Abbeyleix Climate Action Project – Air Quality Workshop

The town of Abbeyleix, Co Laois launched an ambitious community climate action project that ran from  October 2020 to March 2021. It had a number of elements that included a science communicator in residence Dr Niamh Shaw, a weekly Abbeyleix Almanac TV on Facebook live, lectures and workshops.

An early video (above) produced by the project called for ideas/projects that might help the team raise awareness and further the goals of the project. Our member Jeffrey Roe with family links to the town made contact and suggested the Sensor.Community project.

Sensor.Community is a contributor driven global sensor network that creates Open Environmental Data. Its mission is to inspire and enrich people’s lives by offering a platform for the collective curiosity in nature that is genuine, joyful and positive. We have worked in the past with their guides and software created by the project to deliver workshops in the past. This open community citizen science project is only possible with the contributions of the Sensor.Community at large.

The Abbeyleix team jumped on the idea straight away. They were keen to build on the experience that Tog has in running these workshops. One sensor that was already active in the town really showcased the potential for a local network to be created. A plan was drawn up with appearances on Abbeyleix Almanac TV scheduled to raise local awareness in the sensors and a date was set for the 28th of February to coincide with STEPS Engineers Week. Midlands science came on board to fund the event and remove the barrier for local people to get involved.

Network in Ireland before the workshop

With the support of the local Tidy Towns committee, we found 14 participants for the workshop. To cut costs and to support the event being run virtually, glue guns and other tools required for the workshop were found locally and shared creating a real community feel to the whole affair.

Jeffrey on zoom during workshop

Using Zoom and a host of other tools, the workshop ran for just under three hours. Participants flashed the firmware, connected parts, setup WiFi links and put together boxes.

A few weeks have now passed since the workshop and more and more people are mounting their sensors outdoors and getting on the map. All the data can be viewed on the Sensor.Community website.

Sensor in Abbeyleix

To see more photos from the workshop do check out our gallery.

We would like to thank the people of Abbeyleix for being so welcoming to us during this project and especially the Tidy Towns committee, also Midlands Science for the funding to make it possible and finally the continued work of Sensor.Community.

Update

Check out this letter published in the Irish Times about this project.

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/sensors-and-making-air-quality-a-priority-1.4540696

Engineers Week – March Live Stream

We are delighted to be taking part in Engineers Week. We always like to take part in these national weeks to promote science and education. We have lined up a night of talks for you on Thursday the 4th of March from 7 pm streaming on our Youtube channel. This year we are teaming up with the Young Engineers Society to bring you a night of interesting lightning talks. The talks will be followed by a live Q&A. Check out the talks below.

Link To Live Stream

Talks

Talk Title: Faking it in AI
Project Description: AI and machine learning in particular is a great technology for engineers to play with, adopt and apply in unexpected ways to see old problems in a new light. Even better, you can fake it until you make it and there is a long on-ramp of automated services, packages and tools available to the hacker willing to try out new things. With some experience and a bit of derring-do you can even get up to the front line of research in a field that is changing and developing incredibly fast if you carefully pick your battles. I will give a quick tour of my lab’s engineering journey in machine learning where we learned to fake it, then make it before finally faking again but this time for real. On that journey we will talk about fitness trackers, brain computer interfaces, self driving cars (sort of) and why in our latest work we just made up loads of fake data and yet no one got angry about it. 
Speaker: Professor Tomás Ward
Bio: Tomas Ward is AIB Chair of Data Analytics at the School of Computing, Dublin City University. As a member of the Science Foundation Ireland-funded research centre Insight – Ireland’s Data Analytics research centre, Prof Ward studies how human health, performance and decision-making can be better understood through new ways of sensing and interpreting our physiology and behaviour. Tomas is a keen advocate of hacker spaces and is a co-founder of Dublin Maker – the showcase of the maker movement in Ireland.
Links: Website, Twitter

Talks Title: VCON – an Arduino with built-in remote firmware update and remote management
Project Description: Ever wanted to remotely OTA your Arduino without changing a single line of firmware code? VCON makes it possible.
Speaker: Sergey Lyubka
Bio: CTO at Netfort (now part of Rapid7), Engineering manager at Google, CTO at Cesanta
Links: vcon.io

There are lots of Engineers Week events happening all over the country you can find more of them listed here -> https://www.engineersireland.ie/schools/Engineers-Week

Our event will be hosted by our own CEO Jeffrey. On the team of festival makers for Dublin Maker, Council & Executive board member of Engineers Ireland.

