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

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API Integration

My FOSSASIA project is taking a big transitioning step from the starting plan. In milestone 3 and 4, rather than focusing on statistical retrieval and API documentation wepapp, my mentors – Mario (@mario) and Andreas (@andibraeu) are guiding me towards integrating fossasia api data in other services. The main goal remains the same though : getting more people to use and to know about the API.

Integrating our set of data into external services can be tricky, but this is also what makes the task so exciting. Currently, we’re already started the integration process into loklak, a distributed searching & harvesting server. You can find out more about loklak via their well detailed about page. But the plan doesn’t stop there. We’re targeting popular web platforms : WordPress, Drupal, Github Pages.. so that users can access our data with ease, and use our services / plugins in their websites within simple steps. That would be a big win for us, so I’m very impatient to get going with the code to brings these ideas to life.

References :

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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 to our projects on GitHub 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 or organize events and meetups about our projects.

Women in IT discussion in the community

Here are some ideas how we can collaborate

Download our Open Source applications, install them and use them

The first step of joining a project is always to download the software and try it out. The best motivation to support a project is, if the project is useful for yourself. Check out our many projects on github.com/fossasia and our project social media Open Source search engine on github.com/loklak.

Show your support and ★star FOSSASIA projects

Help to motivate existing contributors and show your support of FOSSASIA projects on GitHub. Star projects and fork them. Doing something that people like and that helps people is a great motivation for many.

Learn about best practices

We have formulated best practices for contributing to Open Source to help new contributors to get started. Please read them carefully. Understanding our best practices will help you to collaborate with the community and ensure your code gets merged more quickly.

Subscribe to news

Subscribe to the FOSSASIA Newsletter to stay up to date on new software releases, events and coding programs here on the main page.

Read the blogs and support users on the mailing list

Learn from Open Tech articles on our blog that are written by developers, contributors, volunteers, and staff of companies supporting the FOSSASIA network. Sign up for the FOSSASIA Mailing List and keep reading our blog at blog.fossasia.org.

Follow us on Social Media

Show us you interest in FOSSASIA’s Open Technology and keep up to date on new developments by following us on Twitter and retweeting important updates: twitter.com/fossasia

And, become a member on social networks like Google+ and Facebook and connect with other contributors:
* Facebook www.facebook.com/fossasia/
* Google+ plus.google.com/108920596016838318216

Join and 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 FOSSASIA event calendar calendar.fossasia.org or our meetup group in Singapore: meetup.com/FOSSASIA-Singapore-Open-Technology-Meetup

Translate our projects and their documentation

Do you speak more than one language? Most Open Tech projects are 100% volunteer translated, which means you can be part of a translation team translating software and documentation thousands of people will use. Start now and check out our GitHub repository.

Mini Debconf Participants in Saigon

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