Learning about the IoT in Brittany

The internet of things (IoT) has slowly been adapted in more and more fields, but it still remains a relatively new topic and the technology advances fast. From September 4 to 7, an Industrial Internet of Things Summer School was held in Saint-Malo! Co-organized by IMT Atlantique, German-French Academy for the Industry of the Future, Technical University of Munich and IRISA, this was the very first time that a summer school of this type took place in Saint-Malo.

The IoT is a system of interrelated devices or objects that are provided with the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. The application of the IoT to the manufacturing industry is called the industrial internet of things (IIoT). The IIoT will revolutionize manufacturing by enabling the acquisition and accessibility of far greater amounts of data, at far greater speeds, and far more efficiently than before.

The idea of the IIoT summer school was to provide the participants with the opportunity to gain new insights on this highly relevant topic, and to get in contact with recent advances in the field. The special focus of this first edition was on network connectivity, cyber-security and coding for the internet of things.

Day 1: workshops

The first day of the summer school was dedicated to practical workshops. The participants got to build a LoRa sensor with WiFi and Bluetooth connection, able to collect large amounts data about the environment, such as air quality, fine particles, temperature, humidity, … With an inbuilt GPS, the sensor would then transfer data to the LoRa network.

These types of sensors can collect huge amounts of data, so the students would also need to decide which data and how often they would want to transfer it. These are typical choices one needs to make when dealing with the IoT since there are always compromises to be made between energy consumption, quantity of the data, use of the battery and so on.

Day 2-4: international conference AdHoc Now

The summer school was combined with the international AdHoc Now conference. The conference, created in 2002, addresses both experimental and theoretical research in the areas of networks and wireless technologies. During this 17th edition, keynote speakers from all over the Europe were present, such as Antonio Skarmeta (University of Murcia), Pascal Thubert (CISCO), George Oikonomou (University of Bristol), Luigi Alfredo Grieco (Politecnico di Bari), Marc-Oliver Pahl (Technical University of Munich) and Laurent Toutain (IMT Atlantique). Thus, after the practical start of the summer school, the participants got to attend to keynote speeches and discuss with the experts, in the lovely venue of the Grand Large conference center.

The participants of this summer school were mostly PhD and master students from France but also from abroad, for example Argentina, Germany and Luxembourg. There were no strong pre-requirements in terms of skills so these types of courses could also be very interesting for startups and entrepreneurs working in the field of the IoT.

You missed the summer school? No worries: this first edition was such a success that the organisers are already planning the next session in December… in Munich! They might even create a mooc based on the summer school material. Stay tuned for more information!