Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Three visitors to WASN lab

Thiemo, Venkat and Kasun, in UoC ground
Two weeks ago, we had three visitors to our lab from Sweden. Two of them are not completely strangers to me while the other one was a new face. The three visitors were Thiemo Voigt, Venkat Iyer and Kasun Hewage. Among them, Kasun Hewage was a student of our university and played a major role in our WASN lab few years back as a researcher. Now he is a graduate student, doing his Ph.D with Thiemo at Uppsala University. Venkat is a post-doctoral researcher working with Thiemo at the same university.

First slide of Thiemo's presentation
We had lot of important works during their stay since they are working in collaboration with us on some project works. Among different interesting things happened, I would like to highlight few events here. Thiemo conducted a nice talk about the recent research works they have done in Uppsala University and also in Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS). Among various works they have done, I noticed the recent trend of moving into the resource rich device based sensing paradigm from the very resource constrained sensing paradigm which we've been talking for more than a decade in WSN community. It seems mobile smartphone based IoT applications and platforms have become a hot topic.

Z1 mote connected to my laptop
Another important event occurred during that week is the two day Contiki application programming workshop conducted by them. I was lucky to attend for the first day of the workshop before I get busy in some other work on the second day. They had brought Z1 sensor motes for the workshop which was a new WSN hardware to me. Since Z1 motes contain a microUSB port on board which can be used to directly connect the mote to a PC for programming. That's very convenient and looks familiar to Sky motes. Unlike MicaZ and ScatterWeb MSB430 type motes where we need different programmer boards and special connector cables to program the motes, Z1 is very user friendly from a WSN programmer perspective.

Venkat at Contiki programming workshop
As the final event we did with them, our lab members visited Udawalawa national park with the three visitors and stayed a night there. Besides the joy of this journey, everybody had another research oriented objective during their one night stay inside a national park about which I can talk someday later with details. However, I couldn't join with them for this exciting journey due to some other work I had to do at the lab during those two days. Since our three visitors were supposed to leave right after the day they returned from Udawalawa national park, I had to say good bye to them the day before they leave for the Udawalawa journey.

During their short stay in Sri Lanka, I had few opportunities to talk with them regarding different subject related matters specially with Venkat and Kasun. I was curious to know what are the tools they use in paper works such as drawing technical diagram and so on. They were so happy to talk about different things they do and were always open for discussions. I'm so glad for the opportunity I received to talk with them during those few days and I learned a lot.


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