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Students created product prototypes in a summer course

The focus was on projects combining programming with the physical world.

Students got to realise a prototype project from start to finish at the Protopaja course. The aim of the summer course, organised by the School of Electrical Engineering, was that students learn how an industrial project is designed and realised in a group. A further objective was for the students to get to apply competence in their field in a creative way.

'The projects realised by the students during the course include a programming component and a concrete product; in other words, the aim was to learn how to combine electronics, programming and information transfer with data collection and analysis', explains Sebastian Sonntag, teacher in charge of the course.

Eight projects were realised during the course. Each project had been commissioned by a client and was implemented based on their demands.

An electric wheelchair project was commissioned by the alumni of the Inkubio guild and the product was a computer-operated electric wheelchair.

The experimental steering methods were based on real-time gaze tracking and an inclination sensor

'An interface was created between the wheelchair and the computer, making it possible to steer the wheelchair with means other than a joystick', explained Topi Hämäläinen, who participated in realising the project.

The alternative experimental steering methods were based on real-time gaze tracking and an inclination sensor. These steering methods introduce new kinds of mobility opportunities, for example for paralysed people who cannot utilise a joystick in steering the wheelchair. There is also an aim to continue developing steering the electric wheelchair in later student projects.

Panu Pellonpää worked in the MPPT satellite project.

With the growth of IoT applications, the need for smart sensors is also increasing. This was taken into account in an application created for satellites. The Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) application was realised in collaboration with Reaktor. The purpose of the application is to help optimise power obtained from solar panels. The project particularly called for an ability to comprehensively manage basic knowledge of electronics.

Work produced during the Protopaja course was presented on 8 August in a final exhibition held at the Design Factory.

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