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Knowledge Test: Reflection of Induction Hack in the form of a checklist. The checklist will require students to identify the function of basic electronic components such as a servo, recognize the correct use of the Arduino Software (IDE) functionality such as the serial monitor as well as spot basic programming bugs in some example source code. Working in a group will also be reflected upon.


All deliverables on both test are closed book and will assess the student’s knowledge on the topics; SI Units, Numbering Systems, Boolean Logic, Electronics, Data Representation. The article is to be written based on theoretical and practical skills learnt in lab sessions.Theoretical and practical skills include Number systems, Computer logic, Digital electronics,Computer logic and Computer Hardware. The assessment emphasises the writer’s ability to research and reflect on the knowledge acquired during the study of Computer Systems.


Research may include reading scientific journals and other relevant literature suggested by lecturers or through personal interest throughout the course. The assessment contains digital problems to solve using logic principles and the ability to translate these into practice through the designing of circuit configuration diagrams and the implementation of software. The problems to be addressed being based on lab exercises which students have completed prior to the assessment exercise. The article component of the assessment is designed to develop critical thinking about skill learnt by bringing together research and practice in a distinctive discussion of how they would lead technological advancements.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and its Practical Uses

The spread of networking infrastructure and advancement of technologies has allowed the devices to cross the boundary of being fixed to a location or being large in size. Several advancement in VLSI manufacturing technologies has led to battery powered devices small enough to fit in confined spaces. These progressions in technology when taken together and applied to create a smart sensible autonomous network, form what is today called Internet of Things. It allows small sensing devices to measure a parameter and communicate with a controller. The information is available to user in real time for monitoring and systems can be built to respond according to the sensed inputs.

These new class of devices are called IoT enabled equipment’s and have found way into objects we use in our daily life. Something as small as an LED light to something as important as a pacemaker. If we see it’s about providing ability to talk to a device in real time and expanding that ability to any device. The IoT is enabled by cloud based services and wireless network infrastructure to a great extent. The wireless and low power feature allows device to be embedded into almost any size and place.

It has made a huge impact in health sector as personal measurement device that can collect real time medical parameters and connect you to your healthcare provider. This makes for an effective medical care solution and makes way for preventive care. It warns people susceptible to a disease of the precursors that may lead to serious health issues and allows them to take corrective actions.

Another major area of its practical use is in smart buildings. The sensors make the facility more secure as all security devices are now connected and centrally monitored. Apart from that it provides mechanism to track movement of people with in building. Apart from people, the tag devices are also being used for tracking object movement across the area under surveillance. This has made managing logistics more efficient and more accurate. The devices allow for tracking and tagging of luggage by means of radio tags.

These are few examples of how the devices are enabling faster and accurate operations across various business verticals. At the core of IoT is the ability to stay connected. That translates to having information about the place in real time as and when required at current location of the user. This is not limited to knowing but extended capability to make decisions and affect that area which makes IoT a preferred choice when it comes to design an automated and smart system.

IoT also comes with its own share of problems. The connectivity has put all data in to cloud or internet. It is only a matter of time and effort for someone interested to get access to that data and manipulate it. The availability of data and ownership of data are two most debatable topics about using IoT devices especially in personal domain. In other domains where data is important but there are still other issues related to decision making like in automated vehicles. How much authority should be transferred to machines to make decisions and who is responsible for any unfortunate incidents that may occur due to such action by device or set of devices. Technology is only as good as we can use it. Future of IoT is promising and advantages it brings to the way businesses work, it is definitely going to be the next big thing.

IoT in the Health Sector

Home fire alarm system

  1. The alarm has several conditions when it should be fired. These can be summarized in a truth table as shown here:

Smoke Sensor

Heat Sensor

Moisture Sensor

Power Sensor

Alarm

X

X

X

1

1

1

X

X

X

1

X

1

0

X

1

1

1

1

X

1

The four conditions are listed here as logical conditions for Alarm to go high when above conditions exist together.

