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Member Profile: Afefa Akoumany and Emmanuel Bissafi

Over the next few months, we are going to profile current and former FSE students who are using their knowledge and skills to do great things. Full Stack Embedded has been around for 5 years, has held dozens of workshops in West and Central Africa, and has fostered hundreds of students in learning robotics and related technologies. In this series, we will take a look at what some of our strongest students have been up to.

For this Member Profile, we are going to take a look at two FSE members, Afefa Akoumany (also known as Marvelous) and Emmanuel Bissafi, and their project: the automatic labor detector for pregnant women. Afefa and Emmanuel have both been part of FSE at the Accra Institue of Technology since our first workshops there in 2016, and both are set to graduate this summer with degrees in Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

Their project, the Automatic Woman Labor Detector, was developed to address a very serious problem: In Ghana and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, the rate of maternal mortality is much higher than in other parts of the world, and progress to reduce mortality has been slow. One major factor that contributes to a safe, successful birth for both mother and child is birth preparedness, according to an article in the Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health. The Labor Detector developed by Emmanuel and Afefa contributes to birth preparedness by monitoring the woman’s body.

received_2098823077081077~2Sensors determine the frequency and intensity of contractions, which can be monitored via a mobile phone app.  The app also determines the mother’s location and sends that information to a chosen set of contacts, such as her partner or doctor, once labor has begun. With this information, women in labor can receive care faster. This can save women’s and infants’ lives.

In an interview, Afefa credited FSE with inspiring the idea for the Labor Detector. She says that when she and Emmanuel were introduced to ultrasonic sensors during FSE workshops in 2016 and 2017, it made them wonder what other kinds of sensors they could program, and what practical applications they might have. They were also able to use the skills they learned in the workshops to program the microcontroller which runs the system, and the app which provides the information.

Afefa and Emmanuel are driven and talented students who are using their knowledge and skills to make a better world for themselves and their communities. We are proud to have them on our team, and we wish them all the best for their graduations this summer!

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FSE 2019 Photo Album

Full Stack Embedded had an amazing run of workshops in Togo, Ghana, and Congo this year, and we’ve got photos to prove it!

If you’d like to see more of the awesomeness (and maybe find pictures of yourself!), check out the Highlights of 2019 photo album. You can also find the photos on our media page.

FSE Congo 2019

This year was the first opportunity for a member of the FSE European Team to visit Congo. Our Congolese representative Luvick Otoka had already established contact to several schools in Congo and led his own workshops there. This year, workshops took place with support from the Congolese Ministry of Education at
Ecole Nationale Superieure Polytechnique in Brazzaville and Institut Universitaire de Technologie d’Afrique Centrale in Pointe-Noire.

Each workshop was attended by an incredible number of students – over 70 apiece – and together they assembled and activated a Park Distance Control (PDC) device using a Raspberry Pi Zero W, the Full Stack Embedded Developer Board and several sensors. It was impressive to hear the symphony of beeping PDCs at the end of the day, and the students were excited to gain some basic familiarity with wiring, the operating principal of the sensors involved, and accessing their Raspberry Pis using ad-hoc networks and SSH.

The workshops were exciting – full of new students wanting to learn. They also were adventurous – there was a minor issue with a fire in the classroom in Brazzaville, prompting an evacuation and requiring some flexibility in planning. It was amazing to see how everything came together and to receive such a warm reception from the schools, the students and incredible support from Luzabu Group, who helped with logistics and translation where needed. Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, we’re looking forward to seeing you again soon! Keep innovating!

FSE Member Profile: Sidibe Mohamed

Over the next few months, we are going to profile current and former FSE students who are using their knowledge and skills to do great things. Full Stack Embedded has been around for 5 years, has held dozens of workshops in West and Central Africa, and has fostered hundreds of students in learning robotics and related technologies. In this series, we will take a look at what some of our strongest students have been up to!  Continue reading “FSE Member Profile: Sidibe Mohamed”

FSE Accra 2019

Full Stack Embedded conducted two workshops this year in Accra – an introductory one on the new Basura smart trash can, led by Florian Rathgeber and Daniel Lee, and a workshop on the Alfred autonomous car, led by Nilson Nguimbi Mabika and Sidibe Mohamed.

Over four days, the students learned to set up a web service, exposing a web server that interacts with an ultrasonic proximity sensor installed on another device. The server and sensor were connected using an HTTP connection. This means that the students learned how to build an Internet of Things device and get it to communicate with a remote server using an Internet-style connection. Of course, Python was the language of choice for every component of this system. Newer students also learned from the older students how to use the Alfred autonomous car, also using Python for communicating with all sensors and steering the robot itself.

In addition to these activities, FSE established contact to several excellent local organisations, such as the Ghana chapters of Codebar and PyLadies. We also took the opportunity to strengthen our cooperation with Accra Institute of Technology, where the workshops took place. Congratulations everyone who participated – we’re looking forward to working with a new generation of excellent, motivated students in Accra and hope you’re as excited as we are!

