New tools and Sensors for the FOSSASIA PSLab and ExpEYES

ExpEYES: Open Source Science Lab' is a project FOSSASIA is supporting since 2014. As a part of GSoC-14 and GSoC-15 we started actively developing Pocket Science Lab for open science education. The objective is to make create the most affordable open source pocket lab which can help millions of students and citizen scientists all over the world to  learn science by exploring and experimenting.

We are currently working on  adding new tools/sensors and also  developing a new lab interface with higher capabilities to be added to FOSSASIA Science Lab. My goal for this year's project is to add new experiments to the ExpEYES library. I also started working on new lab interface.


Here is my kitchen converted to a work space, my GSoC Lab :)  Linear Air track for mechanics experiments, super-critical dryer which uses PSLab for temperature control and monitoring with other instruments.

In the month of May-16, I spent few days at IUAC - Inter University Accelerator Centre, New Delhi, to work with Dr. Ajith Kumar ( Inventor of Expeyes). The time spent at IUAC was most useful as we got help and inputs from many people at IUAC and also the participant teachers of ExpEYES training programme. We designed some new experiments to be done with ExpEYES. Planned improvements in Mechanics experiments especially the experiments on linear air track. We also started working on the new lab interface. Thanks to Jithin B.P. for helping us out with all the development. With the continuous collective efforts now we have a new lab interface. "PSLab : Pocket Science Lab from FOSSASIA". Here I am trying to give all the details of the equipment and the development done so far and the things planned for next couple of months.


PSLab: Pocket Science Lab from FOSSASIA

Size of PSLab is 62mmx78mmx13mm. The front panel will be slightly different than the one in the picture. It will have little extra portion in the top right corner to accommodative 90 degree connector pins. something like this.pslab
We will finalize the front panel design in a week and get the panels screen printed. The sample kits will be sent to my mentors for testing and suggestions :)

Main Features and GUI's

PSLab can function like an oscilloscope, data logger, waveform generator, frequency counter, programmable voltage source etc. It can be plugged in to USB port of PC or SBC's like Raspberry Pi. PSLab has:

  • 2 variable sine waves
  • 4 programmable  square wave generators
  • 3 programmable voltage sources
  • Programmable constant current source
  • 4 channels for fetching data
  • Sensor input
  • Berg Strip sockets  etc...

We are also working on to add wireless sensor interface. This will enable PSLab in accessing various sensors using a wireless module.

PSLab Code repository , Installation and Communicating with PSLab

All the programs are written in Python. PyQt is used for GUI designing and Pyqtgraph is used for plotting library. I have created two repositories  for PSLab

In addition to the above development work we also conducted a few demonstration sessions in science and engineering colleges at Belgaum, India. The feedback from teachers and students in improving the kit  is really helpful in modifying the GUI's for better user experience.

Next Steps/To Do

  • Add new experiments to PSLab
  • Complete Voltammetry module for ExpEYES
  • Complete Unified GUI for all  Mechanics Experiments using ExpEYES
  • Documentation for PSLab

We are  getting about 25 PSLab  kits ready in the first batch by the end of this month. Thanks to funding from GSoC-15 :) Need to work on the [email protected] website. Next immediate plan is to get about 50-100 kits ready and update the website with all the information and user manuals before FOSSASIA-17. I am also working on a plan to reach-out to  maximum number of science and engineering students who will definitely get benefit from PSLab :)

FOSSASIA 2016 Science Centre Singapore - Wrap Up

FOSSASIA 2016 took place from 18th -20th March in Singapore. Hong Phuc DangMario BehlingHarish Pillay, and Roland Turner were leading the organization efforts for the 2016 summit supported by many volunteers, speakers and the community. With a good mix of 37 nationalities, we are proud to be one of most international developer events in Asia.

We would like to especialy thank our host venue and the wonderful team of the Science Centre Singapore, our partner UNESCO Youth Mobile and our sponsors Red Hat, Google, GitHub, MySQL, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, gandi.net, General Assembly and the Internet Society Singapore for their support and participation. Thanks to everyone who helped to make FOSSASIA 2016 in Singapore possible!

FOSSASIA 2016 Group Photo at Science Centre Singapore by Michael Cannon

FOSSASIA’16 NUMBERS & FACTS

  • We reached the number of 2,917 attendees over 3 days including 230 speakers and 72 volunteers.

  • With a good mix of 37 nationalities, we are proud to be one of most international developer events in Asia.

  • There were 201 scheduled sessions and lightning talks, and more 50 exhibitors.

