Science Hack Day India 2016!

Announcing Science Hack Day India – 2016

We are excited to announce our 1st Science Hack Day India!

The event will take place on 22-23 October 2016 at Belgaum, a small city surrounded by some splendid nature, in Karnataka State of India.

We welcome you all to join us at SHD  India. Let’s collaborate, learn, hack, build cool stuff and have lots of fun.

Registration is now open at eventbrite.

For more announcements follow us on…

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What is Science Hack Day?

Science Hack Day is a two-day event where anyone excited about making weird, silly or serious things with science comes together in the same physical space to see what they can prototype within 30 consecutive hours. Designers, developers, scientists and anyone who is excited about making things with science are welcome to attend – no experience in science or hacking is necessary, just an insatiable curiosity.

The mission of Science Hack Day is to get excited and make things with science! People organically form multidisciplinary teams over the course of a weekend: particle physicists team up with designers, marketers join forces with open source rocket scientists, writers collaborate with molecular biologists, and developers partner with school kids. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results.

Venue:

We have an amazing place called Sankalp Bhumi  Farm Resort for this event. It was once an abandoned quarry,  today natures glory restored. The resort resembles an enchanting oasis, with a thick set of trees, sprawling lawns, and a large lagoon surrounded by picturesque expansive rock walls as backdrop.

5

Tentative Program

Day 1:

09:00 Arrive, check-in, eat breakfast (provided)

10:00 Welcome, introductions

10:30 Hacking begins!

10:45 Lightning talks

12:00 Lunch (provided)

13:00 Hacking continues

18:00 Door closes

Day 2:

09:00 Doors open, breakfast (provided)

12:00 Lunch (provided)

13:30 Hacking stops

14:00 Hack demos begin! (Typically 2-3 minutes per demo)

16:00 Winning teams announced & given awards/medals

Science Workshops

Along with hacking we also have Science Workshops for kids. Workshops will run parallel to the SHD. We will be making amazing science toys and solar lanterns :)

Organisers:

FOSSASIA India Team.

Praveen Patil, Hong Phuc Dang, Rahul Khanolkar

FOSSASIA PSLab, GSoC-16 : Mid Term Report

I feel lucky and proud to be one among very few who get this rare opportunity of GSoC intern-ship for the third time. Thanks a billion to my source of inspiration and mentors Mario Behling and Hong Phuc Dang from FOSSASIA.

FOSSASIA has undertaken and is supporting many projects which have a potential of bringing a positive social change. ‘ExpEYES : Open Source Science Lab’ is one such project FOSSASIA is supporting since 2014. As a part of GSoC-14 and GSoC-15 we started actively developing Pocket Science Lab as  FOSSASIA’s  important project in the field of science education. The objective of this development was to make available the  most affordable, open source pocket  lab which can help  millions of students all over the world to  learn science by exploring and experimenting.

After FOSSASIA-2016 at Singapore, my mentor Mario gave  many new ideas/plans for making Fossasia Science Lab project more effective and to reach out to students in Asian region.  We started exploring possibilities of adding new tools/sensors and also  developing a new lab interface with higher capabilities to be added to FOSSASIA Science Lab.

On 23rd April 2016 the student projects were announced. I was extremely happy to see my name in the list. I was also excited to see Lorenz Gerber, with amazing profile in science research and Gi Soong Chi along with Mario Behling as my mentors.

Here is the link to details  my GSoC-16 project …….

Open Source Science Experiments & Data Acquisition System for Physics Education and Research with ExpEYES - Pocket Science Lab
Pocket Science Lab at FOSSASIA aims to develop open source hardware & software technology to improve science education in the developing world. The main component of PSL is ExpEYES, an open source hardware and software framework for developing science experiments. (http://expeyes.in) This proposal aims to develop open science experiments for various branches of Physics. It also aims to continue improvements in the work done during my GSoC-2015 project “Sensor Plug-ins, Add-on devices and GUI Improvements for ExpEYES” (https://goo.gl/2B2CNO). The sensor plug-ins developed during GSoC-2015 project will be used for designing new low-cost experimental set-ups. The new development that will be undertaken is adding wireless node module for accessing sensors with PSL. This will enable PSL to fetch data from various sensors wirelessly and it will be useful in many experiments involving oscillatory and rotatory motions. Development of low cost modules for characterization in Physics research for example – study of sound and light absorption, measurement of thermal conductivity etc, is yet another important feature of this project.

