IIoT course@IISc: IoT Landscape: Opportunities and Challenges +Smart DOL starter demo (Week 4)

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PC: Photography Lovers @ IISc Bangalore

Dear Friends,

Firstly, thanks again for taking time off to read this post. I have received very interesting and valuable thoughts to my previous posts about the course that I’m conducting at Center for Continuing Education at IISc, Bangalore. Please continue to share your thoughts. I’m glad the experiments that I’m doing with in this class room is now not limited to the class room.

We had Mr. Shankar Kashyap from SVG control systems coming in as a guest speaker on the second week to share the problem statement on various industrial control panels that they manufacture. After that class I had requested him to make a small size (and low cost) control panel for the simplest of the applications that they regularly sell. Mr. Kashyap took serious interest in the same and got it done in less than two days so that we can implement IoT features in the panel to make it a smart panel. He sent us the DOL (Direct-Online) Three phase motor Starter control panel, which was just portable enough to put inside a car. Soon after we got the panel, I put my interns Manju (Electrical Engineer) and Arpit (Mobile App Developer) from my company (FluxGen) into work. I asked them to incorporate the data acquisition and control hardware and software to the DOL starter panel and enable internet connectivity with mobile interface. My colleague, Arun, guided them to make a pretty neat working Smart DOL Starter (in less than ten days), which in fact was ready a day in advance to my last Friday’s class. I was thrilled by the speed at which these people developed it and I could sense the same thrill in my class when they witnessed the monitoring and control of the DOL starter on a mobile app in spite of the fact the internet connectivity was weak inside the IISc campus.

The actual high point of my last Friday’s class was after the demonstration of the smart DOL starter by Arun. We had VP of IESA, Mr. Venkatesh Kumaran (fondly addressed as Venki), as the guest speaker. Venki, who was also the country head of Wind River (subsidiary of Intel) in the past, is the most energetic person I have met in the IoT field so far. Despite being a high profile person, he accepted my initiation to speak in my class room in a very short notice. Venki’s topic for my class was IoT Landscape: Opportunities and Challenges. He started his talk with a very interesting graph called “Hype curve of IoT”, which in a way explained how the IoT market might shape in coming years. He went on to talk about: global Investment in IoT based startups so far, various IoT segments, growth prospects in IoT, expected connected devices by 2020, role of AI and analytics in IoT, semiconductor technology associated to IoT, various platforms for IoT, security aspects related to IoT, hardware accelerators in IoT, Government initiatives for IoT based business, promising IoT startups from India, and so on. Its almost impossible to enumerate all that he spoke in the class — only those who has seen him talk would know the power at which he delivers the lecture. Having said that you may find this post very useful, which he has has co-authored https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/internet-things-iot-startups-india-jan-2017-pal-choudhury?trk=hp-feed-article-title-share

After the class, everyone was super thrilled by the lecture given by Venki. I could see some kind of an enlightenment in every ones face. He killed many of the myths in IoT in an hour long lecture. He thoroughly endorsed the Indian startups (not just in IoT) which are doing inspiring work, so much that we as Indians would feel proud to be fellow citizens. His motivating speech on taking entrepreneurship over working for a secure job was so compelling that even I felt little proud of being an entrepreneur in spite of the fact I had to face my share of hardship over the years. While it’s a common feeling for anyone who has met Venki that they should have met him earlier, however I’m super glad that my class got an opportunity to see him speak words of (IoT) wisdom!

My personal interaction with my class didn’t end after the Friday’s class. Nearly one third of the class met at the workbenchprojects (a makers space, fablab and co-working space) on Saturday afternoon to explore the possibilities of using the facility for prototyping our ideas that are shaping up in the form of assignments and problem statements shared by guest speakers from Industry. We could see wide variety of equipment to do rapid prototyping, like 3D printer, laser cutters, CNC machines, carpentry tools, Soldering station, welding tools etc at Workbenchprojects. More than the things, I must say the people in Workbenchprojects are super friendly creatures driven by the desire to create something fun. Many thanks to Richard, Balu Sir and Anupama for spending their time for our benefit and showing us how to make the world a better place, even if that little place is below a metro station!

Thanks again for taking time off to read this post — I’m hoping to share more exciting developments in this course in my next post. Also please note that if you think you can contribute to this course by sharing useful contents/links/videos/ppt (or by giving guest talk) on the following topics then kindly write to me: Writing Business Plan, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud computing, Data analytics, Startup strategies for fund raising, Industrial Electronics, Embedded ICs for IoT (from Semicon industries), Mobile App for IoT products, UI/UX for IoT products and Signal Integrity.




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