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AstroPlant meetup at The Hague Tech

The wonderful co-working space The Hague Tech hosted us to have a second, smaller, and more focused hackathon to have the full team together and work on our fourth prototype. We had the core team of developers and a selected group of external experts in electronics, back-end development, business development, and education. The day was very productive, and we were lucky with the few external developers/designers present.


Work has been done on the varying work packages, as described below. Moreover, a podcast has been created with interviews with various participants (including Raffaella, Sidney, Thieme) - the podcast is embedded below.






Highlights of the day

  • Decided about the strategy → we go for RPi and try to integrate that / we ask for a quote and possible collaboration with DFRobot
  • LED design → is improving a lot / will be controlled and with external input this will be ready in a few weeks
  • EC sensor was not calibrated, due to time constrains. However, with external input, we found a new way to connect the device with a Raspberry Pi instead of Arduino.
  • Other technical issues solved: Websocket vs REST HTML transmission issue /
  • We decided about the logo and developed content for the website.
  • Open sourcing AstroPlant is getting ready, discussions about licensing and platforms to publish the designs. We have a new partner - WeVolver - who will help us do this.
  • We developed a newer casing design with less weight/materials, better looks
  • Decided about movability of the LEDs
  • Armatures for LED and sensors and RPi
  • We devised a couple of scientific protocols - new ideas (water measurements, etc.) + idea to have a few reference kits (with more advanced and more sensors)
  • Significant developments regarding the educational strategy: i) February > teacher challenge to develop 100 2-pagers on “How to use AstroPlant with your students/pupils”; ii) We’re not going to develop a complete educational experience/just provide ‘The Educational Kit’ (with the kit, manuals, educational materials) iii) We have an idea what to get out of the Gent pilot
  • Strategy was further developed: Roles defined for Border Labs, a local (Dutch) AstroPlant network, and similar networks in Europe, and the sponsors/commercial community

Podcast by Krijn Soeteman


09.30 - Coffee and informal chat
10.00 - Opening and introduction to the work packages (Thieme)
Welcome to the new people
Updates - kit developments, ESA enthusiastic, coordinating efforts with MIT OpenAg, working place at the New Farm, LED integration, WeVolver partnership, looking for commercial network Avionics
10.15 - Reflection and suggestions for the work packages (whiteboard + postits)
10.45 - Start working - make a goal for today
Noon - Developing a MVL (minimally viable lunch)
1230 - Heads up and continue working