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DEVOXX Paris 2014

April, 16th anno 2014! Time again for the French edition of the DEVOXX conference, as usual in the city of lights: Paris.

Normally, this event is my “relax and enjoy” conference. No work, just discussions with cool people, seeing friends, making new acquaintances and attending some sessions. But this year was different!

Since the members of the Devoxx4Kids France team in Paris are also members of the DEVOXX France team, the organisers asked the Belgian D4K team to conduct a session on Wednesday.

Even having “only” 10 “younger” kids attending this single-session event, there was a huge “visibility” effect for D4K. At least 500 geeks crossed our group of mini-geeks while we were waiting for the D4K event to get started. Nice and fun :-) During the session, we worked with Scratch and the Leapmotion sensor, Lego Mindstorms EV3 and the NAO robot.

Kids having fun with the Lego Mindstorms EV3
Kids having fun with the Lego Mindstorms EV3
LeapMotion movement  detection and Scratch, a great combination!
LeapMotion movement detection sensor and Scratch, a great combination!

Another difference this year: the DEVOXX France conference had also a “Future<Devoxx>” track and part of this track was a hacking zone – The Laboratory – where makers and tinkerers presented their innovations and projects  – and everybody was invited to join hacking in the divers corners.

Laser organ...
Laser organ…
And floppy drive band :)
And floppy drive band :)

In this context, I was scheduled, together with Audrey Neveu and Xavier Bourguignon, to carry out a mini-hackathon on how to integrate the NAO Robot with Scratch 2. We wanted to allow even younger kids to program the robot.

We did not manage to have a full fledged prototype, but we got a running proof of concept, which allowed us to advance on this project during the weeks after the conference. “Success!” I would say!

NAO showing us how to connect him to Scratch :)
NAO showing us how to connect him to Scratch :)

Conclusion: It was a great conference for me. We started a very nice and useful FOSS project, we held a fun D4K session, I met a lot of interesting people and beside of this, I learned a lot, again, even not attending much sessions this year.

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