What is the Pocket Science Lab Project
In the Pocket Science Lab Project we create phone and desktop applications to collect measurements and data to solve global problems with science and build a sustainable world. With the PSLab mobile and desktop apps it is possible to use sensors of a phone or desktop PC to collect measurements and data. The app comes with a built-in Oscilloscope, Multimeter, Wave Generator, Logic Analyzer, Power Source, and we are constantly adding more digital instruments or even robotic controls. With PSLab applications your phone or PC becomes like many devices in one. Adding widely available Open Standards sensors and the PSLab board you are able extend your device to be a complete lab in the pocket. You can collect air data, temperature, water quality, the level of radioactivity and anything you could imagine. Once you are ready you can share the data, draw scientific conclusions, and start to take action to change the world around you to be more sustainable. And as a developer you are able to create your own plugins and front-ends to integrate the PSLab science libraries into other solutions.
What is the PSLab Board
The Open Source PSLab board is a small USB powered hardware extension for your Android phone or PC that adds additional sensor capabilities to your phone and enables you to connect to possibly hundreds of available sensors. Simply connect two wires to the relevant pins and start measuring. You can use the PSLab apps to view and collect the data. All sensors following the I²C are compatible and it works without the need for programming. What experiments you do is just limited to your imagination! If you are a developer you can also add new features to the device by implementing functionalities in the firmware or changing the schematics of the hardware itself. Get your Open Hardware Pocket Science Lab extension or produce your own using the available schematics and start experimenting.
Who is it for
It can be used by anyone! Teachers, students, hobbyists, scientists, anyone who wants to know what is going around yourself.
What can it do
It can function as a..
and many more without the need of programming because we provide it with the software!
What are the specifications
4-Channel up to 2MSPS Oscilloscope. Software selectable amplification stages
12-bit Voltmeter with programmable gain. Input ranges from +/-10 mV to +/-16 V
3x 12-bit Programmable voltage sources +/-3.3 V,+/-5V,0-3 V
12-bit Programmable current source. 0-3.3 mA
Supports Advanced Plugins/Add-on Modules
4-Channel, 4 MHz, Logic Analyzer
2x Sine/Triangular wave generators. 5 Hz to 5 KHz. Manual amplitude control for SI1
4x PWM generators. 15 nS resolution. Up to 8 MHz
Capacitance Measurement. pF to uF range
I2C, UART data buses for Accel/gyros/humidity/temperature modules etc
How can it be connected to the phone or PC
Pocket Science Lab is directly powered through the USB connection. It doesn’t need any other external power source. All you need to do is to attach it to the phone via a USB OTG cable if you are using the mobile app or directly to your laptop’s USB port if you are using the desktop app.
What sensors are available
PSLab has digital pins to plug in sensors and extend the functionality even further. The device supports any sensor using the long-established I2C standard. Hundreds of compatible sensors are available on the market. I2C sensors are used widely in consumer and industry devices and for example with Arduino boards. A list of recommended components and sensors is available here.
How to use ESP WiFi and Bluetooth
PSLab has slots for ESP and Bluetooth chips. The functionalities are already implemented in the firmware. Solder the chips to the dedicated slots. For the WiFi functionality also don’t forget to install the relevant packages on the ESP WiFi chip and you are ready to go. Devices can be powered through an external battery when they are accessed through Bluetooth or WiFI.
Who develops it and how to help
PSLab is developed by FOSSASIA in Singapore and OpnTec in Germany together with a global community. You can join and contribute to the development by collaborating on the Android app, desktop apps, firmware and hardware on GitHub. Please join development if you are developer or learn and promote Open Science and PSLab.
What is the vision
The vision of PSLab is to miniaturize laboratories and make scientific instruments accessible for everyone. There are a lot of problems in the world from environmental problems, to daily challenges in our personal lives, to challenges we face in work life. In order to solve these problems we need to understand the world around us. Open Source labs that are small and accessible enable us to do our own experiments and collect our own independent data to do just that. We can also verify official data, e.g. air quality, by doing our own measurements using sensors. Or, use the out of the box tools for measurements of electronics devices and components to ensure they work as expected. Whatever measurements we do freely licensed Open Source applications and hardware ensure that experiments are replicable and verifiable. They are trustworthy because all layers are open and can be build up from the ground by anyone.
Proudly supported by
Padmal is an Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering graduate with a first class from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Being a past GSoC student building up the PSLab project with FOSSASIA, his interests lies in hardware/firmware development.
Marco A. Gutiérrez is a PhD holder in cognitive vision planning for robotics systems. He has contributed to RoboComp, the Point Cloud Library and Open Perception. He is also the co-founder of GlideX, a startup in the field of AI for network security.