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  3. Learning on the Edge

    The internet of things (IoT) is complex. Examined at an industry or national level, there are a huge number of variables and players, that it’s hard to even visualise how all the components will ever work together to realise the potential. However, we all have a vested interest in ensuring the IoT industry blossoms to reach its full potential. In the IoT Engineering Community, we have previously spoken about the technical skills required to develop the IoT engineering workplace. A key point identified is that it practically impossible for anyone one individual to become expert in all areas relating to IoT. A rule of thumb is that it take 10 years to become truly expert in a field. Well, IoT has dozens of discreet fields of equal complexity. To complicate matters further, the engineering of an IoT system is just one part of the picture. In a webinar on Tuesday 20 March titled Flattening the IoT Learning Curve, Frank Zeichner sets out the broader context of IoT learning. Learning at multiple levels, from individuals through companies to government. It’s all interconnected and none of these levels will get the full benefits without the other. He argues that the most valuable learning is that which comes at the edges of three broad domains relating to engineering, business and industry domains. Its only when an engineer truly understands the business imperative or vice versa for the C-suite, that we begin to develop skills that will truly make a difference. Similarly, both the business and engineering skill must be applied in a way that will work for that particular industry. The application of IoT is different in a variety of industries and while the technology may be the same, unless you understand all those complex variables in context of application your project will be on risky ground. However, the potential is there. The Food Agility CRC, which Frank discusses in his presentation, is aiming to shift the food sector from a $46 billion to a $100 billion industry by exploiting the potential of digital transformation, primarily though IoT. The IoT Alliance Australia, of which Zeichner is the CEO, has an Education and Skills Workgroup which is creating an education Framework to “provide a methodology for scoping, developing, and tracking the type of education engagement required to expand the IoT knowledge, skills and capability development delivered by education providers and professional bodies that intersect the IoT marketplace”. Learning needs to take place at the individual, organisational, industry and national levels. Unless we get practical progress in learning how to successfully exploit the potential of IoT at all these levels, we run the risk of a major lost opportunity as other nations aggressively push a coordinated agenda.
  4. New IoT Devices Made in Ukraine

    Thank you, you were right very interesting information. I was surprised by most ideas ( Luciding in the first place, of course, i need it ). I am happy that IT industry in Ukraine developing so fast, statistics here. So who knows what the future holds? Hope we will see more (useful and funny) devices.
  5. Building Industry Applications

    There are a number of areas that IoT will be applied in the building industry: Things in Buildings: Virtually every component of a building can be sensored to deliver superior performance benefits. For example, see our case study on lighting control. Systems in Buildings: The way all the different things in buildings are connected will change as well. Primarily this is in relation to new forms of building management systems. However, depending on the building sector any number of enterprise systems will be disrupted by IoT. For example tracking of critical assets within buildings will change dramatically. Essentially, whatever the problem is Construction and maintenance of buildings: Again tracking of building components during the procurement and construction phase will bring productivity benefits to the construction process. Workers' clothing and equipment can also be instrumented and connected. For example, helmets may include visors with augmented reality to assist workers in assembling and maintaining equipment. It can even be used to monitor the movement of adjacent buildings during construction. See our micro case studies for more examples.
  6. Building Management Systems

