Lego Smart Buildings (1)

  • Lego Smart Buildings (1)
EEECS Summer Research Internships 2018

Proposed Project Title:

  • Lego Smart Buildings

Principal Supervisor(s):
  • Dr. David Cutting

Project Description:

EEECS is always looking for innovative ways to model real-world problems in an accessible and effective way. One approach being used is through the use of lego to build a “smart city” consisting of a number of buildings and associated infrastructure (roads, crossings, railways, etc). This setup will be used to:

  • Design and implement sensor-based and software solutions to common real-world problems (how do we manage lighting or ventilation for example)
  • As a showcase of the types of functional things that can be built with lego and computing integrations which will then encourage others such as school children or EEECS students to use our facilities to build their own projects and engage

To get the ball rolling this project is to begin constructing some buildings and investigating the physical EEECS infrastructure (types of tables, access points, wiring harnesses, computer power, etc) required. The project is quite open-ended in nature so, depending on progress, may evolve to include connecting multiple buildings together into the smart city model.

The types of tasks that would be required include:

  • Assembly of lego buildings (playing with lego!)
  • Planning and considering wiring for things like lighting and sensors both from a main “grid” and also to computing units
  • Investigating ways of mounting these buildings onto tables and the most effective way to use the space
  • 3D printing custom components as needed
  • Planning the smart city model
  • Implementing building management software as an initial proof-of-concept

The intention would be to have another intern from the EEE side to work alongside. While no specific electronics knowledge is required for this placement a willingness to learn simple wiring and some knowledge of basic principles (positive and negative, wiring, etc) would be beneficial, as would knowledge of Raspberry Pis or other small sensor-rich computing platforms. Programming knowledge is essential though the specific languages you have experience with are less important but a willingness to learn/use Python is a must.

Here's an example of a lego smart city we’re hoping to ultimately build a more complex (and better) version of:

  1. Construct and wire up several smart buildings in lego
  2. Devise and test the most effective methods of physical supporting infrastructure
  3. Plan the “smart city”
  4. Design and print specialist components as needed, including them in a library of such items
  5. Demonstrate the feasibility of using lego along with sensor networks and electronics to model real-world situations

Academic Requirements:

The scheme is open to all EEECS Undergraduates (apart from students on the BIT degree pathway)

You must be a competent programmer and be willing to self-learn python. An interest in machine learning, data analysis are also desirable.

General Information:

Each internship will last between 6-8 weeks and will pay a weekly stipend of £250.

Accommodation and travel costs are not provided under this scheme.

Start date: To be negotiated

Duration:  8 weeks

Location: Computer Science Building

Further information available at:

Contact details:

Supervisor Name: David Cutting

Queens University of Belfast
School of EEECS,
Computer Science Building,
18 Malone Road,

Tel: +44 (0)28 90974998