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Cisco Core Project winners announced

This year’s engaging computing Core Project, run by our lead industry partner Cisco, was brought to a successful close last month as teams of students presented their project results to Cisco employees at an IoT Expo.

The project was based on the Internet of Things (IoT), entitled "IoT World". Students were tasked with building and programming IoT solutions using Raspberry Pi technology and understanding how these solutions are applied in industry.

Throughout this academic year, representatives from Cisco have been mentoring UTC Reading students in a series of workshops, giving them the opportunity to receive valuable support on solving real industry problems from experts in industry. After the IoT Expo, the winning team was announced; congratulations to Holly Maddox, Kieron Cardall and Samkeliso Kimbinyi.

Risha Divyesh, Cisco Cross Functional Apprentice and previously a UTC Reading student, commented: “The project was a great success, especially looking at the engagement of the students throughout and all of the amazing solutions that were presented back to us at the end of the project.”

“I really enjoyed being part of it, especially being able to get involved and see it from the perspective of a mentor - which was a whole new experience, because I was in the same position as the students a year ago.”

Samkeliso Kimbinyi, a member of the winning team, commented: “Every week our group was tasked with completing solutions containing various IOT Technologies, including Computer Vision, RFID, and Barcode Scanners. During these workshops we had to work together to connect a raspberry pi to the hardware components and complete programs to get them to communicate to our servers.

"During the final days we had to use our knowledge we gained over the project sessions to come up with an idea of a system that levered IOT technologies we learnt and previously applied. Cisco gave us the task of creating a solution that would help either the food, cinema or fashion industry. After a long period of thinking we thought that we should work on the one that is most important to teenagers; food.

"Our idea was an app that used computer vision and RFID to record the nutritional information of food to be consumed. In our presentation we gave the example of the kiosks that are becoming more and more common in fast food chains that allow customers to order their own food. If a phone was used to purchase food via contactless as well as the transaction data being transferred, the nutritional data would be sent to the phone. The phone would log what was eaten and when, as well as generating recommendations for new food based on what the person eats. The aspect that made this app so unique was that it would tell the user how much exercise they would need to do to burn the calories.

"From the Core Project we learnt how various IOT solutions are used in the real world. The most surprising thing was how easy it was to create a solution using hardware that is cheap and widely available ."

Many thanks to all of those at Cisco who helped to organise and carry out this project and for their time mentoring our students. Projects such as these and the close relations between the college and our industry partners are what makes studying at UTC Reading so unique.

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