Immediately after the student project announcement I started working on the project and exploring the experiments that can be added to ExpEYES. My goal for this year’s project was to continue the work I had done during previous GSoC and to add new experiments to the ExpEYES library. I also started working on new lab interface.  Here is my work space, my GSoC Lab  :)

kitchenlab1

Kitchen converted to GSoC-16 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 the hardware part. With the continuous collective efforts now we have a new lab interface  “PSLab : Pocket Science Lab from FOSSASIA

It was little too hectic time as I had to work for my PhD project and had to present my work before Research Review committee meetings in the last week of May and then got excessively busy with college admissions process. As a result I could not communicate much about the work I have been doing.

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
Brand new open source lab interface for science and engineering experiments from FOSSASIA.
with fossasia logo stickerpslabopen psl2
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 developed

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.

It 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

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

: This repo hosts the python library for PSLab (Communication Library depends on python, python-serial, python-numpy)

: GUI programs and templates for various experiments. (Depends on python-pyqtgraph (>=0.9.10), python-qt4 (>=4.10), ipython(>=1.2), ipython-qtconsole(>=1.2)

To Install PSLab in Gnu/Linux

Clone both the repositories fossasia-pslab-apps and fossasia-pslab

Now, cd into the directories , and run

sudo make clean
sudo make install

Now you can run Experiments.py from terminal

Without the device connected to the pc you will first get the following flash screen.

SplashNotConnected

After clicking OK you will get the control panel with menus for Experiments, Controls, Advanced Controls and Help… ( Help files are yet to be written)

controlPanelNotConnected

Once the device is connected to the PC and program Experiments.py is run from the terminal…. one will be able to get the following….

SplashScreen

PSLab Splash Screen

#TO Do … Design new splash screen with PSLab Logo/relevant image.

 

controlpanel

From this control panel one can access various experiments through independent GUI’s written for each experiment.

After installing the library, you may test it using simple Python programs. If you have python-matplotlib installed, run the code listed below

# connect sine1 to CH1
 
 from pylab import *
 from PSL import sciencelab
 p = sciencelab.connect(verbose = False)  
 p.set_gain('CH1', 3)           # set input CH1 to +/-4V range
 p.set_sine1(1000)              # generate 1kHz sine wave on output W1
 t,v1 = p.capture1('CH1', 1000, 10)    # digitize CH1 1000 times, with 10 usec interval
 plot(t, v1)
 show()
 

The output of this program is here ......
 sine-plot

sine plot

Various other functions with GUI's

Controls available with PSLab…. and various other GUI’s

sinewaveonoscilloscope

Sine wave generated using control Wave 1 and displayed using CH1

pslaboscilloscope

FOSSASIA PSLab Oscilloscope

 

advanced controls

Advanced Controls

 

logicanalyzer

FOSSASIA PSLab Logic Analyser

One of my favourite experiment Lissajous Figures has become so easy with PSLab…. :)

lissajous2

Lissa1

 

lissajous1

Lissa2

 

datastreaming

Data streaming

sensordataloger

Data Logger

squarewave

wirelesssensordataloger

GUI for wireless sensors …. TO DO

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.

Plan for next two months.......
  • 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 PSL@Fossasia website.

Next immediate plan is to get about 100kits ready  and update the website with all the information and user manuals before FOSSASIA-17. It will be a good idea to officially launch this tool during next FOSSASIA :)

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 :)

ExpEYES: FOSSASIA GSoC-15 Project Report

Today is the   “Firm Pencil Down Date ” of GSoC 2015.  We are getting to the end of  Google Summer of Code 2015….. An amazing journey with my mentors Mario Behling, Hong Phuc Dang and Andre Rebentisch at  FOSSASIA,  with some critical piece of knowledge or a new lesson to learn everyday….. This opportunity  indeed is the most important thing happened to me.

I really 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 something new…

While doing my GSoC project work I have been closely observing the work done by my mentors especially Mario Behling and fellow GSoCers at Fossasia on projects like Loklak. Their continuous collaborative engagement and commitment to meet the deadlines and do quality work  has inspired me to keep going, in odd times and continue to work on Pocket Science Lab even after GSoC.

Here is a brief narration of things we could do and things planned for the near future……

GSoC-15 Project: Sensor Plug-ins, Add-on devices and GUI Improvements for ExpEYES
Organization: FOSSASIA Mentors: Hong Phuc, Mario Behling, Rebentisch Abstract: ExpEYES is an Open Source Pocket Science Lab for developing science experiments, classroom demonstrations and a test equipment for electronics hobbyists. This proposal aims to improve the GUI's, add new Sensor Plug-ins to measure various parameters and to enhance the scope of ExpEYES for using it to perform several new experiments with low cost devices. Our aim is also to develop a low-cost stand alone data acquisition system that can be used for weather monitoring or environmental studies.

 The aim of my GSoC-2015 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 provide low-cost, effective and open source laboratory equipment to students all over the world.

This development is intended to enhance 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.

In the beginning, during community bonding period, 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 GSoC laboratory.

