IEEE 7th World Forum on Internet of Things
14 June–31 July 2021 // New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

TOP6: Sensors and Sensor Systems



Sensor and sensor systems are an essential and often critical part of IoT solutions and
applications. If one views IoT as the enabling technology and infrastructure for operating end-
end platforms that take advantage of the Internet’s global reach – then sensors are the
essential source of data and information that drives the value chain and ultimate utility of
solutions and applications. The aspects of what the Track will cover include:

  • The underlying technology and principles of novel (analog and digital) physical and
    virtual sensors. This includes sensors that may measure simple physical quantities
    (pressure, temperature, moisture, chemical composition, etc), complex sensors such as
    LIDARs, radars, imagers exploiting different portions of the electro-magnetic and sound
    spectrum (including vibrometry), as well as hyperspectral, multi-modal and information
    sensors (extracting information from data in digital form), and lastly sensors that can be
    used to deduce or identify a specific condition or specific information (such as a failure
    mode of a piece of equipment, the presence of an object or feature, or an identity)
  • How the sensors or sensor systems may be used in an operational setting addressing
    system level issues and tradeoffs. This includes the choice of overall architecture, the
    role of accompanying technologies as well as capital and operating expenses acceptable
    for effective solutions and applications. As important is the ability to meet both
    functional and intrinsic requirements and successful economic and business models for
    deployment. Other issues addressed in the track involve standardization, policy and
    regulations, security and privacy, the ethical uses of sensor technologies, and the
    societal consequences of widescale use. With large investments in industrial IoT,
    connected health, autonomous cars, retailing, and consumer services comes the need to
    deal with the fundamental complexity and distributed nature of IoT applications – and
    the understanding of what is technologically mature and market ready and what is still
    in the offing.

Applications of sensors and sensor systems to specific functions in various verticals and
markets stressing experiences from trials and demonstrations. For WFIoT2020 we put a
premium on sensors for the market/vertical segments that are a part of the conference
such as: Agriculture, Energy and Power, Environment and Ecology, Healthcare, Industry
and Manufacturing, Smart Cities and Smart Buildings. This also includes horizontal
services and infrastructure such as options for connectivity (fixed, wireless, space based,
and terrestrial mobile), access to computing and storage (embedded, local, edge, fog
and cloud), as well as platforms and frameworks for exploiting other important
technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Virtual and
Augmented Reality, Data aggregation and curation, support for industrial automation
and for autonomous platforms.

Track Co-Chairs

Elfed Lewis, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Elfed Lewis was born in Holyhead, Wales in 1959. He graduated with BEng (Hons) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Liverpool University in 1981. He was awarded a PhD from University of Liverpool in 1987 for work on high-speed photography and spectroscopy of electric circuit breaker arcs during the current zero phase. Following this, he worked as development engineer with BICC Telecom. Cables, Prescot, Merseyside in conjunction with University of Liverpool developing chromatic modulation based optical fiber sensors for a wide range of applications. In 1989 he Joined Liverpool John Moores University where he initiated the research activity in Optical Fiber Sensors. The group investigated sensors for environmental monitoring including water contamination and pH.  In 1996 he joined University of Limerick at which time he established and has since led the Optical Fiber Sensors Research Centre. He is Associate Professor and Director of the Optical Fiber Sensors Research Centre at University of Limerick. He is Fellow of Institute of Physics, IET and Senior member IEEE. He has authored and co-authored more than 180 journal papers and made in excess of 300 contributions to international conferences. He currently holds 9 patents on Optical Fiber Sensor Devices. In 2005 he was recipient of the University of Limerick Special Achievement in Research Award and was a Fulbright Scholar with CREOL (University of Central Florida) in 2008. He was Distinguished Lecturer for IEEE Sensors Council for the period July 2013-June 2015 and is currently Vice President for Technical Operations for IEEE sensors Council. HE was General Chair of the IEEE Sensors 2011 conference and European Workshop on Optical Fiber Sensors (EWOFS 2016) held at University of Limerick. He was co-chair of the IEEE World Forum on Internet of Things (WFIoT) (April 2019 held at University of Limerick, Ireland).


Raju Arvind, Intel

Raju Arvind is a technologist working as a System Architect for client platforms and IOT systems for many years at Intel. He is presently with Intel’s Internet of Things Group (IOTG), working on Industrial Systems. More recently, he has been the architect and designer for an end to end asset tracking solution which included a secure wireless sensor network to track shipments across ocean, land and air transportation means. He brings his perspectives in platform development for cellular communication systems, IOT solution architectures, system optimization and security. He is currently working on 5G based solutions for Industrial Automation use cases.




Robert Finnerty, Digital healthcare group

Robert is a Electronic Engineer currently working at Analog Devices in Ireland in the Digital healthcare group, currently focusing on optical and bio impedance applications. He graduated from the National University of Ireland Galway(NUIG) with a bachelors in electronic and electrical engineering. Robert has previously worked in the defence and aerospace industries before joining ADI.


