June 2013: Behind the Scenes: Interviews with the IPSO CHALLENGE contestants – University of Patras (Control Cube)

Dr. Constantinos Marios Angelopoulos

University of Patras and Computer Technology Institute & Press “Diophantus”

Our research group, affiliated to the University of Patras, Greece and to the Computer Technology Institute & Press “Diophantus”, has been conducting research in the field of Wireless Sensor Networks for more than a decade now. For many years the focus of our group has been on theoretical aspects of WSNs, such as energy balancing algorithms, data collection protocols, mobility issues and obstacle avoidance. During the last years, motivated by the emerging paradigm of the Internet of Things, we tried to put our theoretical findings into practice by developing IoT test-beds and prototype systems. One of these systems is Control Cube; a system that interfaces conventional devices of our everyday life to Future Networks by employing IoT technologies such as IPv6 and CoAP.

In the context of our research we had to keep up with current trends and developments in the field of IoT by following international bodies and organizations such as the IETF and the IPSO Alliance. Once the latter announced its international novelty competition IPSO Challenge 2013, we had no second thoughts. We immediately realized that this would be a unique opportunity to expose our ideas to an industrial, market driven, technology forum, receive valuable feedback from a panel consisting of leading corporations and companies in the field and also make new connections. However, the Challenge has been more than that.

The feed-back received not only from the IPSO judges but also from other participants in the competition has been of great value in our effort to commercialize our research-oriented Control Cube prototype by turning it into a real product. Towards this end, the high-profile, wide dissemination activities of IPSO, such as the announcement inthe Wall Street Journal, have given us the opportunity to commence negotiations with important industries in Greece; in particular a brewery factory of a multinational beer label and a major strawberries plantation. Furthermore, public awareness on the Internet of Things vision and its applications has been raised via articles and interviews at nationwide media. Finally, our selection among the 10 semi-finalists of the Challenge has given as the opportunity to attend the Sensors Expo & Conference in Chicago, IL and demonstrate our prototype to a major event of the industry.

To cut a long story short, if you have a concrete and novel idea of how to employ Internet of Things in order to make our world a better place to live in, go for it and take the Challenge!

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