Maker Faire Berlin 2016

Posted: 4. October 2016 in Allgemein

A m2016-10-03-photo-00000034onth ago my family and me moved to Berlin. It is so cool to be back here but of course I miss my friends 😦

From Friday till Sunday Finja and
I were at the Maker Faire in Berlin with our Magnetic Field Scanner. It was such a cool experience! Meeting interested people, getting feedback and getting to know new people … and of course a lot of other amazing electronic projects. But standing for 8 hours a day was exhausting too.  🙂






Posted: 15. June 2016 in Allgemein

I was invited to give a TedxTalk! The topic was “Everyday Breakthroughs” and I must admit I had fear of speaking in English for 18 minutes in front of many people! But as I got there and listened to the other speakers, it wasn’t that bad J. They were so fascinating and I really enjoyed being there! My talk was about my breakthroughs I had before and during my projects and about different kinds of breakthroughs in general.

Because break-through is a huge word, and it implies that all the mysteries or problems have been solved at once (… far from it in reality…) and sometimes these changes are just the starting point of new developments.

There also was a magician who performed two of his tricks! The others had a lot of cool ideas and rousing talks! It was so interesting and I am really glad to had the chance to speak there and to get to know the other talkers!!


You can download the paper from my talk here (thanks to Phill Sears for proofreading) and I will link a video of the talk as soon as it’s available.


Intel ISEF 2016

Posted: 15. June 2016 in Allgemein

When I got the invitation for the Intel ISEF 2016 I wIMG_7676as so excited and was very happy to be able to participate in this competition with my eye-controlled wheelchair.

After a few months and a lot of paper work we packed our stuff together and flew to America!

Our flight was going from Düsseldorf to London (where we had to wait 6 hours because the flight was too late) and from London to Pheonix, Arizona. The safety control was easier than we first thought… They just waved us through with all our electronics in our bags (we had to take the wheelchair, 1 extra big bag for the electronics, 2 smaller ones for the electronics too and 2 big ones for our clothes)!

Our hotel had a great view and all the people were so nice! Wherever we went the people were so excited that we came from Germany!  The whole first day was time to make your project ready and fit the posters etc.  Firstly we had some difficulties with the space but till the end of the day we solved them.

The next day, Monday, we made a trip to a recommended river, which at least was in the blazing sun so that we decided to eat ice cream. 😉

IMG_7770IMG_7825On Tuesday we also made a trip but this time it was so awesome! That was the moment I realized we really were in the desert. There was nothing except cactus families, sand and rocks. It was really hot and your water was warm after a few seconds only…

On the next day the most exciting thing started: the judging day!

One presentation should exactly take 15 minutes. There was a list were judgers could register themselves to listen to the projects. But there could come unheralded judgers too. We had one or two breaks because as one judger went to the next project, another judger came to judge our project. This was really stressful but interesting as well. All judgers were nice and it was very exciting to explain our project to professional people. After the judging day was officially closed, we could then enjoy the rest of the day.

The special award ceremony was on Thursday in the evening. Before that the visitors could listen to the projects. A lot of students got there too. We all were excited and I must admit I really didn’t await to receive any award. But we won three special awards!!! One from Sigma Xi, the scientific research society (“First Place Life Science Award”), one from the Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST) for originality and innovation as well as an honorable mention from the Assocation for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.IMG_7746

The next day the grand award ceremony took place: And we won a second prize in our category “embedded systems”!! All in all team Germany did a really good job! 😀 After the ceremony we then started our way back home. It was a fantastic week in which we got to know interesting people, and new places and a different culture and I think we all enjoyed these days!!


Magnetic fields are a fascinating subject – they surround us, protect life on earth and allowed orientation, e.g. of migratory birds on far distances and for us humans, long before we relied on smartphones with GPS 😉

We have no sensory organ for magnetic fields, so in physics classes we discuss magnetic fields with the help of their force effects. Iron filings are used to visualize the force field of magnets magnetic, because they form line patterns indicating the magnetic field lines.

This is a very vivid visualisation – but there are several limitations: It is only qualitative (you cannot measure the magnetic flux density by this) and works only on the horizontal plane. Furthermore, what is, for example, “between” the lines that result from the alignment of the iron filings? Should the magnetic field not decrease gradually with distance, instead of significantly staggered?

My friend Finja and I tried several visualization approaches to circumvent these limitations. First, we experimented with ferrofluids (great fun, very messy, still only qualitative) and moved on to use sensors, microcontrollers and some other electronic bits and pieces.

Our first scanner was build from ABS tubes and customized 3d-printed parts we developed on our own. It was supposed to operate with parallel kinematics to have both motors in one place – not to interfere with the measurements taken. We did not get the right bolt drives for it and the strings slipped too much to be precise.

P1010921Since the deadline for the science fair was getting close, we chose another path and started all over again. This time we used an old fischertechnik plotter from the 1980’s that has been laying around in our school ever since (unopened!).

