The latest technological developments and increasingly complex requirements of customers are leading skilled trade and craft professionals to take an interest in the fields of application of connected objects. Within this framework, LIST was chosen by the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts for the launch of its "Tour de Handwierk", a series of workshops giving those working in the trade and craft industry the opportunity to learn about and discuss the digitisation of their business.
At a workshop held at the Institute's premises in Belval on Tuesday 26 March 2019, nine skilled trade and craft professionals from various sectors learnt how to prototype new digital products and services using Kniwwelino.
The creative learning environment for programming and electronics developed by researchers from the Human Dynamics in Cognitive Environment Unit, Kniwwelino was originally intended to provide training to children aged 8 to 15 years. New applications in this environment are taking shape since Kniwwelino is easy to grasp and allows adults to understand the concepts relating to the Internet of things. Inexpensive, it allows for low-cost solutions to be templated rapidly and tested in real-world environments.
This is the use tested by the skilled trade and craft professionals from the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts. After a guided tour of the Cognitive Environment Lab and its innovative technologies, the participants benefited from a Kniwwelino introductory session, giving them the opportunity to test the brand new Kniwwelino Starter Kit. It includes a Kniwwelino card with a power cable, extensions (Servo, LEDs, a buzzer, a button) with crocodile clips, and a comprehensive instruction booklet. Learning through play also works very well with adults, as demonstrated by the inventive use of the buzzer for playing "We Will Rock You"!
Following this was a creative session, where the participants, in small groups, considered how they could improve their business using Kniwwelino. The ideas came thick and fast and included improving work site coordination by monitoring the drying of screeds, tracking breakdown mechanics for the better scheduling of their activities, and using home automation systems to improve wellbeing in the office. A brainstorming session in small groups focusing on the digital challenges faced by their respective business activities and the opportunities offered by technologies (such as social media, the cloud, tracking and augmented reality) in the construction and vehicle breakdown assistance domains was followed by discussions that continued informally around drinks.
The workshop was sold out, which paves the way for future events to be held for those interested in considering how to digitise their business.