Secure IoT Hackathon 2020


(Photos by Ashley Taylor and Garrett Elliott)

Three of Canada’s leading technology companies, TELUS, BlackBerry, and Solace, came together with L-SPARK in 2019 to create the Secure IoT Accelerator Program, powered by an innovative Secure IoT Platform. Following the success of that program, the School of Computing teamed up with L-SPARK and the Queen’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation to organize the “Secure IoT Challenge” – a series of events for Queen’s and Royal Military College (RMC) students, faculty, and post-doctaral fellows to participate in a hackathon that took place on the last weekend of February.

The School of Computing took the lead role of this event and provided full technical support to participants. Special thanks to Karim Lounis and Md. Abu Faisal, PhD students in Queen’s Reliable Software Technology (QRST) Group, for running two training workshops and providing continuous mentoring throughout the Hackathon’s main event. Dave Dove, an instructor in the School, acted as IoT expert and sensors guru. The on-campus coordinator of this event was Marwa A. Elsayed, postdoc in QRST. L-Spark also provided business mentoring and technical support for participants through experts from their three corporate partners on-site during the event.

The hackathon gave participants the opportunity to address a variety of challenges and develop a proof of concept of their solutions using the Secure IoT Dev Kit. The Hackathon attracted 40 participants, ranging from 1st year through postdoc. Participants came up with innovative and creative ideas.

Congratulations to winning teams TeleAngels, Efficient Croptracker, Pipefine and Pill-O-Talk, who will each receive mentorship from L-SPARK in addition to up to $5,000 from Queen’s to further develop their concepts.

Several teams also won recognition for specific accomplishments, as follows:

  • Vehicle Geofencing took home the Queen’s Partnership & Innovation + Venture Club prize for Most Innovative Solution.
  • Library Tracker took home the Queen’s School of Computing prize for Most Technically Innovative Idea.
  • Watermelon Tech (Smart Windows) took home the Solace prize for Best Overall Implementation of the Secure IoT Dev Kit.
  • TeleAngels was presented with the BlackBerry award for Most Security Conscious Design.
  • Pipefine and CrashLytics both received the TELUS prize for Best Use of the TELUS CAT-M1 IoT Network.

The details of these projects are summarized as follows:

  • TeleAngels: An IoT-based remote patient monitoring System that aims to provide convenient, efficient, and secure remote healthcare to improve the quality of care for patients with chronic health conditions from the comfort of their home. Team members: Aawista Chaudhry (MSc Student), Mohammed Anas (PhD Student), MD Abou Faisal (PhD Student), Karim Lounis (PhD Student), and Marwa A. Elsayed (Postdoc Fellow) – QRST lab, School of Computing
  • Efficient Croptracker: An IoT solution to monitor crop health, soil and environmental conditions for efficient irrigation, pest prevention, and more. Team members: Shaza Ismail Kaoud Abdelaziz (Graduate Student), Mohammad Salloum (Graduate Student), Hayden Banting (Graduate Student), and Ishita Jaiswal (Graduate Student) – Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Pipefine: This project addresses a common issue with pipelines regarding environmental sustainability nowadays which is their susceptibility to spills through various faults. Faults include pipes slacking, rapid changes in temperatures which cause cracking and other possibilities. The project leverages the IoT DevKit to monitor for these conditions and use predictive analysis, emergency reporting and other technical solutions to stop spills before they happen or in the case of a spill mitigate any losses. Team members: Rylen Sampson (Undergrad Student – Mathematics), Emma Landry, Aidan Moffat (Undergrad Student – Computing), and Congwei Chen (Undergrad Student – Computing)
  • Pill-O-Talk: The ARMS device will enable users to easily get reminders to take their daily medications as needed, by interpreting the medication label via OCR and generating daily reminders from that which are transmitted via a speaker. Team members: Roberto Ruiz de la Cruz (Undergrad Student – Computing), Shannon Chessman (Undergrad Student – Queen’s Centre for Advanced Computing), Jolene Lammers (Undergrad Student – Queen’s Centre for Advanced Computing), Evan Arsenault ((Undergrad Student – Queen’s Centre for Advanced Computing), Josh Wade (Undergrad Student – Applied Math Engineering), and Cooper Leong (Undergrad Student – Math and Eng. Systems and Robotics)
  • Vehicle Geofencing: This project keeps a track of license plates using machine vision techniques and generating a database of the GPS location of the vehicles tracked. The database could be used by the police department in the investigation. Team members: Manudeep Pendurthi (Graduate Student – Mechanical and Materials Engineering), Junaid Charaniya (Graduate Student – ECE), Shashi Suman (Graduate Student – ECE), Anubhav Bhatti (Graduate Student – ECE), Michael Kim (Undergraduate Student – Physics), Kamal Andani (Graduate Student – ECE)
  • Library Tracker: This project counts the number of students in each floor in the library. Team members: DongJun Jin, Andy Lee, Yueyang Liu, Yanyu Yang, and Tongxu Ge (Undergrad Students – School of Computing)
  • Watermelon Tech (Smart Windows): This solution is a Secure IoT system involving a web app that connects to control and detect environmental information about your windows. Team members: Evan Kilburn, Kevin Quijalvo, Ze Hao Lu, Callum Kipin, Yifan Wen, and Brandon Ye (Undergrad Students – School of Computing)
  • CrashLytics: This solution Keeps track of cars on the road and notifies drivers to take appropriate action when a collision is imminent. Team members: Raed Fayad (Undergraduate Student – ECE) and Subhranil Majumder.

Special thanks to the judges:

  • Steven Ding, Assistant Professor, Queen’s School of Computing
  • Jim Banting, Assistant Vice-Principal, Queen’s Partnerships & Innovation
  • Janice Mady, Director, Queen’s Partnerships & Innovation
  • Rey Buquid, Technology Strategy, CTO Office,TELUS
  • Roop Mukherjee, Principal Software Architect, BlackBerry
  • Leo Lax, Executive Managing Director, L-SPARK
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