1st Greek Summer School on Smart Home Technologies, University of Patras, 9-20 July 2012

The Network Architectures and Management group of Electrical & Computer Engineering Department organizes the first summer school on Smart Home Technologies. The school mainly targets final year undergraduate and postgraduate students with basic programming experience in C and Java while basic knowledge in operating systems like Linux will also be helpful. Most importantly, candidates should come to the courses with desire to learn, imagination, systematicity and persistence in carrying out the assignments.  The courses will be a combination of lectures and labs and they will be delivered by experienced professionals and academics in Greek. The topics with tentative schedule are listed below.

1) Introduction in networking and VLANs (1 day)

The aim of this course is to give an overview of the technologies involved in home connectivity with the internet through specific internet service provider architectures. We will get a thorough account of the current practices among the various providers how they are interconnected and how they collaborate in delivering end-to-end communication. Emphasis will be placed on Virtual LANs which is the core networking technology that is used between the home gateways and the provider.

2) Hardware design of home communication components (1 day)

The aim of this course is to familiarize students with communication technologies that are in wide use in the implementation of home network devices.

In particular it is elaborated how physical communication interfaces, such as, Bluetooth, WiFi, ZigBee, etc, integrate with each other and with protocols and user applications, thanks to the exploitation of low cost processors cores.

The session analyses in detail, the hardware principles of electronic design of communication components for home networks and gives representative design examples of home gateways implementations, worked out with the participation of the students. Indicative topics to be covered include CPU interfaces towards peripheral chipsets (MII, I2C, Memory buses, JTAG, Serial), CPU cores and applications.

3) Embedded SW (Open OS-Linux) (3 days)

The aim of this course is to familiarize students with the use of open source operating systems that are currently in wide use in consumer electronics.

It is analyzed how a software kernel of an open OS can be built for a particular CPU type and for customized hardware platforms.

Extensive analysis is given on how an open OS kernel can be built using open source tools for compilation, linking, code downloading on the hardware platform and debugging.

Finally the course ends with an introduction to the OSGi (Open Services Gateway Initiative Project), an application environment suited for the development of user applications making use of embedded devices. 

4) Communication Protocols (level 2 up to the application layer – not included) (3 days)

The course presents in detail popular protocols and protocol stacks used in home communications, along with their characteristics and application potentials.

Protocol studies include:

  • UPnP,
  • IP, NAT, Firewall, VPNs,
  • DLNA,
  • ZigBee,
  • Bluetooth

5) Practical exercises & experiments (2 days)

This course covers the practical part of the school, providing practical exercises to be implemented on a real open hardware/software platform.

The scope of the exercises is to consolidate the theoretical knowledge lectured.

There will be three practical exercises, each one requiring implementation of the single knowledge toughed in each lesson individually. The final day will be devoted to the organisation of one single practical communication experiment, whose implementation will require combined exploitation of knowledge toughed and practised in previous sessions and exercises, in the context of one-fits-all application, for example a home appliance control application.


There is a limited number of students who could attend (10-15 students). The selection will be based on priority of the applications and students qualifications. There are no fees. To apply, please send a small CV to (sdena [at] upatras.gr) no later than 29th of June. On 2nd of July we will notify the selected students.

Professor Odysseas Koufopavlou

Assistant Professor Spyros Denazis