The Bruges Campus of KU Leuven to become a smart campus

The Bruges Campus of KU Leuven to become a smart campus

Sensors that measure air quality in a classroom and send a message to the teacher when a break needs to be scheduled? Machines that let users know when they are ready to operate? It will soon become a reality on the Bruges Campus of the KU Leuven university.

The Internet of Things (or IoT) is a recent development whereby all kinds of objects (e.g. cars, machines or small appliances) are connected to the internet. The IoT allows all these devices to communicate with each other and with us. The GPS on your smartphone will show your family when you will arrive at the family party, and workers will be able to check if a machine is still operating correctly from a distance.

The rapid growth of the number of devices connected to the internet through IoT technology presents us with a huge challenge. Not only does this result in an abundance of data, but also the different types of data involved and their vastly differing flow poses new challenges. For example, a weather station only sends out temperature data every 10 minutes, while a webcam transmits real-time video images on an ongoing basis. How best to analyze the data will differ greatly.

In order to solve these challenges, researchers from the MGroup (Mechatronics Group) research group at the Bruges Campus and the DistriNet research group at the Computer Science department of KU Leuven installed a sensor network on the new KU Leuven campus in Bruges. This sensor network consists of several nodes, each of which has a number of sensors and a radio transmitter and receiver. These nodes will be installed at key places on the campus and gather information in classrooms or labs where machines are located. The information the sensors collect is then sent via the nodes to a central point.

The network is intended to become a testing ground for developing new algorithms and software allowing for the processing of the raw data at the node level, this to ensure that the network itself will be less taxed. The new network will also allow for longer simulations running for several weeks or even months, such as e.g. the research of the efficiency of certain machines and buildings. External researchers will also gain access to the network to test their applications.

Some of the planned applications of this new network on the Bruges Campus will be of immediate use to both researchers and students. Classrooms can be equipped with temperature, humidity and CO2 sensors, allowing the teacher to check through a smartphone app when to best schedule a break. Researchers from the M-Group, who focus on machine building and mechatronics, can receive a message when their tests on certain machines are completed, allowing them to work more efficiently.

For the supplier of the IoT fabric, VersaSense, a spin-off of the research group imec-DistriNet at KU Leuven and expert in the domain of IoT solutions, this campus-wide system provides for a challenging demonstration of their “VersaSense IoT Fabric” product line in an educational environment.


Editorial Contacts:

for KU Leuven

Prof. Dr. ir. Hans Hallez

for VersaSense
Guy Vancollie
+1 805 259 8988

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