Internet of Things

Are they taking over?

You have probably heard a conversation about machines rising up and controlling humankind—probably from an older relative or paranoid aquaintance. Glorified by the entertainment industry through movies (I, Robot, The Matrix, and Transformers) and books (Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles, Robopocalypse, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), the fear of robots “taking over the world” has been a concern for many individuals. With the advent of many of our smart technologies, like sensor networks and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), convenience has triumphed over necessity in many of our lives. Our knowledge concerning how these smart technologies work and the securities that surround them may be our saving grace if/when the machines decide to turn against their makers (us).

“The knowledge we have about computer security is suddenly applicable to everything and the restrictions and regulations and controls from the real world start being imposed onto us. The place where we’re first seeing this collision is the Internet of Things.” —Bruce Schneier

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. All of the devices that are connected using the protocols of the Internet make up the Internet of Things. We humans have found these devices useful for tasks such as communication, navigation, and health care. For example, GPS and related technologies have changed how humans travel, navigate, and find information related to geolocation. Before GPS, navigation would be planned in advance—spontaneous changes would be difficult to make.

Sensor networks are created by by autonomous sensors to measure environmental conditions such as light, temperature, and sound. These sensor networks facilitate new ways of interacting with the environment and with physical systems. Businesses use motion sensors to control lighting and temperature to conserve energy and money. Security can be established in organizations by creating laser grids and sensors to keep items safe. Ultimately, the Internet of Things allows us to bring the smart devices in our lives together in an efficient working capacity.

So, will these smart devices become too intelligent through their interconnectedness and take over the world? Your sibling has the same question...


Recently, your younger sibling watched I, Robot and is now scared to go to bed because they think the “robots are going to attack in the night.” Compose a short (between one and two minutes) presentation on the medium of your choice (Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, etc.) to help your younger sibling feel brave about going to bed. If you cannot convince them, your parents said that your younger sibling would have to sleep in your room (and they probably snore).

  1. Research the following topics:
    • Internet of Things
    • Smart devices
    • Sensor networks
    • Security related to the above topics
  2. Make sure to properly cite your sources in the presentation. For help on citing material, visit the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
  3. Submit your presentation to your teacher through the specified method. Make sure to explain these topics in a way that a younger sibling would understand.