    Introduction The concept of IoT Building Management Systems (BMS) as a service is poised to change the building industry. As the price of internet connected sensors comes down, a large number of sensors can be placed in a building to provide multiple data points connected to advanced cloud based analytical systems. This delivers superior BMS performance to traditional engineering approaches. Building owners own their data, while allowing service providers to help them optimise the efficiency and sustainability of their facilities. This approach also facilitates auditing of the actual performance of building management systems during the critical Defects Liability Period. Traditional vs IoT BMS The purpose of BMS is to achieve sustainable buildings and cities. They should increase efficiency, resilience, security and productivity, as well as reducing environmental impact. They may also incorporate intelligence (as in smart cities) and have the capacity to detect and fix damage. Traditional BMS were pioneered several decades ago. They started the process of automated control and data collection. A diagram of a traditional BMS is shown below. Diagram courtesy of Bob Sharon, Blue IoT Traditional BMS were often proprietary systems. They were expensive to purchase, and modifications to data extraction rules or reporting functions (“steering wheel options”) were also costly. This meant that many BMS owners did not use their systems to their full potential. Other challenges included the long lead times to make changes to the system, the high cost of the cabling to connect extra sensors, specialist programming services required (also costly), and limited alarm complexity without blowing out the budget. Data extraction and report customisation was typically complex and expensive, as was integrating additional data sets from additional systems or devices. And in many cases, the BMS vendor owned the data. A diagram of an IoT BMS is shown below. Diagram courtesy of Bob Sharon, Blue IoT IoT BMS solved many of the issues of traditional BMS systems through open system architectures, wireless technology instead of cabling, increased agility and integration, and reduced operation, modification and maintenance costs. A general comparison between traditional and IoT BMS is shown in the table below. One comment is that some tradition BMS are also starting to become more open. Diagram courtesy of Bob Sharon, Blue IoT Democratisation of data is another advantage IoT BMS have over traditional systems. Open source platforms where the client owns the data allow system modifications to be easily made, and the client to change vendors to meet their service requirements. This trend is set to increase in BMS and other IoT applications. The transition of BMS from traditional to IoT systems is still progressing. So for mission critical applications it may be advisable to use an open source traditional BMS with two-way communications and control form the cloud, with the option to shift to complete cloud operation as the technology matures. Architecture considerations for IoT BMS Considerations when choosing the data aggregation and IoT architecture for an IoT BMS include: Which protocols should connect the sensors and IoT platform? What form of communications technology best suits the application (eg Zigbee, wifi 802.x, Sigfox, Bluetooth low energy (BLE) and LoRaWAN? How will your application engage with the cloud? Who will own the application data (vendor, building owner, users of devices)? Is an open or closed architecture most suitable? It is also recommended that a highly resilient (tier 3 or tier 4) data centre is used for BMS to ensure that data management meets requirements. Sensors and Predictive maintenance One of the problems with traditional BMS is the cost of adding additional sensors, which means that the minimum number is used. With IoT BMS, this cost is greatly reduced, which opens up opportunities for a wide range of data collection to be integrated. It is important to pay attention to data calibration and validation, to ensure that high quality, accurate data is collected. A diagram of some of the sensors which could be used in an IoT BMS is shown below. Diagram courtesy of Bob Sharon, Blue IoT Self-healing and predictive maintenance In particular accelerometers, vibration transmitters and switches can be used to monitor critical rotating machines, and perform predictive maintenance. For example, accelerometers can be used to measure vibration and measure the harmonics of motors. Through monitoring, faults can be fixed before they fail. Advanced machine learning tools will be invaluable for implementing self-healing machines that can dramatically reduce maintenance costs and risks of outages and out of hours maintenance. These cost reductions can offset the cost of installing an IoT BMS. Data analytics There are various data analytics platforms that can take data from thousands of sensors in disparate building management systems (over thousands of buildings if necessary) and create effective interactive analytics and visualisations for end users. This data can be interpreted by engineers and other experts to solve issues that are detected. Security Security of IoT BMS is crucial to ensure that hackers do not take control of the BMS or use it as a pathway to corporate networks, both of which can cause significant damage. A robust, holistic security architecture should be chosen, which implements security at every level including choice and security measures and levels for all of the following components of the BMS: sensor hardware communications protocol cloud IoT platform gateways cloud data centre Other considerations are whether encryption is used, if AI is used to check for unwanted signatures, whether a mesh network being used for sensor communication (can introduce additional risks), which geographic locations the data is going to before it reaches the data centre (and associated risks vs timely transmission of data). While risks cannot be entirely eliminated, they can be greatly reduced with careful security planning and design. An example of how BMS security can be implemented using LoRaWAN is shown below. Diagram courtesy of Bob Sharon, Blue IoT LoRaWAN has the advantage of being able to be encrypted, and the sensors are isolated. The data goes from the sensor directly to the gateway. From the gateway, it goes out over either 3G or 4G, or to another LoRaWAN base station, depending on the system design. This lowers the risk of hacking and additional AI layers can be added for further security. Two-way communication may also be available depending on the class of LoRaWAN used. This example is suitable for low bandwidth data. Sources: The content on this page has been primarily sourced from: Webinar titled “The death of Building Management Systems as we know them” by Bob Sharon, Chief Innovation Officer, Blue IoT See also the article of the same title in our discussion forum with some comments.
  7. Energy Analytics

    Title: The Data Indigestion Crisis: New approaches to Energy Analytics Presenter: Umesh Bhutoria, Founder and CEO, Energytech Ventures Description: With billions of new sensors from the Internet of Things flooding organisations with data, coupled with cheap cloud storage and processing capacity, we are rapidly heading toward a data ingestion crisis. If organisations are to take advantage of the benefits of IoT, there needs to be a step change in the ability of engineers to take advantage of advanced analytics. However, there remains a lack of skilled resources and a bewildering variety of options in the solution stack (hardware + software + platform). In the energy analytics area, companies globally are expected to spend up to $4 billion annually in the manufacturing and utility sectors alone. However, they are also expected to only reap 30% of the potential value from their investments, due to poor identification and leveraging of actionable insights. As a result, it is expected that analytics as service will grow rapidly along with a range of business model innovations but organisations still need to understand what services they are procuring. This webinar aims to help prepare organisations to invest in data analytics by setting out the basics of the field and then addressing the massive changes taking place due to the Internet of Things. It will show how to get started, how to deal with vendors and how to bring people in your organisation along with you. The presentation will also include a number of energy analytics case studies, including from the textile industry in Asia. About the presenters: Umesh has over ten years’ experience in energy efficiency having worked with clients like the World Bank Group, IFC, Sweden Textile Water Initiative, Tat Motors, TERI, NALCO, Aditya Birla Group, SIDBI, Mardec, and Welspun across India, Bangladesh and Malaysia. He was the Energy Manager of the Year in 2013 for Energy Engineers India and was recognized for pathbreaking work in Energy Analytics in 2017 by AEE Western India Chapter. When: 12pm (NSW time) 17 April 2018. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes question time. Where: The presentation by webinar Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  8. Satellites vs LPWAN

