4 GMIT students named as finalists in Intel Galileo competition

11 Apr 2016

GMIT student Colin Gill with his G-Tune automatic guitar tuner, which was one of the winners at the final of the Intel Third Level Galileo competition. Image via Marc O'Sullivan

The eight finalists for the Intel Galileo Third Level Technology Competition have been announced, with Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) coming out on top with four students named as finalists.

Now in its second year, the Intel Galileo competition is an event for third-level students across Ireland to create projects based on the Irish-designed Intel Galileo board and held in the Science Gallery Dublin.

First launched in 2014, the Galileo board was launched with the intention of helping students and makers to develop their own systems, mostly for the first time, by building the software from the ground up.

This year’s event has been running since the beginning of January, with all of those who entered from Ireland’s universities vying for a top prize of €1,000.

At an event held on 8 April, eight finalists were eventually chosen, with particular success for GMIT, which could boast having half of all named finalists, with two of those finalists going on to be named as overall winners.

Intel Galileo board

Ronan Watkins from GMIT is pictured with his data-gathering car. Image via Marc O’Sullivan

Smart home technology and automatic guitar tuners

The first of the winners announced was David Walshe’s ‘Tech Smart Home’, which used the Galileo board to create an internet of things (IoT) platform that would allow many aspects of the home, including heating, lighting and security systems, to become largely automated, with an interactive user experience.

The second overall winner named was Colin Gill, who created G-Tune, an automatic tuner for guitarists that works by sampling incoming plucked strings, running a fast fourier transform, finding the fundamental of the sampled waveform and then uses that data to turn motors (via PWM) in the correct direction.

Presenting the prize to Walsh and Gill was Denis Dempsey, director of operations for IoT at Intel, who said of their achievement: “What I saw here today was a fascinating mix of the potential of smart connected intelligent devices being applied to precision agriculture, musical note analysis and smart home appliances.

“The Galileo competition has once again demonstrated the high standard of innovation and creativity amongst Irish students”.

The other six finalists included:

Cereal Monitoring System by Alan Holland, GMIT

The CMS (Cereal Monitoring System) gathers data from farming crops, such as barley, oats and wheat, and records data, such as temperature of soil and air, over the GSM network, and stores this data on the SD card, providing critical data to farmers who can make decisions on how to manage their crop.

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi controlled data-gathering car by Ronan Watkins, GMIT

Controlled either via a website or an Android app, the user has control over the movements of the car, with the integrated accelerometer on the phone being used to control the steering of the car, which uses a servo motor for more precise steering than a DC motor.

PES by Wai Hong Keet, Dundalk IT

PES system is an early-warning system that allows users to detect temperature changes, the range of the fire and carbon monoxide (smoke) level to prevent fire occurrence in a building.

All of the data is uploaded to ThingSpeak, an online platform for the users to access and to document them as a record of when the incident happened.

Plants need nurturing by Yipeng Shen, Carlow IT

The smart Flower PIOT can download current time and upload the current soil moisture and temperature to the cloud.

A smartphone could display these values and when the flower doesn’t have enough water, the red LED would turn on and an email would be sent to your mail automatically to remind you to water your flowers.

IoT Security Evaluation by Dáibhéid Denmead and Niall Myron, DIT

The Galileo board acts as a peripheral device and sends an advertisement when a sensor is triggered. When an advertisement is discovered it connects to the peripheral, reads the information and sends it to the cloud.

“Frida” the smart fridge by Elias Kelly and Julia Faulstich, IADT

Using RFID tags, the Frida fridge has multiple sensors that detect temperature, light, weight and rfid tags. The device sits on the top of the fridge, if the fridge opens, the light sensor gets a value and triggers more code to be executed, such as the scanner being activated.

After a second scan happens, the fridge logs the current weight and compares it to when it was opened in order to calculate the weight of an item.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic