Five day IoT workshop at IIIT-Delhi by AICTE-ATAL Program

New Delhi: IIIT Delhi organized a workshop on the Internet of Things (IoT) in collaboration with AICTE-ATAL program along with industry partner Keysight. The workshop was oganised to promote digital learning by creating awareness of various techniques and tools and to explore key IoT concepts, technologies, architectures and standards including identification, wireless protocols and security. The focus of this workshop was on the four domains Things in IoT, Internet in IoT, Security for IoT and Big data and AI for IoT.

Internet of Things (IoT) is a wide and rapidly developing area with expected strong and growing implications for the industry. Using IoT technologies to improve networking and application process enables new and efficient ways. The workshops brought together experts from around the world to discuss and stimulate ideas. Over the five days, 14 sessions were delivered by experts in Industry as well as academia. Experts from industries like Microsoft, STMicroelectronics, VVDN Technologies, Zenatix and academia such as IIIT Delhi, IIT Delhi, and JNU delivered lectures. And the attendees includes faculties at various engineering colleges in North India.

The topics of the talks were very interesting and future facing. Some of the topics are: Large Scale IoT Deployment in the Field, Intelligent IoT, Make in India for IoT, IoT for India-centric problem such as air/water pollution, agriculture and smart homes. The value created by collecting, communicating and leveraging the data from connected IoT devices in digital learning was also discussed by many speakers in the talks.

The speakers also shared their experiences; Dr. Amarjeet, who is faculty at IIIT Delhi and founded a start-up named Zenatix in 2014 shared the challenges in deploying IoT systems for energy savings in retail outlets. Specifically, from hardware perspective, the design of reliable but low cost unit for initial low volume deployment was extremely difficult and they had to depend on China for hardware units. He also discussed the challenges in the data analysis aspects of IoT along with the need for edge computing. For example, due to unavailability of indigenous datasets and analysis models, automation of data analysis and the design of decision making algorithm incurred more than a year delay in field-deployment.

Dr. Savita Ahlawat from IIT Delhi presented the portable particulate matter (PM) sensing device for air pollution and discussed the need of city-wide deployment of such devices. She also shared real-time air pollution results from 50+ sensors deployed in IIT Delhi campus. She showed that air-pollution is not same across the campus and availability of such data will allow us to spend most of the time in low-pollution area. Using the data, she also showed how the dust sweeping leads to significant rise in pollution levels. The need of switching the school time from early morning (when pollution is high) to afternoon was also highlighted. She discussed the ongoing project where such devices will be deployed on Delhi’s public transport buses and we will soon have the localized map for entire Delhi.

Three talks by STMicroelectronics covered various demonstration on deploying IoT systems for smart homes using STM32 microcontrollers. They also discussed the need of strong industry-academia collaboration for effective learning and desired skills-sets for graduating students. Security of IoT systems is very challenging issue and Dr. Arun Balaji Buduru from IIIT Delhi presented various security flaws in existing IoT systems. For example, there is no standard IoT protocol, most of the IoT manufactures are not IoT experts and they still used hard-coded passwords which are easy to crack. He discussed the Mirai botnet attack via unsecured IoT devices which took down quarter of world’s internet in 2016. This was possible only with 1% of the devices deployed in the world now. He shared important guidelines on making the IoT systems secured. This includes regular password updation, regular scanning of vulnerable devices, diabling unused ports, standard security protocol etc. In the next couple of days, few more talks by faculty and industry are being organized.

On the occasion of the this workshop Dr. Sumit Darak, Assistant Professor, ECE Dept., IIIT Delhi, who is also the co-ordinator for this workshop said “IoT is an interesting domain and in the era where both Industry and Academia needs to work together. The focus of the Industry is of course on the business opportunities in the smart systems (buildings, universities, industry etc.) while academia are looking into the security and intelligence aspects of IoT. IoT can contribute significantly to Indian economy if we focus on the solutions for India-centric problems such as air/water/soil monitoring, smart agriculture etc. This workshops also aims to have activities and discussions to enable courses on IoT in the curriculum.”