    Title: Space Wars: Satellites versus LPWAN Presenters: Warwick Gillespie, Research Engineer, Sense-T, University of Tasmania and Simon Edwards, Research Engineer, Sense-T, University of Tasmania Description: As satellite options for delivering backhaul communication services for Internet of Things systems begin to roll out, engineers in numerous fields will need to choose between the space-based systems or the new generations of terrestrial based Low Power Wide Area Networks. Engineers usually rely on the specifications provided by vendors when designing the best technical solutions. However, what happens in the field can be a very different matter. Sense-T, at the University of Tasmania, has been conducting live trials with some of the very first nanosatellites to come online against LoRaWAN, one of the leaders in the LPWAN space. Set in an agricultural setting, the aim of the project is to determine real world information on key factors like power consumption of IoT devices and the range of the terrestrial systems. Factors such as weather conditions and topography will be assessed, delivering valuable insights not just to agricultural engineers, but any one working with systems in remote locations, mobile systems or global distribution chains. The webinar is scheduled to be delivered as soon as the results have been analysed, given EA members cutting edge insights in this new frontier of IoT. About the presenters: Warwick has been a Research Engineer in the Sense-T team at the University if Tasmania since 2015. Prior to this he spent five years at Myriax, a Hobart based Software Company, as Technical Support and Product Manager on the Eonfusion software project, a multi-dimensional GIS package for analysis and visualisation of time-varying geospatial data. He has also lectured in Engineering at the University of Tasmania. Warwick has a Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Systems) with First Class Honours and a PhD, both at UTAS. His PhD research focused on content-based video indexing and retrieval, developing video processing techniques to define feature metrics, and investigating machine learning algorithms to perform classification and indexing. Simon has been a Research Engineer in the Sense-T team at the University if Tasmania since 2016. He has worked with technology companies since 1990 and has gained a wealth of experience in research and development. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics, Hons) and areas of research have included embedded systems, refrigeration technologies, X-band radar, precision temperature control systems, and neural networks. Simon has over 15 years’ experience in IT and commercialization and founded a successful start-up in 2000, developing bespoke networked applications/software products. He also has extensive experience architecting applications streamline compliance and business processes in various industries. When: 12pm (NSW, Australia time) 15 May 2018. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes question time. Where: The presentation by webinar Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system by clicking the register button above.
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  10. Hi Heath I'd be happy to give a talk about on-farm IoT if that would interest your group. July would suit me. Best regards Andrew at MEA
  11. What does it take to be an IoT engineer?

    A Litmus Test for the IoT Thanks for your kind words, Tim The modern conundrum is that there are two audiences in this IoT hype cycle; those seeking funds who are targeting investors, and those building real systems targeting farmers with gear that must work and be supported on-farm for at least a decade. It’s taken me a long time to figure out a way to differentiate between the two. The former is characterized by new players who see agriculture as a ripe field for new IoT products. These folks seem to be acting under the old British legal mechanism known as ‘Terra Nullius’ which sees Australian agriculture as ‘an empty land’ available for plunder. The fact that there is a rich history of trial and error, success and failure by long-standing companies in this arena is simply brushed aside, or goes unrecognized as an inconvenient truth. This is possible because both startups and investors are equally ignorant of the deep ground truths that make agriculture such a difficult place to make a living. The second class of citizen are those who have been in the game for a long period and know just how hard this business is. It’s not simply that equipment is beaten up by Acts of God, Mother Nature, animals, lightning and rogue humans on farm machinery, but that farmers are both a practical and sceptical bunch; they have been parasitised by every salesperson on the planet. Farmers don’t read web sites then buy the glitz; they find out from fellow farmers which suppliers are cutting the mustard in looking after them in the long haul and offering value. They have sheds full of stuff that didn’t work! You can recognize the real players by their bruises and their reluctance to skite about how terrific they are. They know where the bodies lie. Any success is hard-won. In short, nobody gets credence with me in the game unless they’ve been through a long period of on-farm humiliation. This takes years of tenacious effort, toe-to-toe with farmers and their agents, making stuff work and fixing what doesn’t. Your case study telling of Taggle’s reasons for getting out of the agriculture market pretty much makes my point. So, hoping 2018 is a good year for you too, Tim. You and Geoff Sizer have done much for Australia's engineering community by the creation of this forum.
  12. What does it take to be an IoT engineer?

    Great to hear this update and cant wait to hear about your four new IoT solutions. Yes, agriculture does seem to be a sector that does seem to be targetted by a disproportionate number of IoT ventures, not just start ups but the big global players going into partnerships with governments, universities and the like. Interestingly, I was interviewing Taggle this week in preparation for an upcoming webinar from them and I discovered they started life by targeting tags for cattle. However, they exited that area early because they found that farmers were a hard bunch to get money out of! They pivoted to water meters and now dominate the IoT space for that sector. All the best for 2018 Andrew! Tim
  13. What does it take to be an IoT engineer?

