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Aalto’s team the only first-timers in World Challenge 2018 finals

What happens when, by chance, two students from different fields sit side by side in the Otakaari 1 learning space?
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The gaIoTa project started by coincidence, but its direction has been clear from the very beginning: this team would take their competition entry focusing on improving access to open data all the way to a startup.

Design student Viktorija Piaulokaite worked in a student project dealing with artificial intelligence, when electrical engineering student Mcha Ame by chance decided to sit next to her. They started to talk and found out that they were interested in the same topic. It took only a month, and their team, Loi Tran, Heru Raha and Udayanto Dwi Atmojo, was the only Finland-based team to make it to the finals of World Challenge. In the competition, different teams from around the world develop applications utilising satellite data.

A place in the finals was a great accomplishment for the team also because gaIoTa was the only project to make it to the finals in its first year of participation. In addition to the application, the team has created a website and a brand, characterised by a dancing blue man named gaIoTa. How did the team manage to do all this in just over a month? The key to success can be condensed in one word. 

‘Trust’, Mcha says.

‘We all have our own special expertise. We trust each other and the fact that everyone will do their share. We do not have one leader, but we manage the team together by discussion and mutual agreement’, Mcha says. The team members learn from each other, the developer learns about design, and the designer about coding.

‘I learned how a developer thinks’, Viktorija says.

‘I learned to appreciate the work of designers and to understand commercial thinking. In the future, it will be easier for me to work with professionals from different backgrounds’, Mcha says and confesses his love for coding.

The application allows access to the Internet of Things

GaIoTa’s idea is to provide everyone with access to the open Internet of Things (IoT) data anywhere in the world.

‘The application helps users find open IoT devices and their data. Although there are a lot of IoT devices and data in the world, it is difficult to locate them’, says Udayanto Dwi Atmojo, who works as a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Electrical Engineering.

GaIoTa enables companies, researchers and the wider public to locate and analyse IoT data easily. The data is presented on NASA World Wind platform, which is an open 3D virtual globe.

From the Finals Week, the team was looking forward to meeting new people and listening to the presentations during the Finals Day. In addition, they were hoping to meet business partners, as the team has clear plans for a startup.

‘We are passionate about taking our plans to the next level and establishing a startup’, the team says.

The finals event was a wonderful experience for the team.

“The event had the atmosphere of addressing the global issues together. We all have common problems, let's solve those together”, Viktorija concludes.

 

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