“The market of Internet of Things (IoT) is going to be the next big thing in the tech industry, and will have 20 billion devices connected by the year 2020.” This was the introduction to the 4 day workshop and Developer Weekend on IoT and Smart Home Automation, conducted by Electronics, Communication and Instrumentation Forum (ECIF) of the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Amrita School of Engineering, Bengaluru campus, in partnership with StudyOwl, started with people trying to digest the full potential of IoT in ways they had never imagined.

Developer Weekend was a community driven event. The motto of Developer Weekend was to ‘focus on new and trending technologies and to utilize the weekend to master the technologies learnt’. Developer Weekend provided students with the opportunity to interact with, and gain insights from, industry experts from various technical backgrounds.

On the first day, December 17, 2016, the participants of the workshop were addressed by Mr. Anuj Duggal from Google Inc. and Mr. Avirup Basu, an Intel Software Innovator. Under their guidance, all the 30+ participants were given Intel Edison Single Board Computers with an Arduino bridge to access the Things side of IoT. Everyone was in awe seeing the Intel Edison SBCs, as they packed the power of full size laptops and weren’t any bigger than one’s toenail. Having such a compact, yet mighty devices, in their hands, they bombarded the mentors with a flurry of questions about the extent of what could be achieved using these SBCs. 

Their daylong session was packed with imagination, ideas and new avenues for the application of technology. Mr. Duggal and Mr. Basu interacted with the attendees in a very friendly manner and guided them through the basics of the boards. The day ended with the team's learning to use and control LEDs attached to the Intel Edison SBCs, using the internet solely. They also saw the use of temperature sensors, LCDs and various other peripherals with the SBC.

December 18, 2016, began with Mr. Krishnan from Synopsys explaining the structure and working of the Arduino Uno Microcontrollers. He thoroughly explained how the programming runs, how one connects sensors and peripherals to the Arduino and the safety measures to make sure nothing blows up! His session was filled with students applying the acquired knowledge in various ways, debating and testing the structure of Arduino. By the end of the day, the participants were well versed in the structure, working and programming of the Arduino.

Mr. Yeshwanth, from Continental Automotive, took over the session on December 19, 2016, and instructed the participants about working with the NodeMCU – an Arduino based Microcontroller that has the WiFi module built into it. He guided them through the installation of various libraries into the IDE and the configuration of the IDE to support NodeMCU boards. Further, he went on to explain how NodeMCU could be connected to WiFi, and multiple peripherals on it controlled using a Web Browser on a PC through the internet. 

The IoT approach was furthered with participants installing the Blynk application on their smartphones and the required libraries in the IDE to control the peripherals attached to NodeMCU using an easy to use and widely available mobile app over the internet. The workshop ended with fascinated participants discussing the multitude of possibilities that IoT brings into making “Things” smarter, better and more efficient. Everyone left with their own idea of applying the learnt techniques and methods at their homes, dorms and other places. Ultimately, the workshop had educated all participants how to exploit the never ending domain of Internet of Things.

Amrita TBI - Technology Business Incubator
Amrita TBI is a non-profit incubator supported by Govt. of India and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. Amrita TBI funds, mentors and nurtures ideas, startups and entrepreneurs.

StudyOwl
StudyOwl is startup incubated at Amrita TBI, which solves a problem that engineering students are facing today. StudyOwl is building a more career-oriented training, with shorter duration, focused on the nuts and bolts of the job stream.

Electronics, Communication and Instrumentation Forum (ECIF)
This forum falls under the ambit of the Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering (ECE) and Department of Electronics & Instrumentation Engineering (EIE), and encourages students to implement innovative ideas in electronics, communication and instrumentation. Every day brings forth new developments and the forum provides interesting insights into the best and latest technology. The activities organized by the forum assist students in perfecting theory and delve into intricacies of practical applications. Themes of seminars, presentations and papers range from Digital Signal Processing to Wireless Communication.

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