After the mid-term we 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. ( Work on low-cost Dust Sensor is under progress)

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. After the mid-term, for two and a half week,  unfortunately I could not give time for my GSoC work. But after that 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 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.
My GSoC Gallery of Sensors and Devices
…..

Here is the gallery of all the sensors I played with for PSLab..

sensors-all

The complete list of sensor plug-ins developed is here….

Below are the highlights of the work done……the description of the sensors used, GUI’s designed the code written and the possible applications.

( Updated on 23rd August 2015)

Accelerometer
An accelerometer is a device that measures proper acceleration ("g-force"). Proper acceleration is not the same as coordinate acceleration (rate of change of velocity). For example, an accelerometer at rest on the surface of the Earth will measure an acceleration g= 9.81 m/s2 straight upwards. By contrast, accelerometers in free fall orbiting and accelerating due to the gravity of Earth will measure zero.

Sensor Used:  ADXL-335

ADXL 335-GY-61 is a small, thin, low power, complete three-axis accelerometer voltage output through the signal conditioning at a minimum of full scale ± 3 g measurement range acceleration. It can measure the  acceleration of gravity, and movement, shock or vibration due to dynamic acceleration.
Calibration is done on the  optical bench (for perfect leveling)  from Laser-Physics Lab of University and could get zero-g, +1 g and -1 g values. this is an essential step for using accelerometer for any experiment. The GUI for accelerometer is now ready with good calibration.
ADXL-335

ADXL-335

ADXLwithExpEYES

ADXL-335 with ExpEYES

Three  programs are written in python. The Code is here…

  1. The GUI for plotting  acceleration for x,y and z axis in terms of ‘g’ in real time.
  2. Program for measuring tilt angle
  3. GUI for plotting Lissajous Figures using  accelerometer mounted on an oscillating system

This module is useful for in determination of acceleration, measuring tilt angle and  many mechanics experiments.

Accelerometer : sensor randomly moved to obtain plots

 

Relative Humidity Sensor
Relative humidity is an important metric used in weather forecasts and reports, as it is an indicator of the likelihood of precipitation, dew, or fog. In hot summer weather, a rise in relative humidity increases the apparent temperature to humans (and other animals) by hindering the evaporation of perspiration from the skin. Ref: wikipedia.org

Sensor Used:  HS-1101

HS1101 sensor consists of a capacitor which varies with relative humidity and is used in a 555 circuit to generate a pulse train of frequency related to relative humidity. The number of pulses over a one second period are counted and the RH is then calculated.

Based on a unique capacitive cell, this relative humidity sensor is designed for high volume, cost sensitive applications such as office automation, automotive cabin air control, home appliances, and industrial process control systems. They are also useful in all applications where humidity compensation is needed.

HS1101

Humidity sensor HS-1101

DHT-11

Humidity-Temperature Sensor DHT-11

 

( Tried some other humidity sensors including DHT-11. Tried DHT-11 with MicroHope and Raspberry-pi . HS-1101 is low-cost and found most suitable for ExpEYES)
Trials with HS1101 for measuring humidity are successful. Tried by three different methods:

  • Frequency output circuit using timer 555
  • Proportional voltage output circuit
  • Direct capacity measurement using ExpEYES

ExpEYES has ability to measure capacitance of the order of few pF. Therefore decided to to go for third method as it gives better accuracy.

The python program is written for calculating humidity from capacity measurement. This can be used for various other experiments. The GUI program enables user to plot capacity in pico-farad and relative humidity in % in real time. This module is also added to weather station GUI.  The Code is here…

Humidity: changed by blowing air by mouth and then by dryer

Humidity: changed by blowing air through mouth (humidity increases) and then by blowing hot air using dryer (humidity decreases)

 

Temperature Sensors
Platinum resistance thermometers (PRTs) offer excellent accuracy over a wide temperature range (from –200 to +850 °C). Standard sensors are are available from many manufacturers with various accuracy specifications and numerous packaging options to suit most applications. Unlike thermocouples, it is not necessary to use special cables to connect to the sensor. The LM35 series are precision integrated-circuit temperature sensors, whose output voltage is linearly proportional to the Celsius (Centigrade) temperature. The LM35 thus has an advantage over linear temperature sensors calibrated in ̊ Kelvin, as the user is not required to subtract a large constant voltage from its output to obtain convenient Centi- grade scaling.

Sensors Used LM-35 and PT-100

For LM-35  temperature sensor the output voltage is linearly proportional to the Celsius (Centigrade) temperature. LM35 does not require any external calibration or trimming to provide typical accuracies of ±1⁄4̊ C  at room temperature and ±3⁄4̊C over a full −55 to +150 ̊C temperature range.  Another temperature sensor PT100 is previously  tested with ExpEYES.  It offers excellent accuracy over a wide temperature range (from –200 to +850 °C). Made modifications in GUI program for using PT100.

