IOT Week 2018 by IEEE WIE SEECS
The field of Internet of Things (IoT) is the field of the future. Recognizing its importance, IEEE-WIE kicked off the first semester of 2018 by its IoT week. For anyone interested in computers and who had an arduino related project they were working on, intrigued by the fascinating realm of software and programming, or anyone who wanted to learn more about the captivating world of Internet of Things (IoT), this was the place to be! Freshmen were encouraged to attend these sessions as they would be a source of valuable training. The enthusiasm of the first year students did not disappoint!
We had three events on separate days:
- A project showcasing event that lasted for 2 days for the creative geniuses who are eager to share their projects with the world
- Arduino + coding sessions for 3 days that discussed and educated the participants on the basics of these essential and extremely useful skills.
- If all that was not enough, after all this there was an IoT workshop conducted by the brilliant Ma’am Rafia for everyone looking to further their knowledge in technology and enjoy their time in doing something productive!
The week finally kick started by the project showing at the SEECS lobby. What kind of projects were there, one might ask. Well the word “fantastic” would not do them justice as they were much better! There were projects like a plotting device, somewhat autonomous robots and many more! Just about everything that will make you feel that the future is now! The project designers were also very helpful towards the amazed students in telling them what the projects were and how they worked. There were projects in which the devices had “eyes” that could detect using sensors what is in front of them. The students were also intrigued by robots that could be controlled by the palm using a glove (reminding me of the infinity gauntlet from the movie “Avengers: Infinity War”). In other words it was not something to be missed!
Arduino & Coding Sessions
Up next, after a week delay due to the OHTs, we had the Arduino sessions. Held twice everyday, three days a week, these sessions were started from the very basics and build up complexity as students got familiar with arduino over the days. The sessions were held from 1 – 2 and 5 – 6 everyday. The content taught was the same in both the sessions in the same day and this was done to be convenient for the students as they could pick the time they wanted to attend and to accommodate for more participants as the response to this was overwhelming. The students had realized the importance these arduino sessions would hold for them!
Starting with the very basics of virtually creating a simple LED circuit on TinkerCAD online, students went on to practically create that circuit physically using the equipment present in front of them. Eventually, they went on to use more complicated apparatus and creating more complex circuits which included a switch that would make current flow through a seperate path when the button was pressed. On the third and final day, an ultrasonic sensor was utilized in the circuit with an LED indicating whether the setup was working or not. For the end, the participants were given a project which was a competition: an LED that continuously varied its blinking frequency depending on the distance of an object from the ultrasonic sensor.
For the closing day of the IOT week, an esteemed researcher of SEECS, Dr. Rafia Mumtaz, delivered a comprehensive seminar on the advent of the Internet of Things (IOT) and how it has evolved to present day. Dr. Rafia, who is a senior member of IEEE, started by elaborating how the IOT has provided another dimension to the connectivity of real-world objects. Real objects can be related to each other through space and time but the concept of IOT gives a virtual pathway to communication and data transfer between objects which could previously be considered as “dumb”. This helps us to build onto a definition for IOT; which can be expressed as the network of physical devices embedded together via connectivity, electronics and software to enable the collection and transfer of data.
Continuing with her presentation, the former Surrey Space Center researcher explained the hardware and software technicalities of IOT; which mainly consisted of a detailed look at the sensors, actuators and connectivity required for functioning connected devices. This was followed by a brief look into fog and cloud computing, and its role in providing a coherent storage and analysis of data over a network, and shortly after the presentation was concluded with a Q/A session.
Special guest, Mr. Habeel, then commenced the distribution of certificates for the participants and the lecturers. He commented briefly on the event, stating his satisfaction with the number of female participants.
Although it’s been about 20 years since the term Internet of Things was coined, as Dr. Rafia mentioned, it wasn’t until late 2000s that the concept started flourishing and gaining attention. Despite IOT week’s success, Pakistan is quite a way from utilizing the full benefits of IOT. However, it is exactly in times like this that the role of entities like IEEE and other academia are vital.