  • This was the first year we organised Tech Kids program with 14 hands-on workshops that covered Mobile Development, Electronics, Digital Fabrication, Pocket Science and 3D Modeling.

  • Dozens of talks are already available as videos. Thousands of photos have been uploaded to social networks. 1500+ tweets with the FOSSASIA hashtag were posted during the event.

  • A trend analysis of FOSSASIA shows that web technologies, data analytics and Internet of Things have a huge momentum. The attention of developers is also increasingly turning to open hardware.

Opening HallMario Behling the superman behind our programCat Allman

Happy Volunteers

Day 1 Opening of FOSSASIA

The first day started at the OpenTech and IoT track with a warm welcome message from Mr. Lim Tit Meng, the director of Science Centre, follow by some of our keynotes including Cat Allman with her inspiring story on Science & Education Program at Google; Harish Pillay with his intriguing title ‘A Funny Thing Happened On My Way To The Science Centre’ revealing the history of Internet and Open Source; Bernard Leong caught a huge attention on ‘Rethinking Drone Delivery with Open Source’; and Davide Storti introduced the exciting MobileYouth Program at UNESCO. The day continued with many other interesting talks/discussions and five other tracks were opened that afternoon of the same day namely Tech Kids, Hardware and IoT, DevOps, Big Data, Internet Society and Community.

More Photos: [Photo 1], [Photo 2], [Photo 3] - Tech Kids Track

Day 2 Intensive day of workshops and more discussion

Stephanie Taylor opened the second day of FOSSASIA with her informative presentation on Google Summer of Code Program and Google Code-In. Many GSoC and GCI students from Asia attended this year FOSSASIA. The day continued with series of workshops and discussions on Hardware, IoT, and DevOps. Four new tracks were added into the program including OpenTech Workshop, Python, WebTech and Databases.

Popular DevOps Track

Harish Pillay proudly presenting his first computer

Day 3 Hack Sunday and the closing notes

At the last day, we opened another three new tracks: Privacy and Security, Linux and MiniDebConf, Design VR and 3D. More hacking activities took place on Sunday. Participants formed in-depth discussion groups.

People gathering at the closing

Exhibition

More than 50 project booths and hand-on demos were set up in the Science Centre’s public space where participants could hang out, chat, discuss, share, learn, and hack.  

Nanyang Polytechnic teacher and students presenting their Student Enrich ProgramExhibition hallUNESCO YouthMobile InitiativeSnapshot of Red Hat booth - Developers ChatGitHub corner

FOSSASIA - a place of friendship and joy.

As always thanks to our photographer Michael Cannon and his team for capturing some of the very best moment of us. You can search for more photos by typing #fossasia on Twitter or Flickr. If you also want to share some photos you took during FOSSASIA with us, please get in touch with me [email protected]   

Excited developers from across Asia
Baby Pi with her parents at the social event

What’s next in 2016?

  • FOSSASIA will again participate at Google Summer of Code

  • Call for collaboration: We welcome new contributors to FOSSASIA current projects

  • A number of new releases of FOSSASIA software projects and our event planning applications are planned. Please check out http://github.com/fossasia and http://github.com/loklak

  • Many people in the FOSSASIA community organize developer meetups throughout the year. Please join our meetups in Singapore, in Dubai and many other cities in Asia.

Blog Posts

Many participants at FOSSASIA have blogged about the event. Some links here:

Kushal Das - kushaldas.in
Fedora Community Blog - p96.io
Anwesha Das - anweshadas.in
Garvit Delhi - garvitdelhi.blogspot.com
Ankit Ashukla - ankitashukla707.wordpress.com
Sundeep Anand - sundeep.co.in
Jigyasa Grover - jigyasagrover.wordpress.com
Michael Downey - talk.openmrs.org
Owais Zahid - eleventhlane.wordpress.com
Woo Hui Ren - woohuiren.me
Daniel Pocock - danielpocock.com
Tobias Mueller - blogs.gnome.org/muelli
Menghsuan Tsai - facebook.com/notes/

Links

FOSSASIA Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fossasia/

FOSSASIA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/fossasia

FOSSASIA Sg Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/FOSSASIA

Vote for Open Event in Google Impact Challenge

Please vote for Open Event in the Google Impact Challenge: https://impactchallenge.withgoogle.com/deutschland/charity/lxde

The idea of Open Event is to give organizers and participants a tool to plan events and distribute information to attendees. We are working on an organizers server and mobile apps (https://github.com/fossasia/open-event).