GUI program is written  to interface LM35 with ExpEYES and measure temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit. It plots temp.vs time graph in real time.  These modules can be used for a variety of experiments involving temperature measurements.

The Code is here…

pt-100

Temperature Sensor PT-100

LM35

LM-35 Temperature Sensor with ExpEYES

 

 

 

 

 

temperature GUI

Plot shows temperature changes while hot air is blown on the sensor

 

Weather Station
A weather station is a facility, either on land or sea, with instruments and equipment for measuring atmospheric conditions to provide information for weather forecasts and to study the weather and climate. The measurements taken include temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation amounts. Ref: Wikipedia

The sensor plug-ins for temperature, pressure, humidity and wind speed etc are combined to make all these measurements simultaneously. The GUI program is written to plot data in real time. Trials to fetch weather data by connecting ExpEYES to Raspberry-pi are successful.  Now calibration of anemometer readings is to be done.

Next immediate goal for this work is to complete calibration and do a pilot project to collect weather data in our college campus. Another important thing that we will try is to push the weather data to Loklak server  and display it on the map. I will be trying to replace three cup anemometer with  pc fan anemometer. I think it may provide stability and better accuracy.

 The Code is here…

weatherstation

Random data to show sensitivity of the sensors connected

 

Auto Tweeting Weather Data from PSLab using tweepy
Python is great language for all sorts of things. Very active developer community creates many libraries which extend the language and make it easier to use various services. One of those libraries is tweepy. Tweepy is open-sourced, hosted on GitHub and enables Python to communicate with Twitter platform and use its API. Ref: http://pythoncentral.io/introduction-to-tweepy-twitter-for-python/

Wrote a python program to fetch weather data and auto-tweet using tweepy module. Using this program one can auto-tweet data at desired intervals of time. ExpEYES with Raspberry-pi is now a low-cost stand-alone portable weather station… :)

Link to the code on git-hub….

autotweet

Auto-tweeting weather data from PSLab – Trials with temperature and humidity sensor

 

Hall Magnetic Sensor
A Hall effect sensor is a transducer that varies its output voltage in response to a magnetic field. Hall effect sensors are used for proximity switching, positioning, speed detection, and current sensing applications. Ref: Wikipedia

Sensor Used : Hall Sensor -3144 and Module KY-003

Exploring  the use of this magnetic sensor for measuring rotational speed of anemometer and other measurements was quiet interesting experience.  Tried Hall sensor 3144 and KY-003 module.

The KY-003 is a magnetic switch. If no magnetic field is present, the signal line of the sensor is HIGH (3.5 V). If a magnetic field is presented to the sensor, the signal line goes LOW, at the same time the LED on the sensor lights up. The polarity of the magnetic field is of influence to the switching action. The front side of the sensor needs the opposite polarity as the back of the sensor to switch on.

The GUI for Hall Magnetic Sensor module KY-003 is ready and tested. This will be useful in a range of measurement functions including proximity switching, positioning, speed detection, and current sensing applications.

I am now working on modifying the program to use it for speed detection of motors fans and also for measuring periodic time in oscillating systems. This is a low-cost solution for many oscillation experiments.. :)

The code for Magnetic Sensor is here.
KY-003

KY-003 Module and a3144 Sensors

magneticsensor

Magnetic Sensor with a rotating magnet with ExpEYES

 

 

 

 

 

magnetic

KY-003 Sensor – Plot with a rotating magnet near it.

 

Gas Sensors
Methane Gas Sensor MQ-4 This semiconductor gas sensor detects the presence of methane (CNG) gas at concentrations from 300 ppm to 10,000 ppm, a range suitable for detecting gas leaks. LPG Gas Sensor MQ-6 This sensor detects the presence of LPG, isobutane, and propane at concentrations from 300 to 10,000 ppm. Carbon Monoxide Gas Sensor MQ-7 This gas sensor detects the presence of Carbon Monoxide at concentrations from 10 to 10,000 ppm.

Recently while I was thinking on what new sensors can be added to ExpEYES, I remembered our conversations with Roland Turner and his Yahi Project during FOSSASIA. I started exploring use of Gas sensors for environmental monitoring.

