Google IOT Research award for CIT Lecturers

CIT Computing lecturers Dr Donna O’Shea and Dr Sean McSweeney have been selected by Google to participate in their Internet of Things (IoT) Technology Research Award Programme.

This Google programme was sponsored by father of the Internet Vint Cerf (now Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist) and was open to researchers from across the globe.

IoT involves connecting objects and devices that form part of our everyday lives to the Internet. Such smart objects, connected to the Internet can communicate with each other and with us enabling novel applications and services. For example, a thing in IoT could be a smart fridge, embedded with the intelligence, that would notify us that the milk stored on its shelves is out of date and remind us to purchase some fresh milk on the way home. This year, in 2016, it is expected that 5.5 million new things will get connected every day and by the year 2020 it is envisioned that 50 billion of these things will be connected to the Internet.

To realise the vision of IoT there are a number of research challenges that need to be addressed with include: interoperability of IoT related systems; privacy and security; and management and provisioning of the devices that form part of the IoT ecosystem. The Google IoT Technology Research Award Programme called for proposals focusing on addressing part of all of these challenges through an IoT research pilot.

In this pilot, Dr Donna O’Shea and Dr Sean McSweeney will be provided with Google IoT technologies to create an IoT Cloud platform to support the online delivery of modules related to IoT. These modules, some of which are being co-delivered by research staff in Nimbus (, currently form part of the BSc Computer Systems (CAO Code CR116) degree delivered in the Department of Computing.  By connecting these devices to the Cloud, students will be able to connect to these devices remotely and deploy code, significantly improving their learning experience in these modules. Additionally, the department will leverage lightweight virtualisation techniques to maximise the utilisation of the IoT based infrastructure both in research and teaching activities.

In summary this work will involve a 120 node network that will be deployed and provisioned utilizing Google’s Weave technology. This network will comprise 30 nodes that will use Google’s Brillo technology, 70 nodes that will include a range of other technologies and 20 nodes that will be used to evaluate and demonstrate the interaction of Android mobile apps to the physical world using Google’s Physical Web technology. Once realised this network will achieve the goals of lightweight dynamic provisioning of IoT sensor nodes that will improve both the teaching and research capabilities of the Department of Computing.


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