  1. Adding one more condition to above stated inputs, chemical odour detection also fires the alarm irrespective of other inputs.

Smoke Sensor

Heat Sensor

Moisture Sensor

Power Sensor

Chemical Odour

Alarm

X

X

X

1

X

1

1

X

X

X

X

1

X

1

0

X

X

1

1

1

1

X

X

1

X

X

X

X

1

1

  1. The above listed truth table can be implemented using a single 4 input OR gate and 1 AND gates that receive inputs from sensors and check for certain condition to co-exist before alarm is fired. Mind that one of the input to AND gates is inverted to meet the criteria for triggering the alarm. The design can be implemented using gates as shown here
  1. The output can be expressed as an equation of the form Sum of Products:

Q = Smoke + (Heat . !Moisture) + Power + Chemical

If either of the Smoke or power or Chemical sensors go high, the alarm will be fired. Another condition is if Heat sensor goes high but no moisture is detected. If Heat and Moisture are detected together, the alarm is not raised unless smoke is also present.

The logic circuit will need a way to store the occurrences of incorrect error input. To do this a Flip flop will be needed to maintain a state machine. The updated circuit is shown here:

  1. The truth table for the modified circuit can be constructed from the behavior of the circuit:

Error Code

TimeOut

ErrorSequence(t)

OpenDoor

Alarm

ErrorSequence(t+1)

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

X

0

0

0

1

1

X

1

0

0

2

1

X

2

0

1

3

1

X

3

0

1

3

0

X

1

0

0

0

0

X

2

0

0

0

0

X

3

0

0

0

Each time a wrong input is given the error sequence updates its value and Alarm is asserted if it happens three times in a row. The Door opens only when Timeout has not occurred, the motor is not locked from previous sequences and Error code is not entered. For all conditions the Door remains closed.

  1. Since this involves remembering the past input values, some kind of memory element needs to be involved. Technically a state machine is to be designed. The machine will need at least 4 states to store sequence of incorrect inputs. Two bits are needed to store information about 4 states, hence the design uses 2 D flip flops with combinatorial logic to increment state if an errrocode is identified 3 times in a sequence.

There are several ways to implement a design using a software hardware combination. Some tasks can be implemented in software or hardware related to decision making and control. Depending upon the requirement of the client and the environment of deployment, the process can be implemented in either manner. Hardware provides better speed of operation compared to implementation using software. The hardware is tailored to operate for a required design and can operate in almost real time. Software on the other hand is executed on a generic device and is comparatively slower in operation.

However, software has its own advantage when compared to hardware based implementation. The software can have features to keep system flexible and extendable to incorporate any new requirements in future. The software makes it easy to upgrade and accommodate new requirements without much change in hardware.

Looking at the requirements of the current clients, a hardware based solution is proposed as it will require less time to get the system designed and implemented. The software is more suitable for situation when number of sensors increase or there are more decision making parameters to handle that are complex to be coded in hardware. The hardware based approach is shown here using physical gates connected in a manner so as to realize the logic discussed in task above. The circuit uses digital memory elements i.e. flip flops and other gates for logic decisions based on inputs.

The circuit can be simulated and tested using software emulation on any platform. The industry preferred “Circuit Maker” is being used to provide proof of concept design. Circuit is simulated using the digital mode.

Errorcode signal is asserted if user enters an incorrect gate lock code. Timeout signal is asserted if preset time for making an entry is over without entering the gate lock code. The door remains closed if any of these are asserted. Further the Alarm goes high in case incorrect gate code is entered 3 times in a sequence. Circuit uses all LS74 series gates as they are easily available and compatible with most other systems.

IoT in Smart Buildings

The Led are indicative and will be replaced by suitable drivers to run or block a motor for gate and an audio/visual alarm for indicating a breech. A system reset with a correct gate lock code will reset the Alarm and turn it off.