Procured and tried  following sensors…
1. MQ-7 : Carbon Monoxide Gas Sensor
2. MQ-6 : LPG Gas Sensor
3. MQ-4 :Methane Gas Sensor
MQ07withbreakoutboards

MQ-7 with Break-out board

MQ-06andMQ04

MQ-6 and MQ-4 Gas Sensors with Break-out board

Soldered these sensors on separate breakout boards and wrote a python program to interface them with ExpEYES. Completed  GUI programs for Gas Sensors MQ-4, MQ-6 and MQ-7 and also wrote a program for common GUI. Tested the program with LPG and smoke from vehicle exhaust. Things are working as expected. Need to calibrate this set-up with a standard equipment, which I will be doing later.
This new development has brought many new possibilities of using ExpEYES in many other fields like chemistry and environmental studies.
Next To Do.
1.Calibration to get readings in ppm
2. Add Dust sensor
3. PH sensor ( Currently not able to do it because low cost sensors are not available. Searching for alternatives)
gassensor

Gas Sensors GUI tested for carbon monoxide (MQ-7) by generating smoke using a match stick.

Modification in GUI's

Modifications in Existing GUI’s developed during GSoC-14

  • GUI for using Motion sensor SRF-05, (ultrasonic position sensor) is modified  for plotting real-time position.
  • Made necessary changes in GUI for Lissajous Figures using ATTINY85.
  • Added Python-3 compatibility to all ExpEYES programs developed for GSoC-2014 Project
srf-05

Ultrasonic Position Sensor SRF-05

attinylissa

ATTINY -85 MCU for Lissajous Figures

 

Voltammetric Measurements for Research in Nanotechnology
Voltammetry experiments investigate the half cell reactivity of an analyte. Voltammetry is the study of current as a function of applied potential. These curves I = f(E) are called voltammograms.
My colleague Dr. (Mrs) Smita Kalagi  is doing research on nano-materials and needed equipment for voltammetric measurements. I tried writing a python program for plotting voltammogram using ExpEYES and  could carry trial  measurements successfully. This development has resulted in a low cost, open source quality research equipment… :)

 Voltammetry is analytical method used in chemistry and various industrial processes. In voltammetry information about an analyte is obtained by measuring the current as the potential is varied.
Will update with the actual set-up in the laboratory and experimental results soon…:)
Internationalization: French Localization
GNU `gettext' is an important step for the GNU Translation Project, as it is an asset on which we may build many other steps. This package offers to programmers, translators, and even users, a well integrated set of tools and documentation. Specifically, the GNU `gettext' utilities are a set of tools that provides a framework to help other GNU packages produce multi-lingual messages. Ref: http://www.gnu.org/software/gettext/

This indeed is a good news for Pocket Science Lab Project. I have been adding support for  internationalization based on Gettext, in all the python programs being developed for pocket science lab.  This work was originally done for ExpEYES  by Mr Georges from France. Now he has added French localization to Pslab… as a result all the GUI’s will be available in french … :)

Piezoelectric Transducer
A piezoelectric sensor is a device that uses the piezoelectric effect, to measure changes in pressure, acceleration, temperature, strain, or force by converting them to an electrical charge. The prefix piezo- is Greek for 'press' or 'squeeze'.
piezo-sensors

Piezoelectric Transducers

Cheap piezoceramic membrane used in piezoelectric ‘buzzers’ can be used as a very inexpensive, accurate and sensitive pressure sensor. These devices can be used both as sensors and actuators, so they’re referred to as transducers, a term applied to any device that can convert one form of energy to another. The sensor turns mechanical energy into electric potential, and the actuator converts electrical energy into mechanical force or motion.

The Piezoelectric material used here, ceramic lead zirconate titanate known as PZT has the ability to provide twice the voltage of Quartz under a given force. These transducers are simple, reliable, and very robust, and so find wide use in industry, medicine, and aero-space work. They’re unaffected by external electromagnetic fields, and so can be used in applications where electronic sensors would fail. They are stable over a broad range of temperatures, but may be effected by long use at high temperatures.

 The GUI program for Piezoelectric Transducer as force/impact sensor is here…
Screenshot from 2015-08-23 21:21:34

GUI for using Piezo Sensor as Force/Impact Sensor

Some Other Sensor Plug-ins and Open Source Devices

IR Object Sensor

Made a simple Infra-red object sensor using IC LM358 (got a ready-made circuit board from local market). Wrote a GUI  program for IR sensor and tested it. Added a potentiometer to the circuit. It can be used to modify sensitivity or range of the sensor.
IRobject-sensor

IRobject-sensor

Barometric Pressure Sensor BMP 180

BMP-180Tested BMP180 Digital Barometric Pressure Sensor Board Module :This precision sensor from Bosch is the best low-cost sensing solution for measuring barometric pressure and temperature.  ( Need to re-write the program to read data accurately) (Work in Progress)

I could interface BMP-180 with MicroHope but facing some issues with interfacing it with ExpEYES. The data obtained is not matching with standard module from our Geology Lab. I am searching alternate sensor/method to measure atmospheric pressure.

