The Connectivity Research Center Hosted Second Annual Smart Gadget Competition


Thursday, April 26, 2018

The UNH Connectivity Research Center (Connectivity) recently hosted the second annual Smart Gadget Competition at UNHInnovation. This one-day event brought together UNH students, faculty, and industry to identify and solve a problem on campus using “smart” sensors and LoRaWAN, an Internet of Things wireless technology.

The Smart Gadget Competition is designed to allow UNH students of all majors and skill levels to collaborate together, further their knowledge working with real-world technologies, and have the opportunity to work one-on-one with industry sponsors. Participants get hands-on training on LoRaWAN sensor development, the chance to win cash prizes, and are free to take the prototype they start at the competition and develop it further.

At this year’s event, small teams of undergraduate students identified problems on campus and then proposed solutions using sensors and wireless solutions. Some problems identified by the students were food waste in the cafeteria, long wait times for elevators, gym equipment being out of commission, and knowing if rooms were available in academic buildings for studying, and parking availability. Once the teams identified a problem, they created a solution and presented it to a panel of judges. The panel of judges included representatives from industry, and Dr. Nicholas Kirsch, founding director of Connectivity. With the support of industry partners Senet, Inc., MultiTech, and ThingSpeak, the competition offered cash prizes to the winning teams. Each team was judged on solution viability, completeness of the solution, and how the solution could help maintain or improve the Durham campus’s recent safety and sustainability rankings.

This year's winning team (Computer Science majors Francesco Mikulis-Borsoi, Kristian Comer, and Jason Vettese), proposed a solution called Workout Care, which monitors gym equipment for preventive maintenance purposes. The winning trio won last year’s Smart Gadget competition as well.

The Connectivity Research Center is thrilled at the outcome of this year’s Smart Gadget Competition and is planning to host the event again during the next academic year.

For questions about the Smart Gadget Competition please contact Christina.dube@unh.edu