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

  • Calibration of sensor data

  • Prototyping stand-alone weather station

  • Pushing data to Loklak server

  • Work on [email protected] website

  • Fossasia Live Cd based on Lubuntu with ExpEYES and other educational softwares

  • Set-up Documentation for possible science experiments with the sensor plug-ins and low-cost, open source apparatus

How to join the FOSSASIA Community

We often get the question, how can I join the community. There is no official membership form to fill out in order to participate in the Open Tech Community. You simply start to contribute and you are already a member. So, let’s work together to develop to develop social software for everyone!

The FOSSASIA team welcomes contributors and supporters to Free and Open Source Software. Become a developer, a documentation writer, packaging maintainer, tester, user supporter, blogger, journalist writing about FOSSASIA or organize events and present Free and Open Source Software projects in Asia.

Women in IT discussion in the community

Here are some ideas how we can collaborate:

Read the blogs and support users in the mailing list

Many FOSS blogs are written by developers, contributors, volunteers, and staff of companies supporting the FOSSASIA network – stay up on free software related progress and news and start to get involved. Sign up for the FOSSASIA Mailing List http://groups.google.com/group/fossasia and keep reading our Blog at: http://blog.fossasia.org

FOSSASIA Twitter

Follow FOSSASIA on Twitter and retweet important updates: https://twitter.com/fossasia

FOSSASIA at Google+ and Facebook

Become a member on social networks:

* https://plus.google.com/108920596016838318216
* http://www.facebook.com/fossasia/

Add your community in Asia to the FOSSASIA community network list

FOSSASIA is connecting communities throughout Asia and around the world. Please add communities in Asia to the community network list here: github.com/fossasia/fossasia-communities

Support the FOSSASIA network at Community Events

Set up a booth or a table about FOSSASIA at open source community events! There are many events of the open source community all over the world. The core team of FOSSASIA is simply not able to attend all events. You can support the cause by making the project visible. Register as a member of the FOSSASIA community at events, set up an info point and showcase Free and Open Source projects. Check out for example our meetup group in Singapore: meetup.com/FOSSASIA-Singapore-Open-Technology-Meetup/

Download Open Source Software from the FOSSASIA Github repo, join as a developer or tester:

The first step of joining a project is always to download the software and try it out: http://github.com/fossasia and our project for big data: http://github.com/loklak

Translate FOSS projects and their documentation

Do you speak more than one language? Most FOSS projects are 100% volunteer translated, which means you can be part of a translation team translating software and documentation thousands of people will use. The point to start is also our GitHub repo.

Mini Debconf Participants in Saigon

Google Code-In Success: FOSSASIA Top-Ranked Organization

FOSSASIA‘s first participation of Google Code-in contest as a mentoring organizations was a great success with 587 tasks completed, most by any organization this year, out of a total of 725 published tasks. The twelve participating organizations included projects like Wikimedia, Sugarlabs, Sahana, Drupal, KDE and OpenMRS.

Students from all around the world aged 13-17 years old worked with mentors of FOSSASIA on improving open source software during the 7 weeks the contest is run. They coded programs, designed artworks, tested software and more than anything else had fun.

174 students managed to complete at least one task with FOSSASIA and 43 out of them claimed a cool t-shirt from Google by completing 3 or more tasks.

Out of the 10 students who completed most number of tasks finalists and grand prize winners were picked collectively by FOSSASIA’s 24 mentors. Namanyay Goel and Samarjeet Singh won the grand prize, which is an all expense paid trip to Google HQ in Mountain View, California. Alvis Wong, Amr Ramadan and Tymon Radzik emerged as finalists. Congratulations finalists! Safe travels grand prize winners! We are thankful for your precious contributions and will be delighted see you continue to contribute even after the program.

Open source projects ExpEYES, sup, TiddlySpace, p5.js among few others, benefitted from FOSSASIA students’ work. More than 150 open source/ open tech projects and communities around asia were connected to FOSSASIA with the help of students. Students also worked together to build a nice website portraying students and mentors.

We would like to thank all participated students for the amazing interest they showed in our tasks. Its great to see some of them still hang around to help us. 24 mentors of FOSSASIA worked hard and stood up to the challenge of finding time to work with and help out students while having other obligations. Thank you mentors! Lastly we are grateful to Stephanie Taylor and Co. at the Google OSPO, for organizing the wonderful contest.

Google Code-In FOSSASIA Mentor Package Wonderful Surprise: Mentors received a Thank You Package from Google

Sleeping peacefully - Nephew of Michael Cheng: Mentor's Family Enjoying "Open Source" Thank you package Sleeping peacefully – Nephew of Michael Cheng: Mentor’s Family Enjoying “Open Source” Thank you package

Links

FOSSASIA GCI: http://www.google-melange.com/gci/org/google/gci2014/fossasia

Google Blog about GCI: http://google-opensource.blogspot.de/2015/02/google-code-in-2014-magic-in-numbers.html