Title: Optical Sensor Solutions for Medical Applications

Abstract: This presentation will explain how optical technology advancements and measurement techniques are at the forefront of the medical industry for VSM, medical instrumentation and disease management and give an insight into optical circuit design and integrated solutions.

Rahul Khanna, A Vision for Platform Autonomy

Rahul Khanna is a principal engineer working as a platform architect at Intel involved in the development of AI-assisted solutions and energy-efficient algorithms. Over the past 20 years, he has worked on server system software technologies, including workload auto-tuning, platform automation, power/thermal optimization techniques, reliability, and predictive methodologies. He has authored 2 books, numerous technical papers, and book chapters on Autonomics, Machine Learning, energy optimization, platform wireless interconnect, sensor networks, interconnect reliability, predictive modeling, motion estimation & prediction, security, and has co-authored a book on platform autonomy. He holds over 53 patents. He is also the co-inventor of the Intel Interconnect Built-in Self-Test (IBIST), a methodology for high-speed interconnect testing. His research interests include evolutionary techniques for Pareto optimality in dense networks, machine learning-based solutions, power/thermal optimization algorithms, narrow-channel high-speed wireless interconnects, and information retrieval in dense networks. Dr. Khanna is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the recipient of three Intel Achievement Awards for his contributions in areas related to the advancement of platform technologies. He holds a Masters and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering.


Bob Proctor, Co-founder and CEO, Link Labs

Bob Proctor is the co-founder and CEO of Link Labs, a leading provider of an end-to-end IoT platform for tagging, locating and monitoring equipment, supplies and assets anywhere at anytime. With a PhD in applied physics and 25 years of entrepreneurial and business leadership, Bob is also a founding principal of Blu Venture Investors, a venture capital investment company that supports early-stage entrepreneurs in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.

Bob has a unique point of view on a wide range of emerging technologies and their novel applications and potential market viability as an investor, strategic advisor and board director to many early- and mid-stage companies. In addition to Link Labs, Bob’s investments in companies now realizing leadership in their respective markets include Reify Health, a provider of cloud-based software to the life sciences industry that accelerates development of new and life-saving therapies and Signal Vine, an AI messaging platform for higher education institutions.

Before Link Labs, Bob served as CEO, board director and lead investor of FlexEl, a University of Maryland spin-off that manufactured ultra-high capacity batteries and power management systems; CEO of GlobalLogic, a digital product engineering services company; in a variety of senior management positions at The Corporate Executive Board Company, a provider of advisory services in IT, finance, legal/compliance and supply chain functions; and as vice president of strategy and marketing at Saba Software, a provider of cloud-based solutions for recruiting, enterprise learning, talent management and collaboration. Bob began his career at global management consulting firm McKinsey and Company.


Abstract: Ranging has long been the Holy Grail for precision location systems, powering technologies such as GPS and Ultrawideband (UWB)—but at a cost: these systems are often too expensive for tracking most items and have onerous power requirements or finicky installation procedures.


Joseph Walsh, Head of the School of STEM, Director of IMaR ResearchCentre and the AgriTech Centre of Excellence, MunsterTechnological University

Professor Joseph Walsh is Head of the School of STEM and Director of the Intelligent Mechatronics and RFID (IMaR) Research Centre and the AgriTech Centre of Excellence (ACE) at Munster Technological University – Kerry Campus, Co Kerry, Ireland. His research experience encompasses the field of intelligent mechatronics and sensors, dairy technology, robotics and automation, autonomous systems, bio‐instrumentation and STEM education and is well published in these areas. Professor Walsh has over 20 years research and development experience in both industry and academia and has (co-)authored over 100 scientific articles and has received over €20 million in research funding over the past 10 years. He is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Funded Investigator and is actively involved in the SFI collaborative research centres, LERO the Irish Software Research and the CONFIRM Centre for Smart Manufacturing. He has also been active in many EU funded research projects and coordinated the FP7 Rotabot project on next generation milking parlours.

He currently leads an €8.96 million project called “Rethinking Engineering Education in Ireland (REEdI)” The project is supported by the Higher Education Authority in Ireland under the Human Capital Initiative. REEdI offers an agile and innovative learning programme providing personalised, flexible and tailored options to diverse learner cohorts; from school leavers to graduating apprentices, to upskilling industry professionals and mature students. REEdI combines an innovative method of content delivery with new immersive technologies to deliver a transformative programme of self-directed and self-scheduled learning for the next generation of engineers.

