What is IoT?

Put simply, the Internet of Things (IoT) is the connection of objects to the internet that allows the object to be remotely monitored or controlled. Many IoT devices are ordinary items with embedded sensors, computer chips and other electronic equipment that allows them to collect and transmit data through the internet. Some examples of everyday IoT objects are smart watches, smart thermostats, internet connected robotic vacuum cleaners and smart electrical outlets.

How Big is IoT?

Growth in the Internet of Things - from ncta.com The Internet & Television Association

IoT is in its infancy but is growing rapidly, as shown in the graphic to the left. It is estimated that over 50 billion devices will be connected to the IoT by 2020. Miniaturization, affordability and accessibility of hardware, along with the ubiquitous nature of smartphones and high speed internet access has led to rapid adoption in both consumer and industrial applications.

Category Definition

For the 2018-2019 competition, there are three categories related to making improvements in your community using IoT functionality: the "Clarkson Community," the "North Country Community," and the "Global Community." The categories are defined as follows:

The Clarkson Community

This category encompasses any project that uses IoT to create a connected campus. This might include devices for dorm rooms/apartments, daily living (ex: laundry, cooking, cleaning, transportation, etc.), academic facilities, student life or other academic related projects.

The North Country Community

A strong and vibrant North Country creates an environment that attracts and retains students, faculty, business owners and other residents. Leaders in the North Country have created a vision to "lead the economic renaissance of New York State's small cities and rural communities." Projects in this category would actualize on that vision and might include attracting or growing businesses, improving rural healthcare, improving access to education, activating tourism, supporting agriculture with smart farming initiatives, leveraging our Canadian border, monitoring/improving infrastructure or other projects with regional impact. 

The Global Community

Projects in this category will take on some of the Earth's toughest societal challenges from healthcare, to food and water security, to climate change, to homelessness, human rights and population growth. These projects will aim to make the world a better place. Teams in this category may also wish to consider applying to the National Science Foundation Idea Machine competition.

Eligibility and Team Composition

All Clarkson University students, all years, all majors. Teams must consist of between three and ten students and must have more than one school represented (a combination from the schools of engineering, arts & sciences and business). Graduate students are encouraged to participate!

Team Support

Knowledge and Advice

Any student in any major can do this challenge! While coding isn't necessary, functioning prototypes will likely be more compelling and competitive - teams without a coding skill set are encouraged to recruit and use available resources. In addition to a Moodle course with tutorials, tips and advice, six workshops will also be available throughout the year and a network of faculty and student experts will be available to help address questions teams have along the way.

Facilities, Supplies and Equipment

The President's Challenge and Clarkson Ignite will provide access to a total of $5,000 (up to $100/team) in funding for prototyping supplies as well as a "toolbox" of common hardware and sensors that can collect data through a microcontroller. To further meet prototyping needs, students will have access to the Studio in BH Snell Hall and the MakerSpace (temporary TAC space in the fall, ERC space in the spring).

Team Deliverables

By the end of the challenge, each team will create a written report, team video and will have designed and demonstrated a physical prototype or compelling conceptual design that incorporates IoT to improve their "community."