety of media! Whether you are a scientist, artist, designer, hacker, or anyone excited to explore nature and technology you will find something interesting at Dinalab.

Dinalab was established by Andrew Quitmeyer and Kathleen Kelly in 2019. They live and work in Dinalab while doing freelance jobs online to cover the costs of running the laboratory and hosting open workshops for local and visiting communities.

Bat Night Signal

Rachel Page’s Bat Lab at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has been hosting a monthly outreach “Bat Night” in gamboa Panama, for quite some time. DINALAB figured it was about time they had their own bat signal!

Gamboa Games

We are making a suite of open-source DIY board games. The goal is to find things that

  • are fun to play
  • can be sold to support the lab
  • make use of the scrap material from science project prototyping
Some of the character figures cut from scrap materials

Open Hardware Fridays at DINALAB

October is Open Hardware Month, so we are extending our normal, weekly open-labs! Come build open-science hardware, share, and learn!

Stop by Digital Naturalism Laboratories, Casa 123B, Gamboa Panama, the first several fridays of october to join us in:

  • Repairing Field Equipment
  • Laser Cutting Workshops
  • 3D Printing Workshops
  • Arduino Workshops
  • Jungle Bicycle Repair
  • 360 Camera Trap Testing
  • Jungle Yarncrafting
  • Whatever you feel like doing
  • and all kinds of Art-Science Design Fun!


Friday Oct 4 : 2-5 PM

Theme: Laser Cutting

Friday Oct 11: 10am-1PM

Theme: Bicycle Repair!

Friday Oct 18: 1-5PM

Theme: Arduinos and Sensors

*Thursday* Oct 24 – on BARRO COLORADO ISLAND – for open science hardware office hours

Panatrap: 360 Camera Comparisons (2019)

For our open-source 360 camera trap project, we wanted to evaluate the field and figure out what the most available and useful cameras to hack would be. We collected about 6 commercially available camera traps and evaluated them on their

  • Hackability
  • Image Quality

In our qualitative order, here is a ranking of those cameras we have tested and the order we want to hack them:

Camera type Object Pixel Density (front) Object Pixel Density (side) Distortion Sensitivity to infrared Price paid
MadV 127*127 133*133 None Lowest 300
Ricoh Theta V 100*100 100*100 None Highest 430
Samsung Gear 95*95 143*133 Some Low $83
Ricoh Theta S 100*100 100*100 None High 270
Zision 166*166 90*110 Most Low $60
Maginon View 50*50 45*50 Some Low $55

Basic Testing Procedure

Object Pixel Density

We took all of the cameras in a room with controlled lighting, and placed a colorful, standard-sized basketball exactly 2 meters away from each camera.

Set-up to test the cameras’ pixel resolution and level of distortion (after stitching the images).
Setup of the Theta V with the Ball 90 degrees to the side (the Theta V had the least amount of distortion after stitching)

Two pictures were taken in two camera positions, one with a lens straight in front of the subject, one with the camera sideways (or upwards for the Zision). The object is positioned at 2 meter.

IR Sensitivity

To test the cameras’ sensitivity to infrared light. We placed the same calibration object (the colorful basketball) at a distance of 2 meters, with the camera positioned between the subject and the light.

Xiaomi MADV (Mijia Sphere)

General Camera Details

$349 ($299 on sale)

Object Pixel Density + IR Sensitivity

The MadV has a resolution of 127*127 px when ball is in front of the camera and 133*133 px from side view. Its sensibility to infrared light is quite poor. With the target at a distance of 2 meter, it was not able to show anything.