Big Bangs, Fingerprints and Gummibaers – Day 3 and 4 (!) of 2019 FSE Workshop in Lomé

Day four of the 2019 FSE Workshop in Lomé is over and the students of École National Superieur d’Ingenieurs (ENSI) in Lomé reached their goal of building a park distance control prototype!

At the end of day three, the students were happy and proud to see their prototype working. After the students had worked in three groups on the different parts of the PDC, i.e. ultrasonic range sensor, RGB LED and buzzer, all parts came together in a big bang merge.

As with every big bang merge, the components did not work together right away – but with some team work and help of Frédéric, the issues could be addressed and solved. The students even stayed longer to get all the components working correctly. We were happy to see that they had dedicated to making their project successful!

Afterwards, this success was duly celebrated with warm, squashy Gummibaers.

Originally, the workshop was supposed to be composed of three half day sessions. But the students were eager to learn more and arranged with their professors to get another half day off of classes.

So on day four, Frédéric showed the students how to use KiCAD, a software with which they could plan their own Raspberry Pi developer board.

We also discussed how the students could spread their newly gained knowledge among the other students, by giving courses themselves. They dedicated to giving a course every three months.

Finally, we could also already discuss and brainstorm on the project for the next year: A “student attendance counter”, implemented with a new finger print sensor and the already learned LED and buzzer sensors. The idea came from ENSI’s deputy director, who volunteered to play the students “customer” and provide the functional requirements. So a first interview for requirement collection could already be planned!

For Frédéric and me, the week was a full success and we had fun working with the students. So we sincerely congratulate the following students on finishing the project:

  • ADJOLO Essobala James
  • BELEI Abiré Gisèle
  • DEGBE Yawovi David
  • Junior
  • KUAMOR Kokou Samuel
  • TCHANDAO Essowazam Honoré
  • TEVI Kokou Sévérin

This is blue LED light. It turns blue. – Day 2 of 2019 FSE Workshop in Lomé

Day two of the 2019 FSE Workshop in Lomé is over and the students of École National Superieur d’Ingenieurs (ENSI) are one big step closer to their goal of building a fully functional park distance control prototype until the end of the week.

Today was all about getting the sensors to work. At the end of the day, each team was proud to present a working RGB LED, that could turn any color one fancies – even blue light.

Getting the ulrasonic range finder to work was a bit more difficult: Activating and switching between trigger and echo, calculating the distance from the signal return duration, averaging the measurements, … But the students showed great team work and overcame the obstacles.

Park me in, Scotty! – First Day of 2019 FSE Workshop in Lomé

Yesterday was the first day of the 3rd Fullstack Embedded Workshop in Lomé, Togo. At 1 PM, 15 students of the École National Superieur d’Ingenieurs (ENSI) eagerly awaited the first day of their three half day workshops.

Their goal until the end of the week: Build a fully functional park distance control prototype.
Their tools:

  • 1 Raspberry Pi
  • 1 cuostomized adapter board (FSE Developer Board, built by Frédéric)
  • 1 ultrasonic range finder
  • 1 RGB LED
  • 1 buzzer

The first day started with a hands-on crashcourse in Python programming followed by a dive into embedded software (controlling a buzzer and working with the FSE Development Board).

FSE Project 2019: Basura Smart Trash Can

The European members of Full Stack Embedded have once again joined their colleagues in Africa! Together, they will be putting on workshops at different universities to introduce and teach the 2019 FSE project: The Basura Smart Trash Can system.

Basura smart trash cans monitor how full they are, and can report when they need to be emptied. They can also be networked to allow for monitoring of a street, a neighborhood, or theoretically, a whole city. This project covers not only technical elements on a variety of devices, but will also give students experience in project planning, execution, and varification.

We are especially excited to be working on this project, because it was the participants of the FSE Workshops in 2017 in Accra who came up with the idea. We are also proud to say that some of those same men and women who were then learning and brainstorming students have now become the teachers of some of this year’s round of workshops.

Our Spanish speaking readers may also have noticed our clever name: “Basura” means “trash” in Spanish 😉

We hope you can make it to this year’s workshops! FSE will not only be at the universities we’ve visited in the past, namely in Accra, Ghana, and Lome, Togo: this year we will also be in Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire, Congo. We hope to see you there!

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FSE Students win prize for Most Outstanding Student in Engineering!

Congratulations to Nilson Mabika (@nilmab) and Luvick Otoka (@otokaluvick), who won the Ghana Tertiary Awards 2018 in the category of Engineering! Luvick and Nil were recognized for creating the noninvasive Glucometer and Pulse Oximeter.46523976_1924179147695289_7637527011451207680_n

The Ghana Tertiary Awards are given to university students with the potential to impact and change Ghana and its society for the better. We at FSE are honored to be working with Nil, Luvick, and many other driven, intelligent, and creative students who are using their skills and knowledge to create a better world.

Excellent job, guys! We are proud of you!