Minutes of the meeting at EmbeddedforHer's open day


#1

The program started of with @ssrameez giving us a brief overview of the movement aspect of the Free Software Movement Karnataka and why they believed in conducting a program such as Embedded for Her. @shijil concluded it.

@prithvirajnarendra spoke about his motivations for coming up with the program, his past experience trying to get it to happen last year, and his takeaways.

We then had the three project demos.

Name: Housewise
Team members: @Pnarasim, Priya K, Poornima, Shambhavi
Fork it from: https://github.com/pnarasim/efh_housewise

This project detects noise levels, smoke levels,water and electricity consumption levels in a given area (oideally a house) and displays them on a web page. They demonstrated their understanding of embedded systems by implementing a household monitoring solution. They created a small (and maybe exandable) network of sensors that could report data on the parameter they are sensing and collect this information in a centrally accessible location.
The project used bluey boards to control and monitor the sensors and broadcast the sensor information through BLE beacons. Edison boards ran code to scan these BLE beacons at regular intervals and extract the sensor information and then upload to the cloud DB hosted on an Amazons AWS server.
They showed us how the sound we make was reflected onto a webpage they had hosted, which is available at http://54.244.28.251/index.html

Name: E-gardener
Team members: @Sreedevitk, @Gayathri, @fathima_shakir, Sowmya
Fork it from: https://github.com/sreedevitk/egardener

Automating the day to day watering of the garden is the objective of this project. Many of us in Bangalore have a garden and watering the plants everyday is a chore and particularly a challenge for homeowners who also would like to travel or have to travel out of town for days at a stretch. Also, somedays the plants have to be provided more water and on other days, they have to be provided less, depending on the weather. There is also the additional challenges of availability of water due to the erratic water supply in some areas.
The project aims to take care of all of these - provides water to the plant taking into consideration the existing moisture content in the soil, the desired moisture content and availability of water in the tank. There is also a web page where the latest parameters are available for the homeowner to monitor to decide if manual intervention is required.

Name: Hawkeye
Team members: Shreelakshmi S, Reshma, @bsayee, Akanksha
Fork it from: https://github.com/sree-ksl/Hawkeye

“Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge, and that is vitally important for us. We do not need pity, nor do we need to be reminded that we are vulnerable. We must be treated as equals, and communication is the way we can bring this about” - Louis Braille, 1841.
Braille is far more than dots on paper! It is not uncommon for someone with a recent vision loss to be unwilling or reluctant to try using braille for reading.Given the high cost of some current braille technology, or the large and cumbersome size of some embossed-paper braille magazines or books, it’s not difficult to see why this can often be a challenging. What’s really needed is an affordable, portable device that lures readers into the braille world … a cool, braille reader that says, “Touch me!” the moment it’s picked up!
The project aims to do just that - Create an electronic Braille system that is affordable and can make this technology available to everyone.

The general consensus amongst the attendees was that all three projects had scope to be taken into full-fledged products. Various entrepreneurship methods were discussed and help was offered by people with the relevant expertise. The participants said that while they did what they could with the project in five weeks, they knew they could do better and decided to further better their projects in time for WorkBench’s makerfair, happening in the second week of November.

After a break, we gathered to discuss the future of EfH from both the participants and the attendees point of view.

The objective of conducting this program was to create a community where women are not afraid of asking ‘silly questions’, and are encouraged to get things done. After the end of the program, the members needed to find a way to keep up the momentum. Almost everyone agreed that the way to go forward was to schedule a meeting every month. Some ideas about what to do in that meeting are:

  1. Have an open office scenario where people bring in the projects they are working on that month and have people critique it, be guinea pigs and help squash the inevitable bugs.
  2. Have a talk about something really interesting from the embedded field by someone really cool for about half an hour, then a discussion about that. Challenges:
    a. To identify a relevant topic with a consensus within the given time frame.
    b. To identify someone with the relevant expertise who is also free at the same time and who’s ideologies align with that of the FOSS movement.
  3. Have a month-long study group where a group of interested people take up one board and dissect it thoroughly. This could potentially culminate with the monthly meet up, where one could demonstrate topics that other people don’t quite understand, and even have a “Battle of the Boards”.

A decision also needs to be taken about the nature of the audience that will attend these meet ups.

@priya_k and @Shreelakshmi.S came forward to be the official points of contact between the community and FSMK. September 10th (Sunday) has been chosen as the date for the first meet up after the program. Further details for the program will be shared at a later date as and when things are finalized.