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Solutions for everyday needs

Interactive hand puppet was created at Electrical Engineering Workshop course through co-operation between art and science.
Kevään 2018 Sähköpajakurssin lopputyö, kuva: Aalto-yliopisto / Mikko Raskinen

The innovative projects made by Aalto University students participating in the awarded and loved Electrical Engineering Workshop course were presented to the audience in the final exhibition on 23 May. The exhibition space was buzzing as various moving objects were doing test rounds. Students were eager to try out each other’s achievements, and there was even a queue to the claw game and the Beer Pong cannon that can identify red cups.

The course projects were also aimed at meeting practical needs. The smart blackout and light curtains move as their user wishes, and the brains built for Heureka’s Brains exhibition, where they will be carried around by the visitors, interact with the exhibition facility.

Kourapeli Sähköpajakurssin loppunäytöksessä, kuva: Aalto-yliopisto / Mikko Raskinen
The claw game, awarded by the Ulla Tuominen Foundation, created amusement in the course participants and exhibition guests.
Mars-mönkijä Sähköpajakurssin loppunäytöksessä keväällä 2018, kuva: Aalto-yliopisto / Mikko Raskinen
The Mars rover performed test rounds in the exhibition space. The rover was also awarded by the Ulla Tuominen Foundation.
Aivot-projekti Sähköpajakurssin loppunätöksessa 2018, kuva: Aalto-yliopisto, Mikko Raskinen
The Brains project was designed together with the Heureka Science Centre for the upcoming Brains exhibition. Visitors carry with them artificial brains in which multicoloured lights ignite as the brains interact with the exhibition facility.

Although the course is primarily aimed at first-year students of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, more and more enthusiastic participants from all Aalto University schools join the course every year. The interactive hand puppet, born from the user-oriented idea of students of Electronics and Electrical Engineering and Design, is an excellent example of the results of multidisciplinary collaboration. The hand puppet is designed to strengthen the relationship between a parent and a child, and it reacts to touch with the help of enwoven sensors by lighting up the LED lights in its cheeks.

Vuorovaikutteinen käsinukke Sähköpajakurssin loppunäytöksessä 2018, kuva: Aalto-yliopisto / Linda Koskinen
The hand puppet responds to touch, and it has been manufactured with electrically conductive materials and enwoven sensor structures.

The Electrical Engineering Workshop course, which has received the Aalto Excellence Recognition award, has been praised by students as well as parties outside the University. No pre-existing skills are required to take part in the course, and it is open to all Aalto students. The main part of the course consists of the course project which utilises micro controllers and enables the students to put what they have learned to practical use. A micro controller is a tiny computer, which provides an easy way to add “intelligence” or programmability to the built machines.

The Electrical Engineering Workshop course co-operates with Aalto Ventures Program, Design Factory and the Aaltonaut team. Thanks to a private donor, the workshop has acquired, among others, a fifth 3D printer, a laser cutter, a milling machine, a surface mount oven, and a stereo microscope. Ulla Tuominen Foundation, the leading supporter of basic education in electrical engineering, rewards the best works created during the course, and this spring, the awarded projects included the Mars rover, the fibreglass boat powered by solar cells, the joystick-operated claw game, and the Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV).

 

Text: Linda Koskinen

Photos: Mikko Raskinen, Linda Koskinen

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