ISDC 2016: Climate Change Monitoring Payload for Small Satellites was invited to give a presentation at the International Space Development Conference 2016 in Puerto Rico. 18 -22 May 2016 on creating climate change payloads for small satellites.isdc2016

The key to understanding and taking action on climate change is data. 30 years of sateisdc-newllite-based climate data has provided groundwork for various UN treaties on climate change but more is needed to undertake climate emissions planning and monitoring at the national level. There is also a need to validate the environmental data being provided by the Government – and supplement it with data from other sources including from the civil

The demonstrative climate change payload by HotPopRobot was constructed using Commercial Off-the Shelf Technologies, namely  nitrogen oxides, ozone, and methane sensors for measuring greenhouse gas emissions, Arduino for controlling sensors and collecting data, ultraviolet, luminosity and temperature sensors for gathering physical variables, and radio chips for communications. There was also a provision for taking a climate selfie of the location.

While NASA, EU, India, China and Japan have more than a dozen Earth science spacecraft/instruments in orbit studying all aspects of the Earth system, it is not enough to gather continuous national-level data. More countries need to become space faring and launch their own satellites as more real-time observations and action is needed to tackle climate change. This requires opening up of the space sector and lowering the entry point to working on space related projects.

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Presentation: M.A.R.S (Maze solving Algorithm for Rovers and Space Applications) Path-Finding Rover

Mars does not have a magnetic field nor are there constellation of satellites orbiting Mars to provide accurate location data. So how will Astronauts / Rovers on Mars navigate their way?


On 22 June 2016, HotPopRobot gave a presentation at the Ontario Science Centre, Toronto during the RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada) meeting of the pathfinding Rover they built  for planetary exploration. The Rover takes a snapshot of its surrounding using a web camera and processes this image using edge detection and gradient mapping tools of Matlab software to convert it into a visual maze.

The Rover then applies the maze-solving algorithm to find the best path forward. The coordinates of this path are sent to the driving mechanism of the Rover using Arduino and the Rover is able to drive forward avoiding obstacles. It took us over 2 months to build and program the Rover.

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Building Prosthetics Hands using 3D Printer (Toronto Star)

Artash and Arushi teamed up with Grade 5 students from Jackman Avenue Junior Public School and Jarvis Cohandathon-thestarllegiate high school students for the Canada’s first-ever “handathon” to assemble prosthetic hands that will be sent to children who need them.

The event took place on 5 December 2015 and was organised by E-Nable – a nonprofit organization based in the United States that 3D-prints prosthetic hands, and the Toronto Reference Library.


HotPopRobot @ TIFF DigiPlaySpace 2016 Opening Day

Artash and Arushi ddemo2emonstrated a number of projects at the opening day of the 2016 DigiPlaySpace  (March 5 and 6) organised by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). This was for the second time they were invited to present their projects.

The projects presented this year  were:

Humanoid with 5 Senses: The robot is able to detect light (eyes), hear (ears), touch (skin), smell (nose) and taste (tongue). A combination of buzzer, lights and motor are switched on when any of the senses are activated. Continue reading

LED and Motor Clock: Clockathon (The Toronto Star)

artash_clockCreated a clock using motors, LEDs and a Photon chip for the Clock-a-thon organised by SteamLabs MakerSpace at the Mozilla office in  Toronto on September 24, 2015.

Although Artash has some expertise in Arduino open-source micro-controllers, this time he opted for a “normal ticking clock”.

Source: The Star, Toronto. 25 September 2015.

Robo-Doc: To Give or Not to Give!

HotPopRobot created a Robo-Doc as a part of the “Get Your Bot On! Robotics Hackathon 2015” held at MARS from September 11-13, 2015.

The Robo-Doc was a robot which tends to sick kids at home or hospitals. It can take the temperature and pulse, and communicate it remotely to parents/doctors. Based on this information, the Robo-Doc can be instructed to either remind kids to take their medicines, or offer them books or music to cheer them up.


Winner: Best of Show Maker Festival 2015 won one of the Best of Show 2015 Awards at the Maker Festival 2015 Toronto. This year we made a host of projects specially for the Maker Festival. It included the following:

Bubble Clock: The clock runs for 3 minutes during which it performs a series of tasks which produce light and sound. At the end it releases air from a balloon via a solenoid and creates soap bubbles.

Crazy Wheel: An old bicycle wheel was covered with LEDs and attached to a Gyro sensor. The LEDs light up in a pattern depending on how fast the wheel is turned.

Draw Bot: The ever-popular and newer version of a drawing bot, powered by 2 servos and inverse kinematics code, which creates drawings on its own.

Gesture Sensing Helmet:  A bicycle helmet was fitted with high power  LEDs and Gesture Sensor. It understands the hand gesture of the cyclist and turns on right or left LED depending on the direction in which the cyclists wants to turn.

It was fun. See you next year!