 DC Motor as Rotatory Motion Sensor

Sensor Used:    DC Motor and a pick-up coil

dcmotorandcoil

Photo Gate

Sensor Used:    Photo Gate using Photo Diode15. photo-gate

The GUI program written during GSoC-14 project is modified for measuring periodic time in oscillatory motion and also to measure acceleration due to gravity.

Other devices used

Solar Cells
Induction coil

GY-271 module
condenser MicLight Sensor ( Work in progress)
ATTINY-85 MCU used for sine wave generation
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B for stand-alone weather station
MicroHope : Micro-controller development system from ExpEYES Project

condensor-micGY-271solar-rechargeable-moduleIC555-timer

After GSoC

Plan for next four months

  • Calibration of sensor data
  • Prototyping stand-alone weather station
  • Pushing data to Loklak server
  • Work on PSLab@Fossasia 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
My Git Hub Profile

githubprofile

 

Click on the coloured boxes to toggle open the content
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GSoC-2015 with FOSSASIA : List of sensor plug-ins developed for ExpEYES

Sensor Plug-ins for ExpEYES, Developed as a part of GSoC-2015 Project

 

1. Accelerometer

Sensor Used:     ADXL-335- Three axis sensor

2. Magnetic Field Sensor

Sensor Used:    KY 003, 3144 Hall Effect Sensor

3. Infra-red Object Sensor

Sensor Used:    Locally Made using IC LM-358N

4. Ultrasonic Position Sensor

Sensor Used:    SRF-05 HY, SRF-04

5. Temperature Sensor

Sensor Used:    PT-100 and LM-35

6. Humidity Sensor

Sensor Used:    DHT-11, HS-1101

7. Pressure- Barometric

Sensor Used:    BMP180 Digital sensor

8. Pressure

Sensor Used:    Pizzo Electric sensor

9. Gas Sensors

Sensor Used:    MQ-4 for Methane

MQ-6 for LPG
MQ-7 for Carbon Monoxide

10. Colour Sensor ( in progress)

Sensor Used:    IC-TCS3200D-SOP8

11. Anemometer- Wind Speed

Sensor Used:    Home-made apparatus with Hall effect sensor

12. Wind Direction

Sensor Used:    Home-made

13. Rotatory Motion Sensor

Sensor Used:    DC Motor and a pick-up coil

14. Motion Sensor-Photo Gate

Sensor Used:    Photo Gate using Photo Diode

15. Other devices used

Solar Cells
Induction coil
condensor mic
ATTINY-85 MCU used for sine wave generation
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B for stand-alone weather station
MicroHope

Code is here :

ExpEYES GSoC-15 Update

Sensor Plug-ins, Add-on devices and GUI Improvements for ExpEYES: Project Update

Things done so far….

Accelerometer/Acceleration sensor:

  • GUI in python  for interfacing ADXL 335 analog acceleration sensor module with ExpEYES.                                                                       ADXL 335-GY-61 is a small, thin, low power, complete three-axis accelerometer voltage output through theGY-61-228x228 signal conditioning at a minimum of full scale ± 3 g measurement range acceleration. It can measure the  acceleration of gravity, and movement, shock or vibration due to dynamic acceleration.Started creating documents for experimental setups and procedures for mechanics experiments and a few sound experiments.
  • Wrote python code and conducted trials to obtain Lissajous Figures using accelerometer ADXL 335. This module is useful for pendulum and other mechanics experiments.

Humidity Measurements:DHT-11

  • Carried  out several tests with Humidity Sensors HS1101, DHT 11 and HS220. DHT11 is a digital sensor and found to give better accuracy. It also measures temperature.
  • Working on DHT11 and DHT22  as they are  most suitable for portable weather-station. GUI in python is almost ready.

Temperature Measurements:

  • Tested  LM35  temperature sensor, whose output voltage is linearly proportional to the Celsius (Centigrade) temperature. LM35 does not require any external calibration or trimming to provide typical accuracies of ±1⁄4̊ C  at room temperature and ±3⁄4̊C over a full −55 to +150 ̊C temperature range.
  • GUI to interface LM35 with ExpEYES and measure temperature in Celsius is ready.
  •  Another temperature sensor PT100 tested. It offers excellent accuracy over a wide temperature range (from –200 to +850 °C). Wrote GUI program for using PT100.

Pressure Sensor:pt100url

  • Tested BMP180 Digital Barometric Pressure Sensor Board Module :This precision sensor from Bosch is tbmp180he best low-cost sensing solution for measuring barometric pressure and temperature.  ( Need to re-write the program to read data accurately)

Magnetic Field Sensor:

  • Working on 3144 Magnetic Hall Effect Sensor. ( Not able to fetch data, but this will be useful for our home-made wind speed device)

Modifications in Existing GUI’s:hallsensor

  • GUI for using Motion sensor SRF-05, (ultrasonic position sensor) is modified  for plotting real-time position.
  • Made necessary changes in GUI for Lissajous Figures using ATTINY85.

