El GDG Lleida es el Grupo de Desarrolladores oficial de Google en Lleida.

GDG for Good, Personal Assistants for people with disabilities

| domingo, 7 de octubre de 2018
Andreu Ibanez, GDG Lleida lead organizer, GDG Spain co-organizer, WTM Ambassador

Contact: andreuibanez@gmail.com

Lleida, may 2019

While brainstorming GDG Lleida activities for 2019 we noted than some of the ideas have a clear social orientation, using technology to help people with different kinds of needs. So a motto was created and the GDG for Good campaign was created.

Since january 2019 we have developed several nice events, workshops and actions using Google and others technologies, let’s briefly describe them and go deep on the big one.

Personal Assistants for people with disabilities” was designed as a 2 month long event, with three different actions:

Google Assistant application contest for people with disabilities”, where we launched a contest for developers to code an app that uses Google Assistant and can be used for those persons. The winners were a couple of Brazil students that developed a so called “AI Mirror” project, where a special reflective mirror has a monitor behind with a Raspberry PI running Linux and the core of “Magic Mirror” open source platform, all of this glued with a Google Assistant that allowed the disabled people to do several actions by voice. AI Mirror project presentation on Youtube, code on github

Google Assistant AIY workshop”, where our colleague Orestes Carracedo from GDG Vigo, developed a workshop to create a Google Assistant based on a Arduino based ESP8266 chip. More than forty developers of all ages attended the workshop and wired the chip and simple electronics to finally launch Google Assistant and control an RGB led.

Personal Assistants for people with disabilities” main event with talks and interactive exposition: on april 27th we hold the main event, a morning filled up with talks and live demos of Google Assistant and other assistants like Amazon Alexa. Me personally gave the talk already given more than 20 times in others events: “Google Assistant all over the place”, with live demo including lights and controlling of TV and projectors through Chromecast. Also we have a demo area with several tables and projects with other technologies like Virtual Reality, special glasses for people with reduced vision, 3d printing for prosthesis, and also the contest winner “AI Mirror”, Banc de Recursos NPO and others.

“Google Assistant AIY, AI Mirror workshop”: based on the successful presentation of the AI Mirror winner application, several people asked for a workshop to learn how to make their own smart mirror, and we have a Meetup on this. Link to the Meetup report, and to the Github.

“HAPIS project”, GDG Lleida organized and WTM Lleida lead Claudia Diosan, ideated to create a platform for helping the homeless, and she called it “HAPIS”.
The platform will include an Android application, a backend and a visualization tool, that will allow people that has something to share, like food, money, time, housing and so on, to people in need. We were also happy when Google Open Source assigned a Google Summer of Code “intern” to Claudia to develop his platform with a visualization layer with the Liquid Galaxy project technology.

GDG for Good, PCs for the poor
At the starting of 2019, the Banc de Recursos non profit foundation approached the GDG Lleida by word of mouth, searching for a solution for a huge problem they have: several big companies and public administrations were willing to donate their computers, but these hundreds of computers have outdated operating systems, mostly Windows 7 and Vista, and were in undetermined work conditions. The need was to find a solution with zero cost, easy to use, and that return the computers to minimum functionality. Going to the market was impossible for OS licenses and labor cost, so the GDG Lleida with the help of the Scientific Park of Lleida, where we have our base, proposed a feasible solution: orchestrate a volunteer operation to review the status of the computers, cleaning them, low level format the hard disk drives, and install a free operating system and productivity tools. Of course being GDG and loving it (we use Chromebooks in many of our projects and as daily laptop) we choose Chromium, the open source version of Chrome OS. With this solution we’ll revive most of the old computers, making them workable again, even if they have slow cpus and are short on hard drive or ram. Next to this we explain how to get a free Gsuite account for personal use on every machine and have the computer fully functional.

More than 100 hundred students from local professionals schools and engineering university, GDG Lleida members and organizers, and other persons that wanting to help, came to the Laboratories TIC of the Scientific Park, were a 100 square meters logistics operation was organized, with space to receive the computers, review, clean, low level format the hard drive (task that sometimes took 8 hours for computer), install the Chromium operating system, testing and packing. The asynchronous operation lasted six weeks, and every day volunteers come to our installations and helped endless hours. Finally the PCs were shipped to dozens of local Non Profit and are being used daily without any concern.

In the end of may 2019 the initiative is running again, and 100 computers, monitors, keyboards mices, all kinds of cables, even printers, are piling up again fast and are started to refurbish with the whole process again.

Media:GDG for Good operation short video Youtube

Google photo album: Non restricted use with attribution: “Andreu Ibanez, GDG Lleida”

Google Assistant application contest for people with disabilities



People with disabilities and technology talks and interactive exposition









AI Mirror workshop




PCs for the poor








Press impacts:

HAPIS project

On the TV : regional main TV3 channel about “PCs for poor”

At the broadcast radio UA1FM