Following the success of our previous LoPy workshop, we ran our second workshop on LoRa technology on Thursday 1st December 2016, this time at the uCreate Studio, University of Edinburgh Main Library. We were joined by an enthusiastic group of 14 students (we appreciate CompSoc’s support in advertising this event) and more mature tech-savvy learners.
In this session we explored communication between LoPy devices. Following an introductory presentation of LoRaWAN by Simon, and his vision for a community-based The Things Network across Edinburgh, we dived into the first exercise: programming a LoPy device to send messages using LoRa, flashing an LED to indicate transmision. These messages were received by a central LoPy node which displayed them on a large monitor for the whole group to see. We don’t remember exactly which team was first to transmitt their message, we believe it was Team 6, congrats! Everyone was fast to master this task, with winners separated only by a photo-finish.
Once all teams could transmit messages, the second task was to extend device functionality to also receive messages. As a result, the LoPys could exchange messages with each other and acknowledge the event by flashing different coloured LEDs. As Simon accurately described it, we turned the room into a massive Xmas tree with multicolour lights.
The last task was to connect a light sensor to the LoPy device and transmit the sensor readings between teams. It was a great sunny day outside so we could see differences between light readings throughout the room. Very precious Lux for Scotland and we got to measure them properly — we’ll probably need to wait until next year’s summer to exceed this 1450 Lux value :)
The workshop received positive feedback fron participants and sparked off very interesting discussions about the potential for this technology. Busses, remote controls, who knows?! — the sky is the limit! This encourages us to continue this series of events. Sign up to our email list to be informed about our next event to take place early in the New Year. And keep an eye out for the Festival of Creative Learning programme!