We participated in the 2023 IT seminar and were group 5. Our task was to find out how to read data from a text file and display it on a browser map using PHP. Lauri joined the course late, so Timo was mainly responsible for these activities.
Day 1 – Tuesday
Tuesday was the first day of the seminar, when the Swiss team started with introductions and then presented their project. Their project was a remote-controlled robot, which was implemented using Raspberry Pi and Flutter applications. The robot was connected to a phone via Bluetooth. They explained in detail how they built a remote-controlled robot using Raspberry Pi and the Flutter framework. It was interesting to see how these technologies were used together to achieve the goal. Although we didn’t have much time to delve into the technologies, we feel that we have acquired sufficient knowledge to begin utilizing Raspberry Pi and Flutter in our personal projects.
After lunch, we did a demo of AR reality using Unity. Lauri has used Unity before, so it was quite easy for him to follow the instructions and run through the demo. Timo had never used Unity before, but he learned quickly and completed the demo without any major failures. This demo was quite fun because we didn’t know that creating an AR project with Unity would be so easy. The goal of the AR demo was to create a 3D object on top of an image when the user points the camera towards the image. Once the AR demo was done, we played virtual reality games with different headsets, which was of course fun.
Day 2 – Wednesday
On Wednesday it was the turn of the Spanish team. During the first half of the day, we did some more advanced AR stuff in Unity. Timo managed to finish the first demo of the day. We liked this demo, but we thought that there was a bit too much stuff packed into it. Since for most of the students this was their first-time using Unity, we felt it would have been more efficient if we had done something simpler instead of rushing through such an elaborate project. After break we had a demo of a 3D robot design using Blender. This demo was also perhaps too fast-paced, as Blender was new software for many of us.
After having a lunch, the second half of the day was more relaxed. We split the teams in two and first participated in an escape room game that used AR image targeting to give players clues about a secret code that we had to figure out in 45 minutes. After the game, we played Beat Saber on a VR headset. We found Wednesday afternoon relaxing and fun. We were impressed with the AR app that was used in the escape room game.
Day 3 – Thursday
Thursday was our day. In the morning, we first gave a short PowerPoint presentation about our Arduino/ESP32 devices and then started working on them in small groups. This was of course our favorite day, as we got to teach the other students how to build the device and how to upload the code to make it functional. We had fun and every group built the device successfully.
After lunch, when all the devices were up and running, we played a game of hide and seek, which was fun but also a bit disappointing as it only took a few minutes to finish. I guess the winning team was too efficient!
After congratulating the winning team, our teacher Heikki gave us a new challenge, which was to put together a Telegram bot to retrieve data from ESP32. After succeeding in that, Heikki came up with a new challenge, which was to display on the LCD screen the bot’s response data that the bot had retrieved. Of course, we succeeded at that too.
Day 4 – Friday
On Friday, some of the students, including Lauri, had to left early for their flight. Lauri was therefore unable to attend the last day of the seminar. Timo’s flight was the next day, so he was able to attend on Friday.
Friday started with us arriving to class with all our belongings, as our hotel room had to be cleared by 11am. In class, we enjoyed a snack before moving to the auditorium where we were presented with the history of the seminar and presented with our diplomas. After the ceremony, we enjoyed a beautifully decorated buffet-style meal, including lasagna. The dessert was also beautifully decorated. After the meal, we left our belongings in another building of the school and went to admire the lake. At the lake, Timo demonstrated the technique of stone skipping, which attracted the interest of the other students. At the end of the day, Timo taught the others how to throw a stone. We walked around the lake and returned to the classroom where we played different games. When it was time to leave, we said goodbye to the Spanish students at the train station. Timo’s train arrived in about two hours, so he continued to the store to buy a snack for the trip. Eventually Timo boarded the train and continued his journey to the airport.
In summary, the meeting and cooperation between the teams was fun and rewarding. The atmosphere of the seminar was engaging, and everyone was impressed by the stunning scenery of the Sierre. Lauri emphasizes that the seminar gave him the confidence to work in an international environment. After a few days of communicating in English, he felt more confident speaking English and his concerns about his pronunciation were greatly reduced.
Timo expressed great enthusiasm for the seminar, remarking on the unique opportunity it provided to meet people from around the globe and hone his communication abilities, particularly in English. He felt that attending the seminar has equipped him with the necessary skills to tackle international projects with greater confidence and allowed him to expand his professional network on a global scale. In sum, Timo was thoroughly impressed with his seminar experience and would heartily recommend it to anyone seeking to enhance their professional development.