The IoT Testbed is one of the largest experimental facilities in the world supporting research and teaching on low-power wireless networking and localization, common in Internet of Things scenarios.
You can think of the testbed as a scientific instrument, like a microscope, but distributed over a large area at our premises. We use it routinely to run experiments with the systems we design, focusing on both communication and localization. These two dimensions are enabled by the radios supported, currently ultra-wideband (UWB) and narrowband IEEE 802.15.4 as well as mmWave.
For instance, UWB can estimate the distance between devices very accurately, with an error below 10 cm, while providing also high-rate, low-power communication.
The applications of all these low-power radios are many, e.g., including the control of robots and drones, movement analytics in sports museums or stores, logistics and manufacturing.
The testbed offers a real-world environment in which to validate protocols, systems, and application prototypes. Further, it is also a fantastic tool for courses, where it allows students to experience “hands-on” the complexity of large-scale IoT wireless systems and the real-world applications they enable.
It is currently constituted of 130 nodes spread over nearly 8000 sqm in our university buildings. Each node contains a mini-computer managing several low-power radios.
Currently, all nodes contain both a UWB and a narrowband radio, both IEEE802.15.4 compliant. Moreover, 16 nodes are also equipped with mmWave. All these nodes are accessible online; the execution of experiments and the collection of results occurs entirely in a remote fashion, without the need to physically access the nodes