Despite being only being made aware of this challenge at the last minute, nine days before entries closed for the initial proposal, three members from the College Media Unit managed to get through three rounds of selection and were among the 10 schools shortlisted from all the participants. The final evaluation took place on 13th September, 2017. The College team was also selected to showcase their device at the IESL Techo Sri Lanka exhibition on 12th October, 2017
The Raspberry PI challenge was an Island wide competition opened for schools and universities. This novel event was organized by IESL (Institute of Engineers, Sri Lanka) in par with their annual exhibition and the event was sponsored by UTE (United Tractors and Equipment).
The College team designed a programmable bell and an alarm system which is capable of monitoring air quality (to detect smoke, toxic and flammable gases, temperature and humidity) and fires.
In addition to the physical alarm it has the capability to send SMS to any number of predefined telephone numbers (Fire brigade, Police, Hospital and Head of installed Institution &etc) with a notification of the type of emergency.
Also, any authorized person can monitor the environment.
The system consists of one main unit capable of controlling and monitoring 254 slave units; all communications within system is done through a secure wi-fi connection. The main unit, which maintains the environments data log and controls the bell system, is built with a Raspberry PI IIIB microcontroller and handles all communications with outside world. Slave units are built with Arduino Uno microcontrollers and are capable of controlling a bell, an alarm and up to 254 sensors.
The system is a brainchild of Master Hasala Rajitha Rathnaweera (Grade 13), self-taught programmer Master Navindu Amarakoon (Grade 12) who helped with building the device and programming, and Master Mario De Silva (Grade 12) who designed the GUI.