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Design of Project-based Labs for Internet of Things Applications

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2022 ASEE Illinois-Indiana Section Conference


Anderson, Indiana

Publication Date

April 9, 2022

Start Date

April 9, 2022

End Date

April 9, 2022

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Hongli luo Purdue University Fort Wayne

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Dr. Hongli Luo is an associate professor in School of Polytechnic at Purdue University Fort Wayne. She holds a Ph.D in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Miami. She teaches courses in the areas of programming, networking, security and Android Application Development.

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This paper presents the design of a sequence of labs to teach data communication and networking course. Labs are based on a smart home project with integration of multiple technologies, including sensor, microcontroller, mobile phone, data storage, and web application. Different data communication and networking technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth provide the underlying infrastructure for data transmission. Data communication and Networking course teaches technologies at different layers of the network model. Instead of simply introducing the technologies at each layer separately, design of our labs focuses on the integration of various technologies and building a real system. The lab starts with microcontroller interfacing with sensors. Sensor data is sent to a Linux server running on virtual machine, and then stored in a file in JSON format or in a NoSQL MongoDB database. A web application built with Node.js displays the sensor readings in real time. In addition to microcontroller, Raspberry Pi is used to interface with the sensor and at the same can serve as the hub in smart home. Mobile phone is used to interact with the smart home application via Bluetooth Low Energy technology.

The design of the labs proved to be effective based on the assessment of the completion rate of each lab. Students are highly interested in hands-on labs which finally leads to a working Internet of Things (IoT) application. With the lab instructional videos provided by the instructor, online students from different programs can successfully build a working application after completion of individual labs. Students not only understand the communication and networking technologies, but also know how to apply them to build IoT applications. It also helps students to view the application in a systematic way, which lays foundation for their senior capstone projects. The skills gained in this course will prepare students well to build a variety of Internet of Things application such as smart home, monitoring, health care and smart manufacturing in the future.

luo, H. (2022, April), Design of Project-based Labs for Internet of Things Applications Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Illinois-Indiana Section Conference , Anderson, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--42129

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