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Smart Campus WBU – polygon of smart solutions

Smart solutions in the life of cities and their citizens are increasing. University of West Bohemia introduces technologies that will help students and employees to park easily and provide more efficient lighting in the context of their growing Smart Campus project. At the same time, it wants to offer a campus as a place where companies and cities can test smart technologies and their connections.

"The Campus meets the model of the city in many ways, so it offers the opportunity to test smart technology on a smaller scale," explains Petr Kašpar (FEL) WBU, who is the initiator of the Smart Campus project. All nine faculties UWB, including research centers of technical faculties, NTC (New Technologies - Research Center) and other service centers are involved.

Smart Campus brings a great opportunity to companies that would like to try their smart solutions in a small scale and get feedback on how their technology works and under what conditions they are compatible with other systems and other useful information. In addition, cities that want to be "smart" have also the opportunity to see selected smart solutions in practice, even in different combinations, and decide based on the experience gained after the consultation with experts. Also, it is beneficial for universities, cities and businesses to connect people from practice and from the academic sphere, who can stimulate mutual cooperation in many other areas and lead to the transfer of knowledge.

The first area in which the university began to function as a "living lab" is smart parking. "We have already agreed with some suppliers that we will test their systems and integrate them together," says Petr Kašpar. There is many smart parking systems - from inductive loops through camera systems to those using geomagnetic field. Each technology having its advantages and disadvantages.

The first ten parking sensors were installed at the parking space of FEL at the end of August 2018. These sensors are from company ČD – Telematika with whom the University cooperates in the field of smart solutions. "This are compact and programmable units equipped with electronics that detects the occupancy of a given location, but also other effective data, including the status of the inserted battery for etc. The radio part of the unit sends information about the change, whether the car has just arrived or left the place. The sensor is recessed in the ground and can be covered with the surface so that it does not disturb the integrity of the surface. The inserted battery has a guaranteed life of 5 years, "says Petr Hudák, Director of the Department of Trade from ČD – Telematika.

"I am very glad that in the project Smart Campus we have the opportunity to test in practice new technologies that are heading for the future. Employees and mainly students have the chance to get into contact with them and can work together on their development. A big thank belong to collaborating companies for their contribution of the popularization of technical education and making available of these progressive technologies to the general public," says Vice Dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Jiří Hammerbauer.

Other parking systems will gradually increase, working on different principles. According to Petr Kašpar, the driver's output will be one and the method of handover should correspond to technological developments. "Nowadays, when modern cars have computer-based onboard systems, we can inform the driver with an application that tells him exactly where the free parking space is and guide him to that place," explains Petr Kašpar.

Parking sensors are the first vivid output of project Smart Campus, the necessary initial steps have been taken by the scientists in April last year. The LoRaWAN internet network has been installed that can collect data from different locations in the campus. In cooperation with the Písek Technology Center has been created a cloud system, that is, storage for receiving, storing and processing data from various sources. Above this cloud system, a tool will be created to open the storage data. "Some data will be public, some will only be assigned to specified user groups. In each case, they will provide a number of options, and we expect that students, project teams, or educators will use it to develop their own applications," plans Petr Kašpar.

One of the current output from project Smart Campus is the development platform for the Internet of things KET Cube, developed by team from the Department of Technology and Measurement (KET) of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. "It is an open platform where is possible to develop new solutions not only for internet things. Our goal is to create a community that will use this platform at their projects," describes the main aim of the team Petr Kašpar.

Next area where scientist from WBU want to test smart technologies is public lighting. While today's lamps on the campus are switching centrally, in the future they will regulate the lighting themselves and their intensity according to the actual lighting and the movement of persons in surrounding area.

Lighting columns will be under constant voltage, creating new infrastructure that will allow the WIFI expands around the campus outdoor area. Next possibility is to install at columns a unit for smart parking sensor or other sensors that can measure various air parameters for etc. 

This April in Prague at the IQRF Summit FEL scientists presented the Smart Campus project. More information is available on the project website.