    Old Dogs and the IoT It’s been a year of the utmost tedium: MEA versus Mother Nature in the ‘Valley of Death’. Done and dusted. Our Green Brain now holds ¾ billion climate and soil moisture records and this grows at about a dozen new records every second. Plexus ‘ZigBee’ + 3G telemetry delivers IoT data from over 4000 sites. Farmers can access their data at any time, from anywhere. The MEA production line and service department are likewise approaching calm and stability. We’ve got the bugs out of many things. But from every angle I’m still being told that “the true role of an IoT startup is to EXIT!” Under this modern business model, my job would be to carry the cash to the bank and to let the new buyer pick up all the loose ends of first IoT product release. It would be up to the new company to go through the hard slog of creating real value, brand loyalty, jobs and channels to market and service. ‘Old school’ – on the other hand – strives for the paradox of product stability and a sustainable business. You can’t be sustainable if you don’t obsolete your stable old products and battle through the Valley of Death after product launch to stabilise the new ones. Since MEA first launched modern on-farm IoT product in 2013 there has been an explosion of technology, hype and competition. Therefore, the race continues: we’ve learnt that no single IoT solution fits all farms. Once again, we are creating a new startup within an old company. On the drawing board are not one – but four – modern IoT technologies that will spring forth to plug the gaps in our product spectrum and our competitors’ muzzles. And what can I conclude from all this? Simply that general-purpose ‘measurement engineering’ – a discipline I invented for myself 34 years ago to describe what I did for a living – is a pretty good fit to the modern IoT.
  14. Asset Tracking with Blue IoT

    IoT asset tracking company Leash It developed a RTLS solution for use in multi-storey buildings to pinpoint the exact location of an asset on a floor plan. The solution used BLE low energy Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, multiple gateways and software to constantly map the location of assets within the infrastructure. The solution also provided the option of adding sensors for heat and humidity, as well as an accelerometer. To implement the solution, a floor plan must first be uploaded to locate assets within the building. Then gateways need to be placed in the floorplan and installed in corresponding positions in the physical building. Thirdly, assets need to be uploaded to the registry and the unique code of the asset tag allocated to each asset, then the asset register should be exported to the asset management system. Once this is done, permissions and notifications are allocated to staff, and the gateways activated to start tracking assets and collecting movement data. Notifications can be sent via SMS, and are sent according to rules set during system installation. For example, if a piece of equipment is removed from its allocated area, or a (tracked) staff member enters an area for which he or she has not completed the required OH&S induction. Depending on permissions, staff can search the floorplan for particular equipment, or click on gateways to see which assets are located nearby. Data is also uploaded to an analytical engine which can break down asset utilisation and productivity, including how long an asset has been in a particular place, and all the places it has occupied within the building. The solution allows location within floors, and also identifies what level floor assets are on by using reference point architecture with gateways in every office and open area of every floor. The gateways are able to determine distance from asset by signal strength, and the concrete between floors stops the Bluetooth beacon being transmitted between storeys. It is accurate to within a metre. The battery life of the tags typically used for assets is around three to five years, although smaller Bluetooth tags (eg. For laptops) can last one year. The solution can be retrofitted to existing infrastructure as the gateways connect to local wi-fi and detect Bluetooth tagged assets. It can also be used in wider areas such as outdoor mine sites as it implements a number of gateways with ranges from 15 to 120 m. Leash It has established a free asset tracking network called the Community of Things (CoT).This can be used to track commercial assets that are reported as lost or stolen through a consumer asset tracking App on consumer’s phones, forming a mesh network that can detect the reported assets and send a GPS location to the owner.
  15. Flattening the IoT learning curve

    NOTE change of time from our normal schedule. This webinar is at 2pm Sydney time. Title: Flattening the IoT learning curve Presenter: Frank Zeichner, Industry Associate Professor, Schools of Systems, Management and Leadership, University of Technology Sydney Description: The learning curve around the Internet of Things can be very steep and it is almost impossible to learn all of the technologies involved to any great depth, yet IoT should be on the career path of every engineer because it is expected to impact every industry and discipline. However, engineering professionals that can climb this learning hill and become an IoT specialist in their industry sector are likely to be in great demand. With the growing maturity of IoT, universities, association and vendors alike are all scrambling to find the best ways to flatten the IoT learning curve to produce more engineers able to work in this burgeoning industry. Frank Zeichner is in a unique position to offer advice, having authored a major report on the uptake of IoT by industry, as CEO of the IoT Alliance Australia (ioTAA) and now developing courses at UTS. In this presentation, Frank will describe the options for learning about IoT and getting involved with the technology. He discusses how individuals, companies and entire industries can develop practical pathways of learning by chosing the right mix of formal, informal and experimental options. He provides examples of what some organisations are doing in the space, including Tulip (Technology for Urban Liveability Project) and the latest achievements of the IoT Alliance. About the presenter: Frank is CEO of the IoT Alliance Australia, the peak IoT industry body, Industry Associate Professor, Schools of Systems, Management and Leadership, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Director of the Knowledge Economy Institute at UTS an Industry/Research hub for IoT and Cities. In addition, Frank is also a board member of Telsoc. When: NOTE change of Time 2pm (NSW time) 20 March 2018. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes question time. Where: The presentation by webinar Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  16. Proof of Value