Your vote for Open Event will support the development of the project. Thank you!

FOSSASIA and Openclipart Launch Internet of Things T-shirt Design Contest

Special prizes await international designers, students and artists who join the competition and create T-shirt designs for Asia’s premier Open Technology event taking place from March 18-20 at the Science Centre Singapore.

FOSSASIA and Openclipart are launching a contest for International students, artists and designers to design a T-shirt graphic representing “The Internet of Things for Me.” 1st place winner of the contest will win a FiftyThree Pencil and final design placement on the official FOSSASIA 2016 T-shirt. Second and third place winners’ graphics will be used as design elements at the conference main party on the second day of the event.

FOSSASIA Openclipart

“FOSSASIA 2016’s theme is about the Internet of Things for Me,” said chair of FOSSASIA, Hong Phuc Dang. “What better way to represent this idea visually than to unleash local Singaporean and international designers, artists, professionals and students to make artwork representing their ‘things’ and expression about this topic.”

FOSSASIA 2016 challenges all participants to join the contest at Openclipart, the world’s largest collection of original and free to use clipart. The contest begins February 11, 2016 and runs for two weeks until February 24, 2016 where three judges will select the top three compositions. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be selected, awarded, and announced publicly.

“Since 2004, Openclipart has been a dynamic creative community of artists and designers producing more than 89,000 clipart by more than 4,900 artists,” stated Openclipart founder, Jon Phillips. “This competition is to bring creativity to the conference, and use the powerness of Open to create image composition of what the Internet of Things is all about. Even better, all the artwork made in the competition will be released into the public domain using Creative Commons Zero 1.0 license so that anyone may use the images for any reason, even commercially.”

Judges for the competition will be Singapore-based artist and designer Gloria Chiang, chair of FOSSASIA Hong Phuc Dang and technologist and co-organizer Mario Behling. After the two-week competition ends on February 24, 2016, results will be announced March 2, 2016.

“Singapore is a hub of software and cultural innovation,” said Singapore-based artist, Gloria Chiang. “FOSSASIA 2016 is a brilliant place to showcase international innovation trends and work with local artists, designers and students to illustrate these concepts.”

“FOSSASIA 2016 T-shirt design competition participants artwork will be showcased not only on T-shirts and publicly on the web, it will also be used to create an atmosphere for the 2nd night of the FOSSASIA 2016 conference,” said organizer Hong Phuc Dang. “All participants of the FOSSASIA 2016 conference are invited to attend this special event and share the works found at our party with the hashtag #FOSSASIA. With lots of surprises, you will not want to miss FOSSASIA 2016.”

Join the competition at: http://openclipart.org/fossasia2016

Participate in FOSSASIA Summit 2016 in Science Center Singapore, March 18th-20th

Please join us at FOSSASIA 2016 in Singapore, the premier Open Technology event in Asia.

The event will take place from March 18-20 at the Singapore Science Center and already on 17th March the pgDay Asia conference is part of the pre-event activities.

The FOSSASIA weekend from Friday to Sunday is dedicated to the “Internet of Things and Me” covering open technologies and software that make todays connected devices run. In workshops kids can start learning with the Pocket Science Lab. In the Science Hack track attendees will learn how to participate in the Citizen Science community. Please:

FOSSASIA 2016 Science Center Singapore

More than 120 speakers from Asia and around the world will join the event from communities and companies such as Google, RedHat, and Github. There will be talks and hands on workshops on topics including:

  • Open Hardware, Makers, Internet of Things
  • Open Source Software, Data and Free Knowledge
  • DevOps, Docker, Programming languages, Python, Go, and more
  • Science Hacks and Open Design
  • Tech and Science for Kids

Info on the FOSSASIA Summit 2016 at the Event Website

Read the Call for Speakers here.

Join the FOSSASIA Meetup Group in Singapore and reserve your spot in workshops as soon as they are announced.

Follow us on Twitter.

Check out the photos from last year on Flickr.

FOSSASIA Hack Trip to 32C3 Chaos Communication Congress

From December 27-30 the 32C3 Chaos Communication Congress took place in Hamburg, Germany. Members of the FOSSASIA community met at the event to learn about the latest OpenTech hacks. We used the opportunity to work with mentors on our coding program for kids. See photos from our gathering here.


