Students Mais Haj Hassan, Mohammad Abdul Salam, Mustafa Ezzeddine and Mohannad Baseet at the Middle East Electricity Awards 2017 held in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: Students from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) have developed a ‘smart utility meter reader’ that allows home owners and utility companies to check the status of meters anytime and from anywhere.

The innovative project was declared the winner of the Future Generation Undergraduate category of the Middle East Electricity Awards 2017 held recently at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Entitled IOT-based Smart Utility Meters, the project was designed and developed by Mais Haj Hassan, Mohammad Abdul Salam, Mustapha Ezzeddine, and Mohannad Baseet. The four students are from the Department of Computer Engineering at the university’s College of Engineering. Dr Abdul Rahman Al Ali and Dr Taha Landolsi, who are both professors of Computer Engineering at the university, advised the students on the project.

“The utility meter is designed based on Raspberry Pi, the latest single system-on-chip computing platform. It is empowered by the Internet of Things and utilises cloud computing for storage and big data analytics as well as Google Maps,” explained Dr Al Ali.

“Using mobile phone and utilities’ operation centres, home owners and utility operators can wirelessly access the meter to monitor and control home appliances and manage power, gas and water consumptions. Both utility companies and home owners can check the status of the meter anywhere, anytime.”

The competition was held as part of Middle East Electricity, an international trade event hosted by the Ministry of Energy, and asked students to develop projects that dealt with energy efficiency or alternative energy.

The final round saw shortlisted nine teams from AUS, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, Higher Colleges of Technology — Sharjah Women’s Colleges, RIT University Dubai, University of Bolton RAK Campus, and Birla Institute of Technology — Offshore Campus RAK, with AUS emerging as the victor.