IoT laboratory wins international competition

Together with seven other institutions, the “Internet of Things and AI” innovation lab at Landshut University of Applied Sciences has been chosen for the BMBF project DigiLab4U

The Internet of Things (IoT) is considered to be the key technology of the future. In this context, intelligent objects are physically and virtually networked, and are able to communicate both with each other and with humans. In the world of industry, this can help prevent errors in the area of production or make processes more efficient, for instance. And smart devices are already finding their way into everyday life, as assistance systems in cars or as intelligent refrigerators in smart homes, for example. To anchor the topic in the area of teaching and research, universities need practical, digitalised and networked laboratories in this field. For this reason, the “Open Digital Lab for You (DigiLab4U)” project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, has set itself the goal of developing a digitalised laboratory environment, and networking existing and virtual IoT labs on a location-spanning basis for this purpose. To expand this platform, innovative laboratories were invited to participate in the project. The consortium – consisting of the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences (HFT), the Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics (BIBA), the Institute for Knowledge Media (IWM) at the University of Koblenz-Landau, RWTH Aachen University and the University of Parma – chose a total of eight internationally-acknowledged institutions from the submissions. One of the winners is the innovation laboratory at Landshut University of Applied Sciences, which can now look forward to 25,000 euros in funding.

Hybrid learning and research environment

Prof. Dr. Abdelmajid Khelil, Manager of the Landshut IoT Lab, is proud of the successful application: “DigiLab4U aims to develop a hybrid learning and research environment which both undergraduate and postgraduate students are able to use. This is important for being able to anchor the topic of the Internet of Things at universities. We are therefore very pleased to be able to participate in this great project.” Together with the IoT coaches Tobias Christian Piller and Abdelwadoud Mabrouk, the Professor has been supervising the innovation lab at Landshut University of Applied Sciences since 2017. “Physical laboratories are usually only available to the respective research institution. They are also very staff and cost intensive,” explains Khelil. The DigiLab4U project therefore aims to digitalise existing laboratories and link them with virtual components. Augmented reality can help bridge the gap between the virtual and real experience.

Location-spanning use

The project addresses the question of how these laboratory environments need to be designed both organisationally and in terms of the technology and teaching, and what a contemporary business model for digital offerings might look like. It should ultimately be possible to access the networked learning and research environment, regardless of the location. This would mean that students from Stuttgart or Parma, for example, could use the laboratory at Landshut University of Applied Sciences and vice versa.