When it comes to the technology, we had an Ultrasonic Distance Sensor (UDS) linked up to our Arduino that would sense the depth and a simple LED that would get turned on when something was close to the UDS. It had a range of about three and a half meters so it was fine for our presentation (obviously on a streetlight it would need a longer range). We initially set up the UDS to only turn on the LED when we had our hand anyway between 3cm and 5cm from it - to simulate someone coming in range of the streetlight then walking out of range. Which worked fine and showed the concept really well. Next we decided to tackle the broker running in java and we managed to get it talking to another groups (also working on smart lighting) Arduino over the broker on 2 computers shown in the image below.
Then for the presentation we had the Arduino’s all working over wifi using the IBM network in the room. So that when you put your hand over the UDS utilising the broker it would activate all the LEDs on the wirelessly connected Arduino’s from the other groups. Which as we had a darkened out room, was pretty impressive!
All in all, the concept worked really well, and I can see it being used and implemented in the future. The intelligent mesh networked streetlight...you heard about it here first.