Report from the Takeda Foundation
The Takeda Foundation invited eleven students and researchers from Kyrgyzstan to provide experience in IoT technology in Japan for the purpose of contribution of training and control of human resources in the IT field in Asia, from Monday, July 23rd, 2018 to Wednesday, August 1st, 2018.
Kyrgyz Republic is located in the Tian Shan Mountain Range and is called the Switzerland of Central Asia. Agriculture and sightseeing are the major industries in Kyrgyz Republic, and they are interested in the science and technology development which led to the economic growth of Japan which has comparatively few natural resources. The government of Kyrgyz Republic established the high-tech park law with the aim of increasing the number of workers engaged in the IT industry in the country up to 50,000 by 2030, and has been training workers in the IT field.
Studying the specific applications of IoT, and after that the training for research on the basic technology supporting IoT, was planned for this training. Specifically, they learned about the smart (energy) grid of Kashiwa-no-ha Smart City, the individual management system of dairy cows (dairy farm) developed by Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology and Farmnote Holdings Inc., and the Japan travel platform (miQip) for tourism on which Shibuya City Tourism Association performed a proving test.
IoT’s applications for dairy farms, in which the participants from Kyrgyzstan particulary showed their interest, were introduced in the activity report. Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology and a venture company, Farmnote Holdings Inc., have developed a sensor system which can determine if a cow is either pregnant or is about to give birth, using a computerized analysis system for the acceleration changes caused by a cow’s activity by placing an acceleration sensor on the cow’s neck. In the dairy industry, they make sure to produce milk all the time by repeatedly making cow pregnant and giving birth. Dairy farmers can control a cow’s pregnancy and birth by introducing this system and increasing the amount of milk production. Since people in Kyrgyzstan were originally herdsmen, many people are still engaged in dairy farming. The students showed great interest in the individual management of dairy cows by IoT.
As basic technology supporting IoT, the partipants visited the clean room used for semiconductor manufacturing, and observed the development of ultra low power devices at the Hiramoto Laboratory of the Institute of Industrial Science, at the University of Tokyo (Seiken). They also participated in hands-on learning about the experiment in Energy Harvesting technology necessary for IoT’s sensors, etc. at the Takamiya Laboratory of Seiken. At VLSI Design and Education Center, Professor Makoto Ikeda explained about the security (encryption) technology indispensable for IoT when it is used. What the participants from Kyrgyzstan showed the most interest in, regarding research on the basic technology of IoT, was semiconductor manufacturing which belongs to the hardware industry, and the experiment in wireless power transfer at Takamiya Laboratory at Seiken. Even the IT researchers have never seen a semiconductor manufacturing site, because they do not have a hardware industry such as semiconductor manufacturing in Kyrgyzstan.
At the Takamiya Laboratory, we created a luminous body that flies around in three dimensional space to create floating images in the air, and succeessfully transferred power wirelessly to this luminous body. The photo below is of the students from Kyrgyzstan participating in the experiments on luminous bodies flying around the air. Participation in physical experiments like this one is a rare opportunity for the students from Kyrgyzstan, and they asked a lot of questions about the experiment to know more details, and their questions seemed to never end.
For IoT, it is essential to have a technology for sending information from sensors inexpensively (LPWA) in the future. This time, we tried a demonstration experiment on a system that allows the participants to have GPS sensors under development by Lean-tech to prevent them from getting lost, and the position of each person was monitored 24 hours a day. Although there were problems, such as the alarm often going off by mistake, etc., this system was able to constantly track each person, and it helped to prevent them from getting lost by making their location known through constant monitoring of their movements.
Finally, on the afternoon of August 1, we held the IoT experience learning completion ceremony and successfully concluded the Kyrgyzstan Science and Technology Exchange program.