    Title: The Tinder of IoT: Proof of Value Presenter: Renald Gallis, BP Ecosystem & Marketing Description: Building proof of value is the final frontier in what some call the wild west of The Internet of Things (IoT). The technology of the IoT is well established now and engineers can connect any system together to work functionally. However, many IoT pilot projects fail to make it through to mainstream adoption. In this presentation, Renald Gallis discusses how to develop “proof of value” to help take your idea from concept to commercial success. Proof of value starts with the design process and building the business case, but has a much stronger focus on how to scale up design concepts into large scale industrial settings. Organisations looking to innovate their businesses, need to develop the maturity of their approach to IoT by understanding the technology, the options and compromises. Above all they need to foster strong relationships with large players to ensure the longevity of any solutions. As a network operator, Thinxtra often find itself match-making business relationships between the many and disparate organisations the IoT space, a process it calls the Tinder of IoT – and the key to making these relationships work is to build a robust proof of value that works for all partners in the project. About the presenter: Renald Gallis has 25 years of senior management experience in different continents, leading teams from diverse departments and multi-cultural backgrounds. Over the past four years he has focused IoT/M2M markets including smart cities, smart industry and smart agriculture, including helping Thinxtra become a network operator building nationwide Internet of Things in Australia and New Zealand using Sigfox technology. When: 12pm (NSW time) 3 April 2018. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes question time. Where: The presentation by webinar Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system linked above. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  17. After obtaining $10 million in funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Thinxtra is expanding its Smart Council Program to deliver its Sigfox network to any council in Australia that wants to experiment with the Smart City Concept. More information at: https://www.thinxtra.com/2018/02/thinxtra-empowers-councils/
  18. Defence Technologies

    Soldiers participating in the 2017 Contested Urban Environment Strategic Challenge (CUE17), an activity led by Defence Science and Technology to investigate new and emerging technologies that can improve the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities of soldiers when operating in cities during conflict so there is less risk to them and the civilian population. Picture curtesy © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence. Title: Defence Next Generation Technologies: Driving Innovation in Defence Presenter: Dr Alex Zelinsky AO, Chief Defence Scientist, Department of Defence Description: This presentation outlines the operation of The Next Generation Technologies Fund managed by the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group. It will show how industry and universities can get involved in delivering emerging technologies for the future Defence force. Introduced with the Defence Industry Policy Statement in 2016, the Next Generation Technologies Fund is an investment of $730 million over ten years supporting forward-looking research and development. Together with the Defence Innovation Hub and the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, these three form the integrated Defence Innovation System. About the presenter: Dr Alex Zelinsky’s scientific career includes working as a computer scientist, a systems engineer and a roboticist. His career spans innovation, science and technology, research and development, commercial start-ups and education. As the Chief Defence Scientist since March 2012, Dr Zelinsky leads the Defence Science and Technology program within the Department of Defence. Prior to joining Defence, Dr Zelinsky was Group Executive for Information Sciences at the CSIRO. Dr Zelinsky was Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Seeing Machines, a high-technology company developing computer vision systems. He was also Professor of Systems Engineering at Australian National University in Canberra. In 2017, he was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday honours. He has been included in Engineers Australia’s list of the 100 most influential engineers since 2009 and in 2015, Engineers Australia awarded him the prestigious M A Sargent Medal. When: 12pm (NSW time) 3 July 2018. The presentation will last 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes question time. Where: The presentation by webinar Cost: This presentation is free to members of Engineers Australia (EA), the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and IEEE. Just provide your membership number during registration for the event. The cost for non-members is $30. How to register: Please register on the Engineers Australia event system. Note, to register you need to have a free EA ID which you can get on the first screen of the registration page. Take note of your ID number for future events.
  19. Bulk webinar registration

    To make things easier for you we are now offering a bulk webinar registration service. Community members can now register for an entire year of webinars just once instead of having to register for each webinar individually. To subscribe (free for EA members) just: Email iotengineering@engineersaustralia.org.au with your name and membership number You will receive an email with the webinar link a few days before each IoT event. You can unsubscribe at any time by emailing the same address After one year we will invite you to resubscribe. I you don't respond you will drop of the list. Note: Non members can purchase a subscription at EA Books. Please share this with non-members, or better still, suggest they join Engineers Australia.
  20. Incarceration with IoT

