Scrumtato: Make daily stand-ups agile again

At Delphi in Gothenburg, where I am currently employed, we create all kinds of cool products for the automotive industry. To organize our development process, we use SCRUM and abide by the Agile principles. Every morning, we have a short meeting where we discuss what our progress has been since the previous meeting, what we intend to work on until the next one, as well as mention any obstacles that we face. This meeting, the “daily stand-up”, is supposed to be short and should not last more than 10-15 minutes. However, we used to have a problem: As our team is full of talented and passionate developers, we love to talk about the tasks at hand, details of the conducted work, engage into technical discussions about issues etc. Sometimes… too much! This stretches our meeting time and keeps us from getting the most out of our work hours. To solve this problem, here comes Scrumtato, a gadget to make daily stand-ups agile again!

Young Makers make the headlines in Greece

During the last one year and a half I have been part of a voluntary initiative between the University of Gothenburg and the 1st Gymnasium of Rhodes which aims to introduce secondary school students to STEM through Maker and T-shaped education. As the first cycle of this project comes to a conclusion, it is time to write a short retrospective experience report. Let’s take it from the beginning.

A Christmas tree PCB ornament

It is soon Christmas and I am facing the very same, yearly recurring problem: What gifts to buy! I generally prefer gifts to have a personal touch and was always fascinated by some personalized keychains I would receive from my uncle who has a milling machine. This Christmas, I did some timely planning and created a bunch of interactive electronic ornaments, shaped like Christmas trees!

An autonomous wheelchair meets Li Keqiang

When AVR meets AR, an autonomous wheelchair is born that gets to be introduced to the Chinese Premier of the State Council, Li Keqiang, during the 2016 Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship week in Shenzhen!

Turning software engineers into Makers

For the last few months, I was employed part time at the University of Gothenburg and helped to introduce the maker culture into an undergraduate Software Engineering course. But, let’s take it from the beginning…

Phishing WiFi hotspots with captive portals

Are you using a paid Wifi hotspot service, which allows you to have Internet on various spots around the country? This convenience could come at a cost! If you are not careful enough, you might fall victim to – an easy to implement – phishing attack, therefore revealing your username and password to perpetrators. What is worse, is that the essential components cost around 30$ and can be hidden in one’s pocket! Want to learn how this can be done so you can tackle such attacks? Read on…. DISCLAIMER: This article does not intend to facilitate phishing attacks or any other kind of illegal activities. The misuse of information contained in this article CAN bring criminal charges against you. The author will not be held responsible if criminal charges are brought against any persons utilizing any information related to this article, to break the law. DO NOT try to reproduce the scenario demonstrated in this article, with networks and devices you do not own, unless otherwise expressly permitted. The author has exclusively run this experiment on private premises and equipment. This paradigm, inspired by academic interest on IT security, merely points out the risks to the confidentiality of data, submitted via WiFi access points that require their users to […]

Enhance your marketing campaign with IoT

This post will cover the creation of Inno, a wooden robot-looking idol, that serves as an IoT marketing medium, for a new educational initiative at the Software Engineering and Management program, in the University of Gothenburg.

Simple LED driver board

This article is about a simple PCB that I designed and enables the user to drive four separate LEDs (or other circuits) using one signal line. It is based on the ATtiny85 microcontroller by Atmel, which drives four NPN transistors. The aim is to document this board thoroughly, as it will be (hopefully) used by future teams attending the Carolo Cup competition, from Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg.

Build the Android autonomous vehicle

After Makezine published an article on Team Pegasus’ Android autonomous vehicle, the person who wrote the report on it, David Scheltema, approached me in order to write a set of building instructions for their readers. And with the help of Donald Bell we got it published! So, if you are interested in building your own autonomous vehicle, check this article out: Build Your Own Android-Powered Self Driving R/C Car Last but not least, I would like to thank Donald for doing a great job in formatting, editing and enriching the rather “crude” instructions, that were sent to him. :-)

A path following vehicle called Alice

During the last term, my team and I were not the only ones creating a vehicle, controlled by Android. A group of first year students, at the Software Engineering and Management program, of the University of Gothenburg, were also developing one of their own. They created an Android application, which enables them to draw a path on the screen with their finger. This, is interpreted as a set of driving instructions to be sent via Bluetooth to an Arduino based vehicle, that executes them and therefore follows the drawn path. Let’s see how they describe their product. The system we developed, consists of two components: 1. An autonomous car, programmed on the Arduino platform. 2. An application for a portable “smart” device (a smartphone or a tablet computer), currently running on the android platform. The user draws a path directly on the screen of the portable device for the car to follow. The car and the portable device communicate via Bluetooth. The car is equipped with an obstacle-detecting sensor (currently ultrasound). Should an obstacle be detected, the car stops and the user is presented with two possible choices: either control the car manually, or instruct the car to carry out previously sent instructions if the obstacle is deemed to not […]