Be sure to put any questions you have for our speakers in the Youtube chat.

This event is in collaboration with the Young Engineers Society

Science Hackday Dublin

We are hosting Science Hack Day. A 36 hr hardware and software hackathon. Ireland’s first public hackathon it has been run by plucky volunteers since 2012. A social event with creativity and love of science at its heart. Each year we bring together, designers, coders, scientists, engineers and makers. Simply to make interesting things. Why? For adventure, for playfulness, for science!

On Saturday & Sunday 7th/8th of March join forces with fellow enthusiasts to work on projects together. During the course of the weekend, the hackerspace will enable participants to bring projects to reality with the various tools and equipment on hand. Sign up with the link below.

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/science-hack-day-dublin-2020-registration-94633813283

Engineers Week Ireland logo

This event is part of Engineers Week that runs from February 29th until March 6th. For other events on as part during the week visit http://www.engineersweek.ie/ . We are also running an Air Quality Sensor workshop -> https://www.tog.ie/2020/01/air-quality-sensor-kit-workshop/

Air Quality Sensor Kit Workshop

Sensor Kit

Air pollution affects many people’s daily lives not just close to industrial centres. Most governmental monitoring is only done with a very limited number of sensors. Often times we are relying on modelling to make the best guess at current levels. This can miss out on local pollution sources or seasonally (coal fires during the winter) / event-based pollution. This kit uses customer grade hardware to measure levels of PM2.5. It is not a replacement for accurate calibrated professional equipment that can pinpoint the type of particles in the air but can give reasonable readings at a low lost in a local area.

Sensor Map Dublin

This kit allows you to measure local pollution levels by building your own particulate matter sensor system. This DIY setup allowed everyone to measure air quality. Join thousands around the world by contributing the data to citizen science projects with open data. The system uses off the shelf parts with limited soldering required (design by OK Lab Stuttgart as part of the https://luftdaten.info/ project).

Engineers Week Ireland logo

This event is part of Engineers Week that runs from February 29th until March 6th. For other events on as part during the week visit http://www.engineersweek.ie/

Sensor workshop at 36c3

*** You must be 18 years of age or older to take part in this workshop. Please do not book places for children ***

SOLD Out Extra Afternoon session added. The workshop will take place on Saturday the 29th of February at 11 am at a cost of €50 plus Eventbrite fees. To book please use the link below. https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/air-quality-sensor-kit-workshop-tickets-89491673003

The workshop will take place on Saturday the 29th of February at 3pm at a cost of €50 plus Eventbrite fees. To book please use the link below. https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/air-quality-sensor-kit-workshop-afternoon-session-tickets-92490346115

Science Hackday Dublin

Ya Science \o/.  We are proud to be hosting Science Hack Day Dublin again. A 36 hr hardware and software hackathon. A social event with creativity and love of science and technology at its heart. A get together for designers, scientists, coders, engineers and makers to simply to make interesting things. Why? For adventure, for playfulness, for science!

Join us on Sat, 9th March 2019, & Sun, 10th March 2019.

Book your free tickets now -> https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/science-hack-day-dublin-2019-registration-56278380150

There are also Childcare and Travel Bursaries available for those
travelling or have little ones at home. Apply via the link below.
http://sciencehackdaydublin.com/childcare-and-transport-bursaries/

Engineers Week – Night of Talks

 

 

 

 

As part of Engineers Week we are running a Night of Short Talks in TOG on Thursday 9th of  March kicking off at 7:30pm. The night will be made up of a number of talks on a range of topics. 

 

Title: Car Computer Hacking

Speaker: Daniel Cussen

Many people are afraid to meddle with their cars often due to the fear of a complicated computer running under the hood with no easy way to see what the computer is thinking or doing. We unveil the computer and show low cost interfaces and easy ways to diagnose and repair faults along with modifications and DIY servicing and upgrades. Take the fear out of automotive repair and avoid costly dealer maintenance and repair all using free apps and Bluetooth and USB interfaces. We will also discuss diesel-gate and emissions monitoring.

Title: Google Tango Technology

Speaker: Gleb Lebedev

An overview on Google Tango technology – how it works and what applications it may have. As an example I’ll show a game I made for the Global Game Jam 2017 that uses Tango for positional tracking.

Title :A Maker journey – From The Start

Speaker: Peter Knief

 A collage of the objects that Peter has created and how he developed his personal maker skills and experience with no budget. 

Title : The power of Maths when making 3D Designs 

Speaker: Izabela Siudak