    Introduction Replacing prisons with high tech systems capable of detaining prisoners in their own homes and the use of artificial intelligence to predict and prevent imminent offenses may sound the stuff of science fiction, but rapid advances in technology surrounding IoT makes such a vision a possibility worth discussing. A system that effectively turns prisoners into internet nodes using IoT wearables with the ability to deliver electric shocks would have significant social impact. These ramifications need to be taken into account along with engineering design and legal considerations. This application of IoT falls at the intersection of engineering, technology and law, and as such, needs an interdisciplinary approach. The case for technological incarceration Big data, IoT, and AI can be useful in reforming and improving certain aspects of the legal system. One candidate is the prison system, which has remained largely unchanged for hundreds of years. In Australia and many other Western countries, the rate of incarceration is increasing as governments respond to voter pressure to be tough on crime. This comes at a high social and financial cost. In the US, the cost of running prisons is tens of billions of dollars per year. In Australia the annual cost is in the billions. It would actually be cheaper (although not practical) to assign an individual police officer to each prisoner. For prisoners, incarceration causes effects following release including diminished life expectancy, prolonged unemployment and reduced income. This leads to further costs to the public purse. In addition, a disproportionate number of underprivileged and minority groups are imprisoned, including Indigenous Australians and African Americans. One of the main arguments for incarceration is to deter people from committing crimes. Research has shown that a more effective deterrent than fear of prison is the belief by a potential criminal that their crime is likely to be detected, and that prisoners with a harsh sentence reoffend at a marginally higher rate than those dealt with leniently. Protection of the community through incarceration of violent criminals is also limited to the length of sentences. How could technological incarceration work? Technological incarceration has the potential to punish criminals and keep the community safe while reducing the financial and social costs of traditional incarceration. One proposal is to implement a variant of home detention which uses electronic bracelets or anklets along with an IoT system to achieve: real-time tracking of offenders’ locations constant surveillance of offenders’ actions immediate immobilisation of offenders who are committing a crime or escaping Challenges One challenge of technological incarceration is that GPS tracking with wearables is not an adequate substitute for prison because it cannot prevent offenders from harming others in their location or if they escape. To solve this issues, the wearables need to be able to report to a central location in real-time. For constant surveillance, and prevention of harm to the public, the cost of corrections officers viewing CCTV for every offender is too expensive. Therefore a computer-monitoring solution needs to be found. The final challenge is how to immobilise offenders who are reoffending or escaping. This could be achieved by incorporating a device such as a taser into the offender’s anklet, which could be remotely activated if incapacitation was required. Technological incarceration could be perceived as “soft” by the community, and education might be needed to convince the public that deprivation of liberty is a harsh punishment in itself. Conversely, some may see it as too harsh, due to complete loss of privacy and the risks of tasering. It could be argued that these concerns are not as great as the current ramifications of traditional incarceration. Technological incarceration would also place a burden on families, be vulnerable to technological failure, and present privacy concerns to family members and engineers and technicians involved in maintenance of the incarceration equipment. An important question is the number of technology triggered taser-related deaths, or failures of tasers leading to public danger that society is willing to tolerate, similar to the issues of driverless vehicle-caused fatalities and casualties. This needs to be put in context with current issues including deaths and violent attacks in prisons, and crimes committed by offenders on bail. Another question is whether technological incarceration would be made available to every offender, or only those who are not violent or dangerous. As the offenders would be imprisoned in their own homes, provisions would also have to be made for accommodation for homeless offenders. Technology The electronic anklet is existing technology. There are two forms: one uses RF tracking capability and the other GPS. The GPS version has the capability to accurately track offenders to within around 10 centimeters. They are fitted with an alarm for tampering, and cost around a sixth to a tenth of traditional imprisonment. In existing devices, fibre optic technology is used to provide tamper-proofing: a beam is interrupted when offenders try to remove their device. However, this technology is only used currently for offenders on parole or with a non-custodial sentence. To solve the more complex problem of monitoring and incapacitating offenders in real time if they are posing a danger to others, proponents of technological incarceration have proposed the use of sensor vests in conjunction with computer-based monitoring with technologies such as machine vision. Rather than installing fixed sensors (infrared temperature sensors (IRT), audio sensors and cameras) in offenders’ homes, these sensors could be installed in modified police vests. This has already been trialled with cameras in vests to provide police accountability. Machine vision has the potential to detect suspicious movements such as fast hand and leg movement, or picking up implements.There is also a lot of promise in using sensors and machine vision interpretation with convolutional neural networks (ConvNets or CNNs) which have proven effective in image recognition and classification in driverless cars and robot vision. One issue is the transmission of sensor data (particularly high definition video) in real time for analysis. This could be resolved by analysing the data locally on the vest, and transmitting interpretations, however, it is yet to be determined if available interpretation technology is small enough to be mobile. Another area for further investigation is how integrated audio, visual and other sensor data can be used to gain a picture of the offender's activities than high definition video alone. Biosensors (which are used in the monitoring of athlete’s condition) could also be used to monitor offenders’ emotional state. Stable communications are also necessary for the transmission of real time data and triggering of tasers. This would require a reliable 4G, or preferably signal in the offender’s home. If the data connection is lost, police officers would need to be called in. This is another argument for only using technological incarceration for lower risk offenders. Low battery charge levels on the tasering device would also trigger a police visit. Facial recognition technology also has the potential to allow monitoring of the gradual reintegration of offenders into society after their sentence has been served. Progress Technological incarceration using IoT systems is feasible, but its implementation is limited by social and legal concerns and challenges. Once these challenges and concerns have been addressed, it might be possible to trial technological incarceration on less dangerous offenders (elderly, female and white collar) in controlled conditions. If society does go down the path of technological incarceration, it is unlikely that people would be completely removed from offender management. In the case of a suspicious movement, an alarm could alert corrections officers and provide them with a visual feed to make a decision on the appropriate response. Once the technology has been proven, it might be possible to hand over more control of the response to the AI system, in a similar way that we are now allowing driverless cars to make judgement calls on the road. The manufacturing and supply of devices that could be used in technological incarceration is primarily based in the US at the moment, but there is potential for it to expand to Australia and other nations if society accepts its implementation. Sources: The content on this page was primarily derived from the following: Webinar titled “The Internet of Incarceration” by Professor Dan Hunter, Dean, Swinburne Law School
  21. The death of Building Management Systems as we know them

