Facens Improves Its Smart Campus via RFID, Internet of Things

By Edson Perin

The university is training leaders to solve problems in a collaborative way, and to generate products and services of added value to society.


Brazil’s Sorocaba Engineering School (Facens) is improving its Smart Campus Program, the mission of which is to create an ecosystem of leadership formation capable of collaboratively solving the emerging problems of society, as well as generating products and services of high added value. The initiative employs a variety of technologies, including radio frequency identification (RFID) and Internet of Things (IoT), to achieve its goals.

The Smart Campus project is intended to support the formation of what Farcens calls a “citizen engineer,” through the solution of real-world problems. The initiative adopts several aspects of the Smart Cities concept, with a focus on education, energy, industry and business, environment, mobility and safety, health and quality of life, information technologies and communication (ICT), and urbanization.

Professor Regiane Relva Romano shows a panel displaying real-time information regarding the Facens Smart Campus.

Facens’ Smart Campus Program develops, implements, tests, analyzes and replicates solutions for intelligent cities on the university’s campus, as an area for studies of solutions that can be replicated in actual cities. It prioritizes the transformation of real problems into solutions applicable in an urban context, aligning them with the needs, crises and challenges of Brazil for the coming decades.

According to Professor Regiane Relva Romano, who is responsible for implementing the advanced technologies that support the initiative, RFID and the IoT concept permeate various parts of the project. “We use RFID in vehicular and pedestrian access control,” Romano says, “but now, for the next year, we will be using the library and the Industry 4.0 lab that is being assembled.” She adds that books will be tagged via RFID, which will facilitate the location of specific volumes and help the college to manage conservation efforts, among other benefits.

The IoT concept, Romano says, is present in several Smart Campus activities and subprojects. “We are using sensors for temperature, pressure and computer vision, among other resources,” she states. “The system integrates the Internet of Things concept with automatic computing and data capture (AIDC) and cloud computing.”

The House Facens lighting system, for example, contains sensors that make energy consumption more efficient and reduce waste, as the sensors respond to the environment by providing light only at required levels. Additionally, technology can adjust the temperature of shower water depending on the humidity of the air, thereby reducing energy consumption.

House Facens is a project that is studying low-cost technological innovations for sustainability and scalability that can be replicable and fundable. The solution conceived is simple and easy to replicate, Facens reports, and offers modular panels that families can use in building their homes.

Facens has entered into an agreement with Sinctronics, an innovation center dedicated to “green” IT efforts, located a few kilometers from the Facens facility. Through the agreement, electronic materials discarded by Facens will be sent to Sinctronics for disassembly and recycling.

FabLab Facens was the first Facens project to utilize the Maker movement and the concept of digital prototyping. FabLab was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and is present at more than 600 networked sites throughout 60 countries. Each FabLab brings together features for the digital fabrication of prototypes, including specific electronic tools. Among the equipment available are 3D printers, laser-cutting machine, CNC milling machines and more. The lab employs a manager (known as the Fab Lab Manager), as well as several Fab Gurus (technicians who are experts in prototyping, machines, software and processes).

In 2016, the Smart Campus project at the Sorocaba Engineering School received the 19th Automation Award in the education category. The award is given annually to companies that show improved performance, in addition to those that have invested in innovative automated process projects, following GS1‘s standards.