We exchanged the steel tubes for carbon ones and changed the design a little bit as well. Instead of a pencil it now carries a breakout board for an SMD magnetic sensor, commonly used in robotics to orient the robot according to earth’s magnetic field. It measures the magnetic flux density in 3 dimensions and with 8 different ranges – the HMC588L.

We used a motorshield, added an SD-Card-Shield we built from an Micro-SD-Card Adapter our self, an LCD-Display and Bluetooth to make the device controllable via a Smartphone-App.


We can now analyse the magnetic field by measurement of its flux density and visualize it in 3D. For the moment we only scan regions (a plane) and measure the three-dimensional vector (BX | BY | BZ) | of every single measuring point with assigned coordinates (Y X) automatically.

The result is a vector field – a bit uncommon in 9th class math to P1010948work with 😉

But it is quite easy to understand the principle: If you imagine that the invisible magnetic flux can be measured and the direction of a force resulting from interaction with it would be visualized as an arrow, the direction of the arrow gives you the orientation in space and the length the value or “intensity”. In Physics, you use vectors on an incline to determine the forces acting on an object – and is very obvious that the direction and the value are important!

To imagine a vector field you can simply think of a grainfield, with every grain representing a vector. If no external fource acts upon them, the grains grow more or less identical (same orientation) and reach the same height. External forces can now change the orientation of vectors in this particular field, like a wind blowing over it.

Coming back to magnetic fields, we can determine the spatial orientation and intensity of the magnetic flux at any given point on a 2d plane (scanner area).Herz_88uT__4A

As a result, we have a 5D-vector field of the examined magnets, which can be visualized with the aid of mathematics programs such as Matlab and investigated further.

steppermotor-core--magnified-200x200 130µTWe have some nice examples of current loops and magnets. You can also visualize how the earth’ magnetic field is distorted by even small steel items like a keyhole saw blade.

For further development we want to extend the scanning device so that the height of the scans can be changed as well – then we would measure a 6D vector field…


mag_schraubenzieher2We won first prize in Physics on the federal state level of the science fair Jugend forscht (Schüler experientieren) and a special price for nondestructive examination.
A special thanks to Sebastian Groß from Mathworks – he supported us with the licences of Matlab we needed to visualize and analyse the data!


You can download the PDF here, but it’s in German. We might translate the most interesting parts later on…

MAG3D – Analyse von Magnetfeldlinien als 3D-Vektorfeld



This is really incredible – WASP is a cool Italian Company developing 3D-Printers with a vision to support people with it (3D print in architecture) to make the world a better place. That’s where their name comes from: World’s Advanced Saving Project.

IMG_6122I contacted them to ask if I may get a discount on their printers or a kit instead of a readymade printer (well, you know, I love building things) – because for the Eyecontrolled Wheelchair and my next project, the 3D-Scanner for Magnetic fields, I needed to print a lot of designs during the development process.IMG_6995

Marino and Stefano from WASP were so amazed by the project, that they decided to send me one! When I got their answer by mail, it was extremely hard to remain calm and not frak out due to happiness – I was in school that time (yeah, smartphones and schools – a combination most teachers do not like)

THANKS a lot to the WASP-Team

Wear IT

Posted: 15. June 2016 in Allgemein

A few months ago I was in Berlin at the WearIT festival! It took place in an old industrial building. It was a really cool location! There were many interesting talks and I learned a lot of wearable electronics! I also gave a talk in English. I was very nervous, but during my talk I was nearly relaxed! Besides the people there were so nice and cute! They motivated me and took care of me! I really enjoyed this three days! To make the acquaintance of people who are interested in electronics helped me to get along with my project. I met Niklas Roy there, he is a really cool technic talented guy who gave me his electric wheelchair which he used in his project “Gallerydrive”, here’s his blog. He made the huge and very(!) powerful wheelchair following lines an the gallery floor while reading out information about displayed art.
And I got all the schematics as well, so I don’t have to worry about reverse engineering the way the controller-joystick works in combination with the huge and powerful motors. I’ll try to integrate that to my eye-controlled wheelchair…



Amazing, I can spend 2 weeks in Berlin – my favourite city

Paul and me were invited to Tag der Talente (“talents’s day”). It’s an event where young students, talents in different fields (like art, literature, dance, language and of course STEM)  can meet each other and do workshops.

FotosScreenSnapz001We did the introduction yesterday with your project live on stage!

It is a great atmosphere and I will attend the workshop “Junior Lab” today – can’t wait to see what we can do there 🙂




From Wednesday on I will attend WEAR-IT, an amazing art and science festival in Berlin, dedicated to wearable electronics and fashion technologies. It looks like my dreams get real, since I always love to build something (IT-like) you can wear; like assistive technology or art. I can’t wait to meet the designers, tinkerers and like-minded people there!

And the following week I’ll meet a lot of friends and students from Jugend forscht (German science fair) again, since we are invited to meet Dr. Angela Merkel, our Federal Chancellor…

I’ll post some more infos soon, must leave for the “Junior Lab” workshop now 🙂