    Hey Tim good discussion topic. It certainly would be an interesting financial analysis comparing the cost of cloud based service versus a well delivered and managed BMS system and or the wired vs wireless solution. The issues we see appear to be predominantly caused by poorly engineered and commissioned systems coupled with maintenance contracts that do not add value. Using wireless sensors and other low cost sensing technologies technologies helps with initial capital cost but does not address the poor engineering and commissioning practices. Whilst I agree the sensing costs have dropped dramatically the financial model needs to take into account the fact that a wired point can last 30 plus years. Looking forward to the webinar Vince
  22. Australian Smart cities and infrastructure

    Efficient buildings and public lighting; access to clean energy and water supplies; the ability to travel efficiently; a sense of safety and security - these are the prerequisites modern cities must fulfill to stay competitive and provide a decent quality of life for citizens. The 3rd Annual Australian Smart Cities and Infrastructure Summit delivers a programme that offers solutions to these challenges. Link to further details: http://elm.aventedge.com/iot-asci-home Contact Waleed Ahmed for registration: waleed.ahmed@aventedge.com
  23. The death of Building Management Systems as we know them

    Great question Heath, If you turn up to the webinar you can ask the question yourself. Otherwise i will ask it for you. Cheers Tim
  24. Yes, it is so often the case that the benefit of a capital purchase is not the presence of capital itself, but the impact of that capital if properly managed. In those cases it doesn't make sense for a customer to purchase something they have no relationship with. BMS customers don't want thermometers, they want efficient climate control. Smart Parking customers don't want an array of sensors, they want data. Farmers don't want to manage ultrasound sensors, they just want to know if their tank has run dry. If you sell a widget, then you're incentivised to sell more widgets, even if that's a non-optimal way to solve the problem. But if you sell a service then you're incentivised to make that as effective as possible. But it does require a bit of future thought from both the customer and the supplier - at least with a capex the customer can say I'm willing to risk $x dollars, hope to break even in y years and after that is a bonus. Where as deciding to sign up for a service means you have a future risk of that service degrading or increasing in price or requiring on-going negotiation. Similarly for the supplier - selling at a margin means you can start at one and grow from there. Selling a service means taking a hit on the first few years until (hopefully) the economies of scale start to work in your favour. I'm starting to think that given the onus on the supplier to maintain service levels, provide updates and continually chase the security rabbit, that offering a service scheme is the only responsible thing to do. And that building in succession clauses that protect the customer from unforeseen changes will begin to be expected. So my question is, how long are you willing to bankroll the customer's purchase to provide a competitive upfront price? And what is your incentive to stick with a non-proprietary solution?
  25. Why would you buy a building management system at a huge upfront cost when you can get one for free, in return for monthly service fees that actually drive down the total cost of ownership? Following is a preview of a webinar on building management systems being run by this community on 6 March. I would be interested in your comments and questions we might ask of the presenter. The Internet of Things (IoT) is disrupting virtually all industries but it is particularly effective in challenging conventional approaches to control systems. Building Management Systems (BMS) are archetypal control systems with multiple sensors driving actuators to optimally maintain a comfortable working environment. Historically, large commercial and industrial projects have looked to proprietary systems from large vendors, partly because they were initially the only options on the table, and perhaps with a bit of the “if you buy IBM you won’t get sacked mentality”. However, the IoT is changing all the assumptions which underpinned previous procurement decision making and in particular it is opening up the market to competition from a wide range of start-ups. These start-ups aim to not just innovate the technology, but challenge the entire business model. The first impact of IoT on the BMS industry has been the dramatic plunge in the cost in sensing, communication and installation. Traditional BMS systems typically have a price tag in the order of AU$5000 per sensor point plus ongoing maintenance, and budgets typically allowed for a small number of devices. One consequence is that a large percentage of BMS systems are just used for alarms. Moving away from proprietary systems, that price point is now closer the $150 mark per month including maintenance, allowing thousands of sensors to be deployed for the same price. This opens the possibility of not just a finer level of control in more locations but an increased ability to diagnose system wide issues. In addition, the advent of new communication technologies in the form of Low Power Wide Area Networks is facilitating cheap secure communication without the need for wiring. The cost of data wiring is prohibitively expensive and wireless connection with low power devices that can run on a battery for years has been a game changer. There are other benefits as well, including LPWAN’s superior performance in building penetration, inbuilt security protocols and much longer battery life. Large BMS vendors have been responding to the challenge with their own versions of the “Industrial Internet of Things”, opening up their devices to be more