Annual Meeting Session Details

Research Track (Thursday)

Workshop 1: Intro to LoRaWAN
Room 111, 2:00-2:40 pm
Hosted by Purdue faculty

The Purdue OATS DataStation, or POD, is a complete open source and cloudless LoRaWAN system on a tripod. Requiring only standard 120 V power, PODs feature a commercial LoRaWAN gateway and computer to house all collected data and visualizations. When connected to a near-by Wi-Fi or cell modem the data can be accessed from anywhere, even though the data never leaves your POD. If an Internet connection is unavailable at the installation site, then the data can still be easily accessed by connecting to a Wi-Fi network broadcast by the POD itself.

In this live demonstration we will deploy a new POD using the automated installer and walk through the process of adding a new LoRaWAN based sensor to the system. We will review existing visualizations and demonstrate how to create new custom dashboards. Finally, the group will tour a nearby field to see how some sensors are installed and an on-going LoRaWAN propagation study.


Workshop 2: Intro to ISOBlue (Avena 101)
Room 111, 2:45-3:25 pm
Hosted by Purdue faculty

The ISOBlue computer is OATS’ approach for edge-computing in Agricultural Machinery. By combining data sources such as machine sensors accessible through the CAN bus, location data from external GPS modules, or radio sampling from Software Defined Radios, more complex data collection experiments can be performed. In conjunction with the Avena software stack, applications can communicate with each other using the NATS messaging system, extending possibilities for local processing by using data from disparate sources. 

In this workshop, we will use data collected during driving sessions around the ACRE farm to create and deploy an Avena-compliant application to an ISOBlue edge-computer. The application will be designed in the Python programming language and will be able to retrieve and process data.

Innovation Ecosystem (IE) Track (Thursday)

Workshop 1: Fundamentals of Intellectual Property and Patents
Room 117, 2:00-2:40 pm

Hosted by Steven Weiner, IoT4Ag Innovation Ecosystem Director of Technology Transfer

Participants in this workshop will learn fundamentals of IP protection, and how to recognize opportunities to maximize the value of their innovations through patents. We will practice together using real-world examples, so that participants emerge better equipped to identify and protect the most valuable aspects of their own innovations.


Workshop 2: Crafting a Research Impact Statement
Room 117, 2:45-3:25 pm

Hosted by Dr. David Arnold

In this session, participants will learn the value of a user-centric research impact statement. Each participant will create, share, and receive feedback on their statement. The goal is to better communicate their value propositions with a commercialization mindset, allowing researchers to be more effective in establishing relationships and contacts for emerging industry.

Workforce Development (WFD) Track (Thursday)

Workshop 1: Deploying hands-on sensor and robot kits for IoT4Ag STEM outreach
Room 141, 2:00-2:40 pm

Hosted by Dr. Akhila Mallavarapu

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use and deploy hands-on activity kits for STEM outreach programs. The goal is to train volunteers on using IoT4Ag sensor and robot kits so they can deploy them in various outreach sessions for middle- and high-schoolers. The kits are designed to help students create automated plant watering and robot control systems, and introduce them to coding and interfacing with microcontrollers, sensors, and actuators. We will also brainstorm potential ideas for expanding the use of these kits to introduce students to other aspects of IoT4Ag, as well as assessing and improving learning outcomes and enthusiasm for STEM.


Workshop 2: Equity framework for broader impacts with K-12 students
Room 141, 2:45-3:25 pm

Hosted by Michael Johnson, IoT4Ag WFD Advisory Board Member

In this workshop, participants will hear a K-12 teacher perspective on broader impacts outreach initiatives, and discuss strategies to design and implement such initiatives in a way that is easy for researchers, impactful for participants, and contributes to improved educational equity. Michael Johnson is a high school STEM teacher in the School District of Philadelphia, and a director of the nonprofit Philadelphia Robotics Coalition.

Soil Sensing Workshop (Friday)

Introduction to Soil Sensing
Hosted by Drs. Tony Vyn, Cherie Kagan, Troy Olsson, Mark Allen, and Kevin Turner

This workshop, co-hosted by IoT4Ag faculty, will provide an introduction to sensing in soil and sensing needs in agricultural environments. Speakers will cover technical topics including sensing modalities (e.g. capacitive, electrochemical, and impedance), communications and power for sensors, and materials and manufacturing considerations. The workshop will conclude with an application-focused discussion of sensor deployment and density in the field.