Get together at 32C3 Hamburg

Mitch Altman at Chaos Communication Congress 32C3 with Hong Phuc Dang from FOSSASIAHong Phuc Dang meeting Mitch Altman (Twitter)

FOSSASIA Mentors Michael Christen (Yacy), Jan Suhr (Nitrokey), Hong Phuc DangMeetup with FOSSASIA mentors and supporters from Europe Michael Christen (Yacy.net/loklak), Jan Suhr (Nitrokey), Hong Phuc Dang (FOSSASIA), Anna (Mozilla)

Kids Coding with FOSSASIA and Google Code-In

After the successful Google Summer of Code we are very happy and honored to participate for the second year in Google Code-In. The contest introduces pre-university students (ages 13-17) to open source software development and runs from December 7 2015 until January 25, 2016. Learn more here.

Because Google Code-in is often the first experience many students have with open source, the contest is designed to make it easy for students to jump right in. Open source organizations chosen by Google provide a list of tasks for students to work on during the seven week contest period. A unique part of the contest is that each task has mentors from the organization assigned should students have questions or need help along the way.

Google Code-In FOSSASIA

Updates on FOSSASIA Activities - GSoC, Science Hack and Meshcon

FOSSASIA Participation in Google Summer of Code

An exciting summer is behind us, where we had lots of students coding on summer of code projects. Check out some of the outcome on our project repositories. For example the Open Event project, our twitter harvester and search engine loklak.net [repo] or the activities at our FashionTec knitapps project with lots of interesting blog articles.

FOSSASIA Science Hack

What else happened? FOSSASIA’s Hong Phuc is working on organizing Science Hack events across Asia in cooperation with Science Hack Day. She is now an official Ambassador. Congratulations! You can meet her in the US at the San Francisco Science Hack Day on October 24-25, 2015 at GitHub HQ.

FOSSASIA Participants Present at Meshcon @Maker Faire Berlin + Free Tickets

FOSSASIA participants are present at [email protected] Faire Berlin on Saturday, October 3rd. Meshcon brings together Mozilla’s Firefox Open Web makers, IoT experts, industry representatives, fashion designers, local producers, knitters, textile manipulators, software developers and DIY hardware makers. We will have a stand in the club area. So if you are there, please come over and talk to us.

And, if you are in Berlin and still need a ticket, we might be able to help you out. FOSSASIA is an official partner and we got free tickets. Please go to http://meshcon.net, choose your ticket and enter the code FLDUXH on the next page.

The event starts at 10am (until 6pm) on Sat. 3rd Oct. 2015 at Postbahnhof Club at Berlin Ostbahnhof. On top of topics around Fashion and technology, we are coding, doing usability tests and hack for refugees. The schedule of talks is available here: http://meshcon.net/schedule.pdf

130 projects will showcase their work at the Maker Faire. Workshops include FOSSASIA’s machine knitting project, 3D printing, and Arduino tinkering:

* http://www.meetup.com/FashionTec-Meetup-Berlin/

* http://www.meetup.com/OpenXLab/

* http://www.meetup.com/opentechschool-berlin/events/225532149/

Additional Info: http://meshcon.net | http://makerfaire.berlin

Location: Postbahnhof, Strasse der Pariser Kommune 8, 10243 Berlin

A low-cost laboratory for everyone: Sensor Plug-ins for ExpEYES to measure temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed, acceleration, tilt angle and magnetic field

Working on ExpEYES in the last few months has been an amazing journey and I am gratful of the support of Mario Behling, Hong Phuc Dang and Andre Rebentisch at FOSSASIA. I had a lot of learning adventures with experimenting and exploring with new ideas to build sensor plug-ins for ExpEYES. There were some moments which were disappointing and there were some other moments which brought the joy of creating sensor plug-ins, add-on devices and GUI improvements for ExpEYES.

My GSoC Gallery of Sensors and Devices: Here are all the sensors I played with for PSLab..

The complete list of sensor plug-ins developed is available at http://gnovi.edublogs.org/2015/08/21/gsoc-2015-with-fossasia-list-of-sensor-plug-ins-developed-for-expeyes/

Sensor Plugins for ExpEYES

The aim of my project is to develop new Sensor Plug-ins for ExpEYES to measure a variety of parameters like temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed, acceleration, tilt angle, magnetic field etc. and to provide low-cost open source laboratory equipment for students and citizien scientists all over the world.

We are enhancing the scope of ExpEYES for using it to perform several new experiments. Developing a low-cost stand alone data acquisition system that can be used for weather monitoring or environmental studies is another objective of our project.

I am happy to see that the things have taken good shape with additional gas sensors added which were not included in the initial plan and we have almost achieved all the objectives of the project, except for some difficulties in calibrating sensor outputs and documentation. This issue will be solved in a couple of days.