interoperable with other systems and trading off their brand recognition to maintain market share. However, the procurement process remains the same with all the associated issues around the lowest cost tendering process and the adversarial relationships arising from dealing with faults during the Defects Liability Period. With the coming of IoT and all the associated start-ups, the competitive landscape has been radically altered. These challengers are now looking to escalate the challenge by upending the entire business model of the BMS industry – by doing away with set price contracts and delivering BMS as a service. One such company is Blue IoT, a Melbourne-based company that is now offering building management systems as a service, or more precisely, Software Data Analytics as a service. Blue IoT will be delivering a webinar to the Engineers Australia Applied IoT Engineering Community on 6 March 2018. Under this startup’s new business model, the client pays no upfront fee for the sensors or whatever associated building services such as HVAC that are included as part of the contract (depending if it is a new install or a refurbishment). Rather, the costs are absorbed in monthly service fees that include all maintenance and optimisation of the system. Importantly the service includes a human layer where data coming back from the system is analysed by electrical, mechanical and controls engineers who specialise in determining root causes of issues and fixing the problem the first time. The crux of this new business model is a guarantee that the system will deliver specified savings (if the project is a refurbishment) or function at an agreed performance level. If the system does not there are associated penalties for the service provider. Another big change is that the client owns the data and, if it serves out the agreed contract span, it also take ownership of the sensor and actuator hardware which is all non-proprietary. This allows the owner to change service providers if they wish, but of course the service provider will be doing their level best to keep their business. At the heart of this model is a move away from the adversarial relationships that have plagued the building industry. In an upcoming webinar (see below), Blue IoT founder Bob Sharon will explain how tenders are typically awarded on the basis of lowest price there is typically no margin for error – either in the delivery of the product or in the original specification. What results in buck passing from the lead contractor right down to the smallest suppliers and back to the client if they dare to ask for the smallest change to the original spec. With a service model, the building services integrator is completely incentivised to deal with all the problems and get the system performing at the highest level. There are a number of beneficial side effects arising from this change in responsibility for system performance. Typically, facility managers would see alerts relating to a particular part of the system, say a pump, and call the relevant contractor to fix it. However, the root cause of the problem may be elsewhere in the system and facilities mangers are not typically experts in diagnosing problems in what are increasingly complicated systems. However, service providers have the benefit of being able to collate data across the hundreds or thousands of different building management systems and sensors they manage and develop expertise not only in diagnosis but in preventative maintenance. A key game changer in service based IoT solutions is that all data is typically uploaded to the cloud where big data analytics can be usefully deployed to pro-actively monitor and optimise smart buildings and cities. Over time, machine learning will play an increasing a role in analytics, delivering a step change in performance. It is these kinds of IoT technologies that give service providers the confidence to offer performance guarantees. This paradigm shift of turning products into a service is at the heart of the IoT revolution. We see it over and over again in the most successful IoT startups. Swimming pool filtration systems are now being delivered free in return for a service contract guaranteeing crystal clear water quality. Garbage bins can be delivered free to Councils in return for a service contract guaranteeing they will be emptied just before they reach capacity. Success is rooted not just in technological innovation but in the reimagining of business models. Dr Tim Kannegieter is the Knowledge Manager at Engineers Australia charged with sharing knowledge around emerging technologies.
  26. Newcastle IoT Pioneers is a free, rapidly growing meetup group established way back in 2016, for anyone operating in the Greater Newcastle region looking to derive some value from the Internet of Things. We meet monthly and last year we had a full calendar of presentations from the likes of Meshed, Thinxtra, Newcastle City Council and Schneider Electric, as well as IoT superstars Stuart Waite and David Goad. Today I'm putting the call out early to try to book in some presenters for the year's events. I know there's interesting stories from the trenches to be told but I don't know how to find them! If you or someone you know would like to share your experiences with a friendly bunch of movers and shakers in Newcastle, please get in touch. We meet on the first Thursday of every month at a pub in Newcastle. Regards, Heath Raftery
  27. The Internet of Incarceration

    Hi Tim and Robert, Thank you for the webinar. As an engineer that works on the design of prisons, I have a couple of important questions: 1. Have you completed an estimate of number of corrections officers per offender? 2. Another risk I can see, is how would you protect the overall system from external penetration/hacking? Thanks again. Maciej
  28. Tim having difficulty with no log email?  Robert Relf   0408 999768

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