In this blog post, we introduce AI and IoT, cover some of our experiences with students who have done amazing projects combining the two, and describe how to get started.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term given to the collection of “things”, or devices, around the world that are networked together and connected to the Internet. Things in this case can be any type of hardware device, from a temperature sensor to your phone. There are many such things out there (way more than there are people!) and when they are connected to the internet, they can be a tremendous source of information, or a way to exchange information, or a way to impact many locations around the world with a single action. For example, if we were to network all the temperature sensors in the world together, we can track temperature patterns and better understand our environment.
How do you explain IoT to a child?
IoT is easy for kids to understand because it is all around them. If you have a cell phone, that is a type of IoT device. If you have a wristband that counts steps or measures heart rate, that is another type of IoT device. The home is also a great place to look for IoT inspiration. Example devices in the home include connected temperature sensors, doorbells, video cameras, digital assistants, etc. Many of these devices also have an app that can be used to control them or see the data that the device has gathered - this is a great way to show a kid how the device uses its internet connectivity to send information and get commands.
What is Artificial Intelligence? How do you explain AI to a child?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the way that computers “think” or programs that can process information and find patterns. More broadly, AI is the name given to any technology where a computer tries to perform functions that come naturally to the human mind. AI is used these days for everything from recommending products to driving cars. If you would like to know more about AI, you are in the right place! There are many resources available on this site - the link to our resources page is a great place to start.
How are AI and IoT Related? What is the Role of AI in IoT?
AI and IoT are great technologies all by themselves, and they do not need to be combined. However, combining AI and IoT can yield even better results.
IoT devices (like sensors) can generate tremendous amounts of data. How can we tell what the data means? AI can be used to find patterns in the data.
AI relies upon data. The more data there is, the more an AI can learn from it. IoT is great for AI because IoT devices generate a lot of data and many kinds of data (from video to sound to images and numbers), all of which can be used by AIs to learn and make predictions.
Why should kids learn IoT?
IoT is a great technology for kids to learn. There are devices all around them that they can use for projects, and many easy hardware projects where kids can learn how to build IoT devices and use them.
Why should kids learn AI?
AI is also a great technology for kids to learn. In other blog posts, we have covered in a lot of detail why kids should learn AI and examples of successful student projects using AI. You can find some of these blogs here, here, and here.
What kinds of projects can kids do with AI and IoT together? How to use IoT with AI?
Here at AIClub, we have had many examples of kids doing cool and successful projects combining AI and IoT. Some great examples below
Smart Waste Sorter: this AIClub team used AI and IoT to build a device that can recognize and classify objects as being either recyclable or not. The team did two versions of this project, one with an Arduino camera connection and the other with a Raspberry Pi camera connection. This project won the Technovation AI Challenge Regional Award for North America in 2020, and the second version with Raspberry Pi won an IEEE special award in 2021.
CO2 Sensei: This AIClub team built an Arduino sensor to measure CO2 levels in a room, and also built an app that can monitor CO2 levels to help businesses improve ventilation and reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission. The team also connected to a professional CO2 Sensor using bluetooth. This project won the Grand Prize at Technovation Girls 2021 and was a National Winner at ProjectCSGirls 2021.
How to get started?
Some great ways to get started
Check out our self paced IoT with AI projects for Middle School and High School! These projects use Arduino and AI together.
If you would like to do a larger project, and maybe even target a competition, book a free consultation with our 1:1 mentor program.