Experimenting with different sensors in my kitchen laboratory

I started exploring and experimenting with different sensors. After doing preliminary studies I procured analog and a few digital sensors for measuring weather parameters like temperature, relative humidity and barometric pressure. A few other sensors like low cost piezoelectric sensor, accelerometer ADXL-335, Hall effect magnetic sensor, Gyro-module etc were also added to my kitchen laboratory. We then decided to add gas sensors for detecting Carbon Monoxide, LPG and Methane.

With this development ExpEYES can now be used for pollution monitoring and also in safety systems in Physics/chemistry laboratory. The work on the low-cost Dust Sensor is under progress.

Challenges, Data Sheet, GUI programs

I had to spend a lot of time in getting the sensor components, studying their data sheets, soldering and setting them up with ExpEYES. And then little time in writing GUI Programs. I started working almost 8 to 10 hours every evening after college hours (sometimes whole night) and now things have taken good shape.

Thanks to my mentor at FOSSASIA for pushing me, sometimes with strict words. I could add many new sensor plug-ins to ExpEYES and now I will also be working on Light sensors so that the Pocket Science Lab can be used in optics. With these new sensor plug-ins one can replace many costly devices from Physics, Chemistry, Biology and also Geology Lab.

What's next? My Plan for next steps

FOSSASIA Google Code-In Students and Mentor at Googleplex Mountain View

Last week grand prize winners from FOSSASIA and other organizations that participated in Google Code-In 2014 attended a trip to the US accompanied by a guardian and a mentor. The grand prize trip is the crowning activity of Google Code In, the program organized by Google with the aim of introducing pre-university students to open source. I was fortunate enough to take part as the mentor representing FOSSASIA.

2014 was FOSSASIA's first participation in GCI and it was a great success for us.

The trip kicked off on the evening of the 7th June with a 'meet and greet' at the hotel lobby. Stephanie Taylor and Mary Radomile from Google OSPO welcomed us. I met Namanyay Goel and Samarjeet Singh, the two winners from fossasia, and a bunch of other winning students and mentors. Groups of students were quick to engage in lively discussions, It was hard to believe that most of them met for the first time. I was glad to learn that both our winning students enjoyed the contest as much as I did. At the end of the two hours both students and mentors were holding on to some rewards from Google. As I was tired from the long flight I bid everyone an early goodbye to get a much needed sleep.

FOSSASIA Google Code-In 2014I met Namanyay and Samarjeet, Grand prize winners from FOSSASIA.

The next morning we met in the hotel lobby again. We were to spend the day in the Google headquarters in Mountain View. The San Francisco traffic delayed our buses a bit but we arrived at the Googleplex to a pleasant breakfast. In the morning we listened to talks from Engineers of Google projects Ara and Tango. A series of interesting questions from an enthusiastic audience followed each talk. Chris DiBona, the director of the Google OSPO presented winners their awards. After a lunch where students got to enjoy with Googlers from their respective countries, we were back for more talks. The one from Google's rapidly evolving self driving cars, caught a lot of attention. We also got to visit the Google visitor center, where we met famous giant Androids, and to the Google store, where everyone bought a bunch of souvenirs to take back home.

Third day of the tour was the 'fun day'. Each of us were to choose between visiting the Alcatraz island which was the home to the historic federal prison, the Exploratorium, a science and arts museum and a segway tour around San Francisco. About half of the group and I picked segways. We rode the brilliantly engineered machines around the city while our guide entertained us with interesting facts about the city. It was a novel experience for everyone. The three groups met for the lunch and set off to see the famous Golden gate bridge, where we spent the afternoon. A Yacht course across the San Francisco bay, during which we sailed under the Golden Gate, completed a day filled with amazing memories.

The final day was spent in the Google office in San Francisco. We got to listen to a talk about YouTube, which again followed some interesting questions and answers. Carol Smith introduced GSOC, the Sister program of GCI, to the students. Each of the mentors gave a brief introduction to their organizations. We were officially announced that GCI will continue in 2015 as well. The students presented Stephanie with a handmade thank you card inscripted by all of them, which I thought was pretty cool.

The trip was filled with both information and fun. It indeed was a Grand Prize. I hardly know how to thank Stephanie and co. for everything.

I hope, irrespective of being probably the best in their age, in their field, the winning students would stay humble and hungry for new knowledge. Looking forward to GCI 2015.

Link

See how GCI 2014 went: http://www.google-melange.com/gci/org/google/gci2014/fossasia

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