The Internet of Things is undoubtedly a smart solution for various issues that hit us every day. But here is an IoT smart application which when deployed takes care of inventory distribution, and organisation within large IT companies.
We recently spoke to the developer of this system which is basically a smart solution over an existing conventional vending machine. USP of this innovation is that it smartly assigns peripheral devices to employees of the company based on employees’ work load and their usage track record.
The creator of this IoT solution, Vinay Chaddha, CEO at Noida-based GVC Systems Pvt Ltd shared deep insights on IoT; the Smart Vending Machine, and smart solutions development; with Rahul R, Electronics For You.
Q. Please throw more light on your Smart Vending System; and has this been deployed anywhere?
A. Absolutely, we worked with a large multinational IT firm in Bangalore who wanted an automated IT peripherals inventory distribution and delivery solution. This firm had a total employee count of more than 5000 and naturally manual reliance on the local store becomes time consuming and cumbersome.
Here, we developed a smart solution that vends IT peripherals. Input to this comes through employees’ attendance cards. When an employee swipes this card and inputs key aspects, IT peripheral devices such as pen-drives, headphones, and other hardware accessories get assigned automatically. The machine physically dispenses devices, just like coffee, to employees by analysing data smartly through sensors.
Q. What tools did you use to develop the above Smart IT Vending Machine?
A. In fact, we designed tools from the scratch; rather than use the already available ones. We started off with a Microcontroller. I would like to simplify the development process here, we connected the Microcontrollers to Wi-Fi, integrated sensors to the HID Card and programmed it; customised these for syncing with the Microcontroller and used an existing off the shelf conventional physical Vending Machine. We then interconnected these.
In fact, other specific tools used within the Smart Vending Machine include the ST Micro controllers, Ethernet chip along with Micro Chip-level components.
Q. The above smart solution sounds interesting, don’t you think that deployment of such solutions should also be adapted on a bigger scale, say even within cities maybe 5 years down the line from now?
A. I think smart systems triggered via IoT will be everywhere soon. It would even penetrate personal spaces like homes, and even cars. We are also working constantly towards innovating more internet-enabled smart devices. In fact, we currently have developed and sold traffic-light control systems in places like Delhi, Noida, and Bhopal.
Q. Now since we mentioned traffic lights, do you see any solution coming up for smart management of vehicular traffic at junctions?
A. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, we have installed traffic signal lights in Bhopal, Delhi and Noida. However, these are not future-ready; but research is on to make these systems internet-enabled to make humans control more traffic lights effectively, rather than one person struggling to manage one signal light at a junction.
Q. Finally, when IoT is mature enough in India; do you think that this concept would evolve into a separate subject of study within the country
A. IoT, theoretically is currently part of students’ syllabus at various universities. However, students/budding engineers are considering and studying related concepts just to clear exams rather than practical implementation. So, I think this mentality amongst budding engineers needs to change.