Digital Cities & Citizens

Smarta byars first badge of university students finish their degrees

Caroline Wendt
August 9, 2021

A group of students from Kristianstad University are now engineers with a specialization in IoT – and Smarta Byar played an important role. During spring the students spent time in Veberöd to work on their thesis. They constructed their own sensors which were then installed in Veberöd and connected to make readably via Veberöds Digital Twin. This was an important step to test their knowledge in a real environment. Veberöd also profits by gaining important knowledge which enables the village to become more sustainable.

Veberöd possesses a 3D model of itself which was realized with the help of pictures taken by a drone and expert advice from LTH. The model was developed during the SOM-project, part of Future by Lund, to be used as a digital twin for Veberöd. One vision for the near future is that inhabitants can register errors via the model. Even construction permissions be visible there. Already now, the digital twin is very relevant as Kristianstad University collaborates with Smarta byar to use the village as a testbed. Students spent time during spring working with swings on a playground, a postbox and with a sensor to measure air pollution.

– Five students from Kristianstad University are here to test and connect both soft- and hardware. They will construct their own sensors and with these they plan to look at the air pollution, if somebody is swinging on the playground or if there are letters in the postbox. The reason behind is to let them learn how one can connect IoT- software in the village to test and be able to see the effects in the digital twin even if they are at the university, explains Jan Malmgren.

A total of 15 students take the course in systems engineering which is given in the last semester of their 3 years long engineering education with IoT-specialisation. Three out of fifteen students are doing their thesis in Veberöd together with two other data system development students. One group looks for a solution in which a sensor in the postbox communicates whether there are letters or not - an excellent solution for people who live on the countryside and for whom it takes a while to reach their postbox. Hikmat Tatari and Nedim Jazavac are part of another group which measures the air quality. Their thesis project consists of placing 3 sensors outside of the village with help of which they are able to analyse the occurrence of differently-sized particles, temperatures, humidity as well as the contents of carbon mono- and dioxid.

– We never worked with a company before, so this is a good experience, both say.

Hikmat Tatari and Nedim Jazavac uses sensors to measure the air quality in Veberöd.

Not far from the office is a playground where Christopher Emilsson placed a sensor on the swing.

– By measuring how much the equipment on the playground is used we can create a construction base for future playgrounds, he explains. This can be significant for future construction projects and for urban planners.

Fredrik Frisk is lecturer at Kristianstad University and the course coordinator for systems engineering.

– The project is about building systems with mechanical and electronic hardware and software. It will consist of several parts which are communicating with each other. The students build prototypes in the systems engineering course which they then evaluate in a thesis where they, for example, describe if the construction functions as imagined, if it is useful to the user and if it gives reliable values.

It is not the first time the course is offered, but the collaboration with Smarta byar is novel.

– We haven’t done something like this before. The advantage is that we get access, meaning we can put out sensors in an existing infrastructure and that there is a good contact here with the inhabitants. We don’t need to handle practical details here to start. We also don’t need to spend energy on getting another actor involved. For us, it’s perfect that the students can build sensors that get connected and we gladly continue with this. Right now, we are having a few sensors but a progress could be to expand with many more. There is a lot to look at, says Fredrik Frisk.

So far, Smarta byar is connected to four universities and more are coming. The vision is to get some 20 more involved which can use the digital twin for research and thereby also contribute in developing the model and create more data about the village as an organism.

– For us from Smarta Byar it’s of course interesting to be part and educate the future engineers – but their work also gives us input for the system and data about our village which is going to be important for us. With real data we don’t need to guess but the sensors can guide us in how we create a society that will be better and more sustainable for us all, says Jan Malmgren.

Translated by Christin Scheller


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