Picture with infrared light



Ricoh Theta V

Video Stitching Resolution4K
Internal/External StitchingInternal Stitching
360 Stitched Video FormatInternal:3840 x 1920 at 29.97 fps (56 Mb/s MP4 via H.264) 1920 x 960 at 29.97 fps (16 Mb/s MP4 via H.264) 
Still Image ResolutionJPEG: 14 Megapixel, 5376 x 2688 (2:1)
Number of Lenses2

Camera per Lens

Sensor1-Chip 1/2.3″ CMOS

Optics per Lens

Maximum Aperturef/2
Lens Elements7
Minimum Focusing Distance4.0″ / 10.2 cm


Recording Mediax Internal Flash Memory
Built-In MicYes
Channels4.0-Channel Surround
Audio FormatAAC-LC

Exposure Control

Shutter Speed1/25000 – 1/8 Second (Photo)1/25000 – 60 Seconds (Photo)1/25000 – 1/30 Second (Video)1/25000 – 1/30 Second (Streaming)
Photo ISO Range100 – 1600 (Auto)64 – 3200 (Manual)
Video ISO Range64 – 6400 (Auto)

The Ricoh Theta V showed a resolution of 100*100 px, no matter which position the camera was in.

Picture with infrared light.



Its sensibility to infrared light is the highest of all the cameras tested.

$429 ($379 on sale)

Samsung Gear 360 4K Spherical VR Camera

Image Sensor2 x 8.4 MP CMOS
Lenses2 x f/2.2 ultra-wide lenses
Max Video Resolution360° Dual Lens: 4096 x 2048 at 24 fpsSingle Lens: 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps
Video FormatMP4 (H.265)
Photo Capture Resolution360° Dual Lens: Up to 15 MP (5472 x 2736)Single Lens: Up to 3 MP (2304 x 1296)
Photo FormatJPEG
ISOUp to 1600
MicBuilt-in stereo microphone
Recording TimeUp to 130 minutes in 2560 x 1280 resolution at 30 fps
Battery1160 mAh
Card Slot1 x microSDXC card slot (supports up to 256 GB cards)
Supported Operating SystemsAndroid, iOS, Mac, Windows (360 Video Editor is not available for macOS computers)
Wi-Fi802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
Interface1 x USB 2.0 Type-C
SensorsGyro, accelerometer

Picture with infrared light



The Samsung Gear has a resolution of 95*95 px when positioned straight front of the ball, and 143*133 sideways. This camera shows a high level of distortion at the latter position, and has a slightly lower resolution compared to both Thetas.

It proved somewhat sensible to infrared light, though noticeably less than that of both Thetas.

$82.99 (though as of September 2019 price went up to $200)

Ricoh Theta S

Picture with infrared light



The Ricoh Theta S has, just as the Theta V, a resolution of 100*100 px for both sides. Its sensibility to infrared light was a bit less than that of the Theta V, but higher than that of the Samsung Gear.


Zision 360°Panoramic VR Full View Action Camera

Picture with infrared light



The Zision has a resolution of 166*166 px when positioned with its only lens facing the subject directly, but the picture shows highly distorted when positioned with the lens upwards.

Its sensibility to infrared light was poor, only a bit higher than that of the MadV.


Maginon View 360

50 euros (discount price)

Type of camera     Full-spectrum camera for 360° spherical panoramas

Image sensor     2x 2MP CMOS sensor

Photo resolution     8 MP (4,000 x 2,000 | interpolated), 5 MB (3,200 x 1,600 | interpolated), 3 MP (2,592 x 1,296)

Video resolution     2.048 x 1.024 (30fps)

Lens     2x 210° super wide-angle lens

Aperture     F = 2.0 | Focal length f: 0.88 mm

Recording time     Up to 120 minutes with fully charged battery (without WiFi, 2048 x 1024 / 30fps)

Memory     MicroSD card up to 32 GB (min. class 10 or faster)

Connections     Micro USB connection

Power supply     1,300 mAh lithium-ion battery

Dimensions     137 x 45 x 14 mmWeight     83 g

Picture with infrared light



The Maginon has a resolution of 50*50,  and showed a bit of distortion when the camera is positioned sideways. Its sensibility to infrared light was similar to that of the Zision.

$110,00 ($55.00 in sale)