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Optimalabs at the BTU Cottbus Summerfest

Optimalabs is still in the stage of foetus (third month), but we gave this baby an opportunity to see the world and meet some people. The BTU Cottbus is the youngest university in Germany (20 years old), and this year’s Summerfest was quite special with the traditional international street food, the bands, the rain but also with the presence of our unusual stand:

Prototype box: See-A-Watt in an IKEA box

I built a box that simulates a typical household electrical installation, and I installed in this “household” a prototype of my electricity consumption monitor with two current sensors and one voltage sensor. The monitor was connected via Ethernet to a server (that was also used as a display device, but any other device connected to that local network could display the graphs). The resulting graphs were refreshed in real time on the screen of the server/display device.

Graphs shown on screen

Many people came by and the reactions ranged from total excitement and “I want to buy one now!” to complete disinterest. I had many nice conversations with people from different backgrounds, and I received a good amount of constructive criticism and feedback.

 

Visitors of the stand 1

Visitors stand 2

The lack of proper tools and financial resources made this participation quite “amateurish” but I learned how these events work, and I am sure that my next participations in public events will be much better.

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