Professor Walsh graduated with a Ph.D in Electronic Engineering from the University of Limerick and an M.Sc (Eng) in Bio‐engineering jointly from Trinity Collage Dublin (TCD), University College Dublin (UCD) and the University of Limerick (UL). He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics (FinstP) and is a corporate member of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland (MIEI) and has been awarded the titles of Chartered Engineer and Chartered Physicist. He is currently leading a number of industrial targeted projects with companies such as Dairymaster, McHales, Abbey Machinery, Bons Secours Hospital Group, Liebherr and Kostal.

Title: How will the use of IoT and AI for Sustainable AgriculturePower the 4th Agricultural Revolution

Abstract: The advent of new technologies are having such a transformative effect on farming nd agribusiness, it has been titled “The 4th Agricultural Revolution”. This revolution brings with it technological developments such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, advanced sensor technologies, drone deployment, machine learning and robotics.

Low cost high performance sensor technologies are allowing a vast amount of data to be collected, this data can be interrogated using AI and Machine Learning to provide farmers with assistive technologies that can inform better decisions which is of benefit to processors, consumers and the environment. A technology revolution is also taking place. Breakthroughs in nutrition, genetics, informatics, satellite imaging, remote sensing, meteorology, precision farming and low impact agriculture mean smart Agricultural Technologies (AgriTech) has huge potential for development.

The agri-food supply chain uses smart AgriTech from the planting of seeds, harvesting of crops, breeding, treating disease, transportation and commercial sales. AgriTech is rapidly becoming one of the world’s fastest growing and exciting markets. It is driven by global challenges: a rising population, rapid development of emerging economies with western lifestyle aspirations and growing geopolitical instability around shortages of land, water and energy.

This presentation will discuss how IoT and AI technologies will contribute to address all of these challenges through improvements in yield and efficiency with a reduced environmental impact, including carbon reduction and improved biodiversity and in- turn drive the 4th agricultural revolution.


Babu Dayal Padullaparthi, Photonic Components DFM Ltd, Maywood Court, Hong Kong

Dr. Babu found Photonic Components DFM Ltd. (PCDL) in Jan 2017 in Hong Kong and currently its VP & CTO. Prior to PCDL, he held senior executive roles at high-volume VCSEL manufacturing companies in Hong Kong and their fabs based in PRC. He was instrumental in development and commercialization of high-speed Datacom and high-power sensing NIR VCSELs with his previous employers SAE Magnetics, a TDK company in Hong Kong & Sanan Optoelectronics Ltd in Hong Kong/Xiamen between 2012-19, respectively. Over 22 years of experience in compound semiconductors including 16 years in Optoelectronics/Photonic devices, both Academia (R&D) & Industry (Optical Components). He holds Ph. D. from Indian Institute of Technology at Delhi (2004) in Nanostructured Materials; worked as Post-Doc at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan in VCSELs (2005-09). A recipient of Outstanding Poster Award from Materials Research Society (MRS) in Fall 2004, Japanese Government Post-Doctoral Fellowship from JSPS in 2005, and IEEE LEOS (i-NOW) Japan Chapter Young Scientist Award 2008. Co-authored 50+ peer reviewed technical papers and co-inventor of 19 Patents, a member of IEEE (Photonics & Communication) Societies, OSA & SPIE

Title: VCSEL based Optical Sensors for IoT

Abstract: recent years, Vertical-Cavity Surface-emitting Lasers (VCSEL) technology is proliferated for high- volume applications and put into commercial use in various industries as smart sensors in Building Automation, Consumer Electronics, Manufacturing, Automotive and Transportation, Health Care and Medical, Retailing and Logistics, Security and Surveillance, Agriculture, Aerospace and Defense, Oil and Gas etc. The increasing adaption of automation across above diverse industries driving the growth of global technology intensive optical sensor market to ~36B$ by 2026. These built-in smart optical sensors with various benefits such as flexibility, compactness, light weight and high performance in adverse environments that connected to high-speed internet to perform seamless operation of various pre-programmed functions are strongly influencing the landscape of Internet-of-Things (IoT). As industry 4.0 begin attaining importance and the data collected from these smart optical sensors will be processed and used for specific applications through IoT cloud platform, the relevance of intrinsic and extrinsic optical sensors is increasing in manufacturing applications across industries. IoT system use various Optical Sensors viz., Photon emitters (LED, laser diodes [VCSELs, FP, DFB]) and Photon Detectors (PD, APD, SPAD, SiPMT) as its high-speed, low-cost and reliable wireless communication components with necessary electronic driver circuits for accurate sensing applications such as touch, gesture, depth etc. Now a days, 1D and 2D VCSEL arrays between UV-MIR wavelengths as intrinsic optical sensors finding lucrative commercial opportunities in consumer electronic smart (mobile, watch, tablet, voice assisted devices) applications, Biological (security and tracking) features, Health Care (pulse oximeter, OCT), Automotive (imaging in autonomous cars), transport/traffic management (in anti-collision avoidance, speed, position), to environment (green building automation), defense (security and surveillance), logistics and shipping (containers, seals, inspection object movement), home automation (3D image tracking, detection of objects nearby), wireless (navigation, illumination, GPS positioning), entertainment (gaming, gesture control, emote control, eyewear through AR), food/chemical inspection etc. In IoT, as the future electronic components operates numerous systems with intelligence without human involvement, market players extend the capabilities of intrinsic optical sensors and their improved performance to measure extrinsic optical sensor functions such as temperature, flow, liquid level, pressure etc. for effective transmission of data to designated modules. In this talk, authors review advanced VCSELs technologies for Water Purification as Biological disinfectant, Consumer Electronics (mobile sensing), Automotive (LiDAR for 3D object detection and imaging up to 200m), Laser printing, OCT and gas sensing industries including challenges and success in respective fields.


