IIoT course@IISc: Interfacing Circuits & Development Platforms (Week 3)
The IIoT course that I’m offering as part of Proficiency at the CCE, IISc is going beyond what I had initially expected - I can say so by looking at the assignments submitted by the participants and the interaction that we frequently have both online and offline. In fact we have formed a WhatsAPP group named as 14WEEK IoT Technologies, which is used as a means to communicate ideas, share links, express interest to volunteer for demos in the class, share problem statements etc. Last Friday’s (27th January) class pretty much started at the institute canteen (Prakruthi), when I was having a cup of coffee before the class. Seven to eight members of my class joined me at the coffee table to discuss about their problem statements and also shared their thoughts on how we can achieve the main goal of this course.
In the last class I spent time on two topics. The first topic was about electronics circuits required to interface the sensors and actuators to the digital hardware. We discussed various circuits starting from simple voltage divider circuit to DC Motor controller circuit. Since the class had people from nearly all major disciplines of Engineering I didn’t want to go into too much details of the circuit design. The second topic I rather spent more time was about various IoT development platforms, which involved discussions on System on Chip (SoC), FPGA, rapid prototyping hardware, single board computers etc. I had mentioned that I’d be talking about these (in WhatsAPP group) earlier and invited people to show demo using the popular IoT platforms if they wished to. Quite many of them were familiar with a few platforms and while some were pepped up to show demos using the same. We had Arduino and Raspberry Pi based demos by three enthusiastic participants in the class and we also had a demo of a project based on the temperature and humidity sensor (that I discussed in previous class) by a senior participant — I could sense that people were really responding to the idea of contributing to the learning process of the class by proactive participation.
Like previous Friday’s class I handed over the last half an hour of the class to the invited speaker from industry. Dr. Chetan Raghuveer, co-founder and director of Enfros-Solar was happy to present slides of the solar PV panel manufacturing facility that he was running to the class room. He shared various challenges involved in manufacturing solar PV panels and gave interesting thoughts on how it can possibly be managed by the use of IoT. He expressed strong willingness to invest money on products that would increase the productivity of his solar panel manufacturing plant while reducing manual labor. The problem statement that Dr. Chetan has posed is also one of the problems the class will be working in the coming weeks and see how we can develop a product that would cater to his needs and in effect to the needs of solar PV panel manufacturing industry.
I’m quite excited about the prospects of the coming weeks as we will start working on prototyping Industrial IoT products, which will most likely lead to interesting demos by the participants. Thanks for going through the post- please feel free to share any IoT development platforms that you think is worth trying.