Looking at diversity of technologies that exist in market, it makes it hard to decide upon most effective technology for a problem’s solution. Various parameters need to be analyzed before finalizing one of the methodologies. The cost and usable life of the design are most important parameters to single out any particular approach. The level of design complexity, scalability and flexibility are other features that affect the decision about selection of solution in favor of one over the other. There often are trade-offs involved in a design to optimize the speed of operation and accuracy of results. A best combination of both is expected from a design that fulfils all requirements with in practical cost limits and time limits.

A design needs to be good and capable of being implemented in short time. A good design taking long time for deployment isn’t considered a good solution.  The product being proposed to client should be as much automated with least amount of installation delay at site.

The solutions presented for the client A and B are effective and optimized for their individual requirements. Keeping several factors that make a solution effective for real implementation are considered in the design. The problem could be solved using Microcontrollers or other programmable circuits. They would have looked very flexible and could have added a lot of features. However it would have exceeded the requirement of the client making it more costly and more complex than what is actually required. Further using over-complex systems also increase costs and efforts needed for maintenance of such systems.

So the proposed design from TryTech is based on generic and basic devices available easily. The design proposes use of digital logic gates. Use of gates for making the design logic is easy and sufficient for the client’s current requirements. They are cost effective and can be put to work in short time. Getting the system to work doesn’t requires any special software’s or controller programming. The flip flops used provide all that is required for maintaining history of operation.

Using hardware solutions like controllers or PLC not only takes more time to design and writing of programs. The controllers will need even more resources in terms of interfaces. The controllers usually don’t match up to sensors directly due to difference in their working voltage levels. Also microcontrollers have limited ability to handle moderate amount of currents that are usually driven out by sensors.

So small simple digital gates based system is proposed as solution for both clients as designed in task above. Considering the case where requirements of similar types may grow to larger organizations, these systems would fail to deliver optimum quality. The Alarm system in both cases can be strengthened by using more futuristic technologies. The Alarm systems can be extended to take corrective steps. The Alarm may actually be used along with other notification means to inform user in real time by use of IoT enabled devices. This increases the cost to higher level by a great extent but the benefits pay off. The user can a get a notification by means of an automated message about the sensor outputs and alarm status. This shall allow them to take control of situation more appropriately. The system can be further extended to use actuators that can take corrective measures like blowing fans, sprinkling water or turning on exhaust vents so as to clear the premises in case it needs to be.

The system for client B can be upgraded by using more accurate identity verification devices. The key-pad based system of entry can be upgraded with more advanced identification authorization technologies. One of the trusted and widely used scanning devices include biometric sensors like fingerprint scans combined with RFID cards or without cards. Using fingerprint scan removes any possibilities of unauthorized entry by copying or cheating the credentials. The keypad based system can be hacked by overlooking the person and guessing the code over a period of time. This is good only in limited cases where single person entry is allowed at a time.

In case of a door where several people are to be identified and verified, the biometric scanner based system is more dependable and hack proof. Use of RFID based identification methods allow for more robust mechanisms in case large population needs to be authorized for entry at a point. RFID can also be used as a standalone method of identification. But there could be issues of lost or stolen tags leading to misuse of the system and security breech. Hence it is always advised to use fingerprint scan based systems.

References

AnnaMGerber, 2017. iot-security-challenges. [Online]
Available at: https://developer.ibm.com/dwblog/2017/iot-security-challenges/

Anon., n.d. Binary Arithmetic Circuits. [Online]
Available at: https://www.learnabout-electronics.org/Digital/dig41.php

Eastwood, G., 2017. 4-critical-security-challenges-facing-iot. [Online]
Available at: https://www.networkworld.com/article/3166106/internet-of-things/4-critical-security-challenges-facing-iot.html

Walicki, J., 2018. 3-ways-iot-makes-life-simpler. [Online]
Available at: https://developer.ibm.com/dwblog/2018/3-ways-iot-makes-life-simpler.

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