Yuan Diping, professor, technical director of Shenzhen Urban Public Safety Technology Research Institute

Yuan Diping, professor, technical director of Shenzhen Urban Public Safety Technology Research Institute, a hundred million national talents, special paste by the State Council, Shenzhen national leading talents. Part-time professor and doctoral tutor of China University of Mining and Technology, visiting researcher and doctoral tutor of Shenzhen Advanced Technology Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and tutor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute of Nanfang University of Science and Technology. Vice-chairmen of community safety professional committee of China Emergency Management Association, vice-chairmen of Shenzhen Emergency Management Association/chairman of informationization professional committee, members of standardization work committee of China Fire Protection Association, members of fire fighting and rescue technical professional committee, and vice-chairmen of expert center of urban rail transit fire safety professional committee. Mainly engaged in urban public safety information technology, urban public safety equipment technology, intelligent fire fighting technology, emergency rescue simulation training technology and other aspects of research. He has presided over and completed more than 10 provincial and ministerial-level projects such as the state key R&D plan, the key research plan of the Ministry of Public Security, and the R&D plan of the key areas of Guangdong Province. At present, as the project leader, he is responsible for the 13th Five-Year National Key R&D Plan Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the key project of Guangdong Province for disaster prevention and mitigation, and the project of Shenzhen Science and Technology Creation Committee.

Title: Practice and Application of AIot Technology in Hazardous Chemical Industry

Abstract: Due to the severity and enormous impact of hazardous chemical accidents, it is significant to explore construction of smart hazardous chemical management for enhancing the safety level of this industry. This presentation takes gas station as an example, proposing intelligent algorithm research methods for gas stations including 8 types of AI intelligence identification and 8 types of IOT monitoring identification by analyzing gas stations’ needs. AI business rule and risk management model is developed and a set of smart gas station risk monitoring and early warning system was established. As a result, smart management of hazardous chemical industry can be realized and accidents.



James G. Bellingham, Executive Director, Institute for Assured Autonomy, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD USA

Jim Bellingham is a pioneer in the development of small, high-performance autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). He is executive director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Assured Autonomy in Baltimore, MD.  Bellingham’s work has resulted in a class of systems that are now widely used within the military, industry and science communities. He has been instrumental in innovations for ocean observing and has spent considerable time at sea, leading two dozen AUV expeditions in locations across the Antarctic, North Atlantic, Mediterranean, South Pacific, and Arctic.  Bellingham concurrently serves as a research professor in the Whiting School’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and as a senior advisor in APL’s Asymmetric Operations Sector, where he’ll help advance government and defense innovations for national security.  Bellingham previously held leadership roles at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, as well as founding the Autonomous Underwater Vehicles Laboratory at MIT Sea Grant.  He is a co-founder of Bluefin Robotics, a maker of AUVs.  His honors include election to the National Academy of Engineering (induction October 2021), the Navy Superior Public Service Award, and the Lockheed Martin Award for Ocean Science and Engineering, and the MIT Wallace Lectureship.  Bellingham received a B.S., an M.S., and a Ph.D., in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Talk Title:  Robots at the Edge:  IOT in the Deep Ocean

Abstract: Robotic systems provide particularly powerful tools for working in the deep ocean, effectively serving as human surrogates to carry out simple inspection, sampling, and maintenance tasks.  As marine industries such as oil and gas, offshore wind, and aquaculture move to deeper waters, they establish infrastructure in locations that are beyond diver depths and extremely expensive to inspect and maintain with human occupied submersibles.  Challenges of operating in the marine environment include the inability to use radio communications, the high cost of mobility due to the density of water, and the inability to use high-energy density power sources like internal combustion engines due to high ambient pressures and the lack of oxygen.  Fortunately the same industries that are building infrastructure in the deep ocean, also typically introduce electrical power and communication infrastructure that can provide power and connectivity to sensors and mobile platforms.  This talk will review the needs, challenges, technological solutions, and opportunities for extending IOT capabilities to sensors and robotic systems in the deep ocean.