Immediate Goals:

  1. Assembling all components of Weather Station. Almost all tools are ready except wind direction tool.
  2. Completing Single GUI for fetching Data for temperature, Humidity, Pressure, wind Velocity and Direction.
  3. Complete documentation for Sensor Plug-ins and Weather-station with images/videos
  4. Using DHT11/22 for measurement of both temperature and relative humidity. Facing difficulties in reading the output of DHT11. I could do it with aurdino but need to do it with ExpEYES.
  5. Auto tweet weather data fetched from sensors.

 

Google Code-In 2014 with FOSSASIA

fossasia logoFOSSASIA, best known for their Open Technology Event in Asia, is a non-profit organization that supports Free and Open Source Projects that range from Open Source software, to design, graphics and open hardware in Asia and around the world. The aim of FOSSASIA is to develop and adapt new technologies for social change.

Attending FOSSASIA back in Feb-2014 was a life changing experience for me. It was full of fun, joy and a lot of knowledge filled learning experiences. I could meet some of the amazing FOSS contributors, learn lot many things and got inspiration to do something positive and contribute back to the society.

With the encouragement, support and guidance from my mentors Mario Behling and Hong Phuc, I could successfully complete my GSoC-14 Project on ExpEYES – An Open Source Pocket Science Lab. This was an inspiring moment that motivated me to keep learning and contribute to create better learning resources and opportunities for students.

GCI2014 being FOSSASIA’s first year of participating in Google Code-In as a mentoring organization, brought yet another excellent learning opportunity for me and my students. FOSSASIA’s admins Hong Phuc and Mario Behling encouraged me to take part in GCI as a mentor and help Pre-University students to take their first step in the world of FOSS, learn and make tiny little contributions.

fossasia mentors

Proud to be a FOSSASIA mentor

I started interacting with the students to spread awareness about GCI. I gave presentations in the classrooms and also tried to communicate with other students through face book. On December 1, 2014 when GCI contest started, most of my tasks were claimed by students from outside India and there was hardly any response from students of my own institute or neighboring pre-university colleges. Very few students participated and they were finding it difficult to complete even beginner level tasks. We decided to explore this situation, find the reasons and do something to motivate the students.

Ours is a small city in South India and we found that the main reason for students not able to participate was lack of IT infrastructure in schools. Less than 1% of high school students have access to computers and Internet. They get a chance to learn coding only in 11th standard, that too if they opt for computer science. In rural India the situation is even worst. I realized that students are willing to participate but are unable to do so because of absolute lack of basic computer skills. Some of those who could participate claimed very simple tasks involving only documentation and none of them claimed tasks with coding.

With the suggestions and guidance from Mario and Hong Phuc, we organized a series of workshops for students on every Saturday, Sunday and on holidays at my house. The first workshop in the series was on “Introduction to Free and Open Source Software” and “Google Code-In”. More than 100 students turned out for the session. We also had a session on installing Gnu/Linux, Libre Office and softwares like Gimp, Inkscape etc… I was happy to see students engaged with FOSS learning  till late in the evening even though their final exams were approaching.

Introductory session at our college

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GCI with FOSSASIA – workshop in progress

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Learning FOSS…

The next few workshops/sessions were focused on using FOSS for documentation, basic Image processing, designing, basics of Blogging and Python Programming language. These interactive sessions were of great help in developing confidence and motivating students to participate in GCI. More than 70 students registered for GCI. Many expressed that it was the first time that they could have such hands on experience on computers and that they enjoyed learning and creating with FOSS.

Many of our friends encouraged and helped us by providing laptops, Internet dongles, Projector and most importantly their valuable time during workshops. My best friend (My better half … :) ) Minal Patil took care of snacks for students and also helped in conducting workshops. We even had a GCI session on 25th of December and celebrated Christmas with FOSSASIA and GCI in a different and meaningful way… :)

It was amazing to see the happiness on the face of students, who never had any hands-on experience with computer, complete their first GCI task. Many students could complete beginner level tasks related to documentation and outreach. Some could create their blogs and write about themselves and their experience about participating GCI. Few students could also contribute to our Open Source Project ExpEYES – Pocket Science Lab. Some students also worked on an interesting project, initiated by Mario Behling , to create a small website and add details about FOSSASIA’s mentors and students. The project was intended to provide students an opportunity to experience open source development culture. It was a big success with a great website created together by students and mentors.

It was great fun to learning new things everyday along with the students.

The most fulfilling moment came when results were announced on the official Google Open Source Blog.

