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TU Dublin at IEEE 5th World Forum

Posted: 17 April, 2019

A TU Dublin delegation recently attended the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 5th World Forum on Internet of Things 2019 in University of Limerick.

Paula Kelly, Pictured with the IoT Lab in a Box, Michael Core, Damon Berry, Frank Duignan from School of Electrical & Electronic Eng. City Campus, and Paul Stacey from Dept. of Engineering, Blanchardstown Campus.

Members of the TU Dublin team presented two highly successful IOT tutorials on Monday 15th April, the first day of the conference including a physical computing workshop "IOT Lab in a Box." (Using a specially assembled, branded TU Dublin kit).

About the 'IOT Lab in a Box' tutorial

Interest in The Internet of Things (IoT) has expanded far beyond the original domain of embedded systems engineering. A complete IoT taught module must address a broad range of technologies, both hardware and software, often requiring the use of specialised embedded system laboratory facilities.

The TU Dublin Lab in a Box tutorial at the IEEE WF-IOT conference described how the team reconfigured and redeployed a conventional undergraduate IoT module offering, to enable its delivery with a minimum of specialist materials. The purpose of this redevelopment was to allow a broader audience reach, to remove some of the practical issues associated with delivering an IoT module and with facilitating its delivery outside of a laboratory environment. 

The tutorial also outlined the rationale behind the initiative and demonstrates how an IoT module, including components of the MEAN stack of web technologies and Bluetooth Smart, can be taught using these three inexpensive, hardware components and open source pre-configured software solutions. The development of the workshop has yielded valuable insights, which can now be brought back into undergraduate and MSc level engineering IOT modules and programmes.  

What's in the box?

An essential ingredient of the work was to strip IOT infrastructure down to the bare essentials while keeping the cost low: the Lab in a Box contains only three components.

  • a BBC Microbit  - an easy-to-use device which includes several sensors including electronic compass, an accelerometer, temperature sensor, switches and LEDs as well as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity.
  • a BLE dongle 
  • a USB memory stick containing pre-configured persistent live Xubuntu Linux - to take the place of a Raspberry Pi or Beaglebone in a traditional IOT system.