Beck Ag Center Facility Tours

Agronomy Center for Research and Education (ACRE)

Established in 1949, ACRE is the campus-based field research station for agronomic crops and soils research at Purdue. This facility is now utilized by over 50 researchers from eight departments, conducting approximately 180 research projects. This 1,600 acre farm facility is located seven miles northwest of campus.


Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center (ICSIC)

The ICSIC at Purdue University is a 25,500-square-foot facility at ACRE, opened in fall 2016. ICSIC is the first field phenotyping facility of its kind in North America and is designed to yield profitable innovations to feed a growing population. Plant breeders, engineers, computer scientists, and aviation scientists all collaborate are ICSIC.

Purdue Campus Facility Tours

Birck Nanotechnology Center

Birck Nanotechnology Center is home to 220 resident graduate students, 60 faculty and more than 40 engineering, scientific and administrative staff. Research groups come from six academic colleges (engineering, science, agriculture, pharmacy, polytechnic and veterinary medicine). The facility includes one of the largest and cleanest university cleanrooms (25,000 sf, 20% class 1, the remainder is class 10,100 and 1000). This includes one of the first integration of biopharma and semiconductor cleanrooms in universities. Birck is a user facility for an additional 300 users from more than 125 academic units across campus and from outside industries & universities. Students and researchers have access to 33,000 sf of shared labs with state-of-the-art nano fabrication and nano characterization tools. Shared labs and office space provide ample opportunities for students to learn from each other and to work on societal grand challenge problems.


Ag Alumni Seed Phenotyping Facility (CEPF)

This 7,300-square-foot phenotyping facility – open since February 2018 – complements Purdue’s field-based phenotyping capabilities by allowing a rapid, non-destructive alternative to exploring plant traits under precise environmental control.  The Ag Alumni Seed Phenotyping Facility is a core component of the Institute for Plant Sciences, part of Purdue Moves, announced in 2013 to broaden Purdue’s global impact and enhance educational opportunities for its students.


The Open Ag Technology and Systems (OATS) Center

Many of the most promising avenues for sustainable food-ag system improvements involve novel applications of sensing, networking, and computation to big data science, visualization, and analytics. Powerful data sets and models continue to be developed at the plot, watershed, and even regional level from these research efforts. However, there are fundamental issues impeding progress in data-driven sustainability and preventing translation of research into practice.  These issues are solvable by open-source data and algorithm exchange paradigms, so much so that we believe data exchange among systems, people, and projects is the most critical component for achieving data-driven sustainability goals. To harness the data revolution in agriculture we must therefore address the key attributes of data flow to empower agriculture which are 

  1. trust
  2. automatable data exchange, and
  3. interoperability.

OATS faculty believe these attributes require levels of code-based standardization only achieved through the open-source development paradigm. Helping to bring this open-source culture to agriculture is the mission and focus of the OATS Center at Purdue University. 


Ray W. Herrick Laboratories

The Ray W. Herrick Laboratories is an interdisciplinary research laboratory that provides infrastructure for approximately 20 faculty members and their research groups.  Founded in 1957, the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories supports world-class engineering research for students, faculty, and industry. Technical areas of interest include: electromechanical systems, robotics, environmental and energetic sensors, thermal systems and air quality, noise and vibration control, and human response modeling for machine and system optimization.  Among the facilities available in our 83,000 square feet of space are HVAC and indoor air quality labs; advanced engine test cells; acoustics, noise, and vibration testing; and unique perception-based engineering labs. Herrick is also home to the Center for High Performance Buildings, which partners with industry to develop new technologies in sustainable building systems, indoor environments, human perception and comfort, and high-performance equipment.

Corteva Field Research Site Visit

If your schedule allows, Annual Meeting attendees are invited to visit Corteva’s field research station in Windfall, IN after the conclusion of the meeting on Friday June 17.

For Poster Presenters

Posters will be organized by their associated IoT4Ag projects — View the full list of posters here. Additional details:
  • Projects may have more than one poster presentation, but this is not required.
  • Poster authors should print and bring their own posters to the Annual Meeting.
  • Posters should be created using the provided IoT4Ag template, and dimensions should be 4′ x 3′
  • Posters that are being presented by students will be judged by IoT4Ag advisory board members, who will use this judging rubric.
  • Winning poster authors will receive Amazon gift cards, sponsored by Corteva:
    • First Place: $250
    • Second Place: $200
    • Third Place: $150
    • Honorable Mention: $50