  • My organization FOSSASIA is at No 1, with 587 tasks completed. A total of 174 students completed at least one task with us.
  • Our School Govindram Seksaria Science P.U. College, Belgaum (GSS) in India is at No 2, among 397 schools from 53 countries with 49 students completing the tasks.

My Pre-university College management members were happy to know about our success in GCI and encouraged me with felicitation. They have even displayed a banner in the college campus mentioning about FOSSASIA, GCI and success of our student participants. They expressed their wish to have an MOU with FOSSASIA and continue to take such steps to help students from our region to learn to code and contribute to FOSS. They also offered all the infrastructural support.

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You have made us proud… A banner displayed at our campus

Felicitation by Shri R D Shanbhag, Chairman SKE Society, Belgaum

Felicitation by Shri R D Shanbhag, Chairman SKE Society, Belgaum

I am also happy to share that our Grand Prize winners Namanyay Goel and Samarjeet Singh also contributed to Project ExpEYES along with other projects under FOSSASIA. Many other students contributed to the ExpEYES project by writing python code for Unit Conversion GUI’s and by writing documentation for science experiments.

Participating in GCI with FOSSASIA as a mentor was a great learning experience and I would like to thank Hong Phuc and Mario Behling for this wonderful opportunity. You have inspired me to take up this task of helping kids from this region to learn to code, as a lifelong mission. Thanks a billion to all the students who participated in the contest and wish them a great future ahead.

I must also thank Stephanie Taylor and Co. at the Google OSPO, for organizing this wonderful contest and for creating better learning opportunities for students all over the world.

By Praveen Patil, FOSSASIA mentor

Random Pics : Google Code-In with FOSSASIA

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Lets learn together

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A Cool (Little Warm too :) ) Gift from Google

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Hacking in progress… :)

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Its me….. :) introducing FOSS and GCI

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Young FOSS Enthusiasts….

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Yet Another Session…

studentvolunteers

Student Volunteers … helping other students

snacks time

Snack Time… :)

minalGCI

Minal demonstrating Libre Office….

Session

Time for a break…. :)

students

Students waiting for PC’s to get free…..

Learning together

Net connectivity, projector by Vinayak Simu, Staff Gogte Institute of Technology

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Learning together is fun… :)

GSoC Weekly Report 13

(From Monday 11th August to 17th August 2014)

This week I conducted experimental trials for all the experiments using python code written for Real-Time plotting and also code for Off-Line mode. Did modifications in the programs wherever necessary and finalized the code for experiments. Wrote python code for Mechanics and Sound GUI. Worked on documents.

I am also working on packaging everything so that the plug-ins can be separately installed on a machine where ExpEYES is pre-installed. Need few days for this work. I will continue this after the final evaluation report is submitted.

To Do Next Week……

  • Submission of Final Evaluation
  • Complete and upload Experiments documents to the blog site.
  • Take trials with experimental set-up and upload photographs and videos.
  • Create a package that can be installed on a machine where ExpEYES is pre-installed.

Since most of the apparatus for all experiments is home-made, I will be uploading the procedure with photographs for creating these devices. I will also add documents with relevant theory for each of the experiment  to the blog site.

It had been a great journey with new learning experiences. Thanks a million to my mentors Mario Behling, Hong Phuc Dang & Hau Dang at FOSSASIA  and Ajith Sir. Even though the coding season ends tomorrow, I am feeling like its a beginning for me.

There is a lot to be done…. and I will be continuing with the work to make this dream a reality.. a dream of providing every student with the most affordable pocket science laboratory.

I have thought of many new experiments on  which I will be working for next couple of days. Also thinking of having a separate website for this work…its possible now…thanks to funding from Google.

 

 

 

Saturday, 16th August 2014

Today since morning I am on Python code for Sound and waves GUI. Its almost ready… :)

Tried various experiments with the new python programs written for plotting real-time graphs to test for errors and did necessary corrections. Also gave finishing touch to programs and added to Git repo. Work of writing documents for experimental procedures is taking positive shape.  After the finishing the required coding part I will focus more on the documentation part.

Monday 18th August is the firm ‘pencils down’ date. Therefor I am working on the programs to give them the final form.

 

 

 

Friday, 15th August 2014

Continued working on python codes for various experiments….. Conducted trials with python code for plotting real-time graphs.

Did various experiments on linear air track to study concepts like momentum, collision, motion on incline etc.

 

airtrack

Used toy cars for motion experiments. this will be a low cost solution for experiments in mechanics where air track is not available…:)

 

car

In an experiment with pendulum using motion sensor we could get the desired result. Now pendulum experiments can be done using three different sensors

  • light sensor – Photo-gate
  • motion sensor – srf05 ultrasonic module
  • DC motor

These are screen shots of motion of pendulum with srf05 module

pend pend2