Last October Like A Coffee was at the Faculty of Information Technology in LLU is Latvia University of Agriculture – Jelgava (Latvia) to hold an IoT hands-on workshop with the kind and active cooperation of the leading researcher Dr.sc.ing. Aleksejs Zacepins and the LLU Dean Gatis Vitols.
“These workshop days were an interesting experiment and a workbench for
our IoT division”, says Attilio, Leader of Steam Port IoT Lab,
partner of Like A Coffee.
The workshop, which covered two days, included both a theoretical introduction to IoT and physical computing using embedded computers such as Raspberry Pi and a practical part aimed at letting students learn how to set up a little linux box on a Raspberry Pi or similar by accessing to external interfaces via the Python programming language.
“These two days were an excellent opportunity for students to finally see the combination of theoretical lecture with some practice.”, says Aleksejs, LLU ITF Docent.
Thirteen motivated IT students challenged themselves with this innovative topic, especially in the practical MQTT client-to-server messaging exercise when Attilio and Aleksejs divided them into four small groups, each with a specific task to accomplish.
In particular, on the one hand two groups were asked to design and prototype a Client, that is to set up a Raspberry Pi based circuit which included input hard keys on a breadboard and LEDs for visual output, controlled by a Python script, also developed by them.
On the other hand two other groups were asked to deal with the Server side by developing a software in Python and to validate the client code so that the Server could send a positive or negative reply to the client according to the accuracy of the code produced.
Both Client and Server were communicating data through a third Raspberry Pi, acting as a broker to manage all the sent messages.
“I enjoyed it very much because I learned new things and I had the chance to set up Raspberry Pi with Raspbian. This workshop was actually an extra opportunity to learn something out of the typical university program”, says Karlis, LLU IT Student.
Like A Coffee has the intention to further develop new IoT topics, related to MCU programming or to 3D modeling via virtual workshops or, why not, a nice idea could be the usage of a telepresence robot that could be a workshop’s topic itself . Stay tuned!