How can you interact with mechanical online components and operate with devices in the setting of corona restrictions? Also how can you hold a lecture online when the team is asked to construct complex hardware components? Read about an experienced example and get a feeling for why the HFT got rewarded with the Studycheck seal "Covid 19- study digital, we're in it".
A single hand is lying on the table, threateningly stretching its fingers upwards and reaching for anything it can reach. The prelude to a horror film? Luke Skywalker's hand cut off by a lightsaber? No, because the green plastic parts and protruding wires suggest that this is more of a technical test setup than a horror scenario. The wires end in a glove equipped with sensors, which a student wears and controls the artificial hand through his movements. He and his team are trying to overcome the contact restriction imposed by COVID-19 by making movements and palpable actions possible even from a distance.
Other teams of the Actuators course have also been inspired by the current crisis and developed creative solutions. Building access systems with integrated detection of sick people protect against further infection and contactless disinfection dispensers ensure hygiene. But other topics were also addressed, such as the recognition of different bottles and crates by means of colour sensors in order to enable recycling according to type. A total of nine very different project results were achieved, which were implemented in an experimental manner and always digitally networked.
These projects were carried out by students of information logistics as part of the actuators module. Here the students were able to apply the knowledge they had acquired during their studies and put it into practice. In addition to the basic programming and computer science knowledge, an understanding of the various processes and applications in industry, which they had previously acquired in the lectures and exercises, was particularly helpful. A knowledge which is in great demand in industry today and whose needs can hardly be met by universities. In addition to the classic fields of study such as computer science, electrical engineering and logistics, an interdisciplinary understanding of the interrelationships and processes is increasingly required - and this is precisely what information logistics conveys from the very beginning.
These very early, practical experiences are also what motivates the students. The project results immediately show the enthusiasm with which the students have applied their knowledge in their own self-chosen projects. Even Corona could not stop this, even though distributing the necessary materials and exercise kits and working in online teams without being able to meet in person was a great additional challenge. More than 1800 individual parts alone had to be put together for the exercises and projects and distributed in the course. But the students and teachers accepted this challenge and so at the end of these successful projects excellent results could be presented. And, by the way, the students became online professionals, even if the big wish remains: Hopefully we will be able to work directly together again next semester!