During May we have planned for a series of events intended to educate partners about challenges within the different disciplines involved in the project. The first of these events is the hardware bootcamp that is actually going to run twice to accommodate all participants. The bootcamp is a four day event - organized by Prof. Mark Smith at Wireless@KTH - during which participants learn circuit board design in a hands-on fashion. Starting with a schematic of the board that they create themselves using the Eagle tool, participants work their way through routing, CAM processing, milling, and finally soldering of their boards.
A board schematic and first stages of routing
Completed routing and milling of a board
Eight participants took part in the first hardware bootcamp, 8 -9 and 11 - 12 May. During these four days Mark did a fantastic job of demystifying the process of creating circuit boards. Evidence of this is that the bootcamp so far boasts a 100% success rate: none of the completed boards has spectacularly burst into flames or even malfunctioned beyond repair! Moreover participants showed a great amount of creativity in designing their boards. Examples include Fredrik Österlind's face shaped board, Annelie Schwanecke's circular one, Claus Weymann's asymmetrically rounded one, and Marcus Lundén's elegantly elongated one.
Fredrik's face shaped board ready to go and Annelie soldering her round board.
The bootcamp was fun, but it was also very informative. After four days particpants without a background in electrical engineering left with a sense of being much better equipped to understand the challenge of designing supple systems from a hardware perspective. Once we start designing our next prototype that understandig will be very important.