Underwater Robots for STEM Outreach

seafox1I have always enjoyed STEM outreach, be it talking about the UAV research I have been involved with at the Ladies Luncheon Club (average age of ~65) or showing how you can use node.js to control a Parrot AR drone to a group of hormonal teenagers.

Besides an interest in flying things I have always had a weak spot for maritime vehicles, particularly submarines. (For some reason land vehicles never really interested me). Triggered by the OpenROV kickstarter and, more recently, by listening to The Engineering Commons episode on Underwater Robots with Bill Porter, I have been looking for opportunities to learn more about them or even build them. As my own spare time has pretty much disappeared for various reasons, doing this as part of my STEM Ambassador work seemed a great idea.

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Raspberry Pi GPIO Workshop

Update: a writeup of the event by Lorraine is here.

A shot post to say that I am co-organizing a Raspberry Pi workshop with The IET Solent Branch at the University of Southampton on 25 April. For personal reasons I cannot make it myself that day but do go along if you want to learn about how to use the GPIO pins on your Pi board!

Raspberry Pi - 25 April Poster

Btw, if you can’t make it but live in the area, do checkout somakeit.org.uk. Recently launched and we now have a space!

–Dirk

ICT4D and me

3332044876_9c1866b997A couple of months ago I was asked by somebody at the Global South Forum to give a talk about some technology related topic. My initial idea was to talk about Taarifa but after some thought I decided to open it up more and talk about the wider ICT4D field. In particular related to my own experiences and assumptions.

I have been wrestling with the whole concept of ICT4D for some time and thought it would be a good opportunity to engage with “the experts”.

My slides are below. Though they contain very little text the narrative should be clear from the pictures. As background reading I strongly suggest Can Technology end Poverty from Kentaro Toyama and The Subtle Condescension of “ICT4D” by  Erik Hersman.

License to RHoK, Dec 1-2, Southampton, UK

After the great success and feedback of the previous global RHoK event in Southampton I decided to organize the next one as well. This time around kindly helped out by Alejandro Saucedo from HackaSoton.

During the weekend of 1-2 December 2012, The University of Southampton will be one of the satellite cities as part of the global Random Hacks of Kindness Event!

Like in June it looks like we will be the only UK event so let that be an extra motivation!

Click here for the detailed programme

Twitter hashtag: #rhoksoton

Eventbrite - RHoK Global December 2012: Southampton, UK


* Updates:


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Random Hacks of Kindness in Southampton!

The gist: RHoK is great, come present your problem, or come learn something new or come sponsor a prize. But above all, come have fun! (June 2-3).

Twitter hashtag: #RHoKSoton

In one of my previous posts I talked about bringing engineers and computer scientists  together who were interested in helping to solve problems related to humanity and international development.

Well, we haven’t even had our first meeting yet (its this Thursday, 3pm @ UoS, Highfield campus, staffclub, if you want to come along) but Im already very happy and proud to say that we will be having our first event in 3 weeks time: During the weekend of 2-3 June 2012, Southampton University will be one of the satellite cities as part of the global Random Hacks of Kindness Event!

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TEAtime

A few months ago an email was sent out to all researchers here at the university to solicit volunteers to give lectures/workshops for visiting secondary schools, the TEAtime lectures.  As I always enjoy this kind of outreach I volunteered, went through some info sessions and did my lecture yesterday.  Basically I gave an overview of UAV technology and did a simplified walk through of the aircraft design process.  It was a bit ironic though, a computer scientist explaining airflow and aerodynamics :).  No slides on slideshare as they’re too big to upload and Im to cheap to pay for PRO :).

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