Innovator Interview: Paul Langdon

ID 777724
Updated 12/30/2016
Version Latest



Paul Langdon, based in Connecticut, is a very active member of the Intel® Software Innovator Program and also very involved in his local developer community. His background in education plays a big role in his life as he not only uses his skills to help train others but also builds technologies that help others to learn. Read on to learn more about Paul.

Tell us about your background.

My original career was in biology and education. I joined a .com startup and began my career in IT. I’ve worked in software and system design since.

Do biology and education still factor into your software and system design work?

Yes, education/teaching is a big part of how I do my job. My role is equal parts design & share the patterns and methods we are trying to build. I don’t know how I would be able to do my job without the training I got in education. Biology is more active in my hobby which is BLT Robotics.

Tell me a bit about BLT Robotics?

BLT Robotics is a project I started to bring IoT (Internet of Things) and automation to agriculture and greenhouses. It started as a backyard project that has grown into an award winning hydroponic controller that has won hackathons and contests from here to China. I started the project as a marriage of my two passions – tech and agriculture. I wanted to build a system that could leverage my work in software and system design and hydroponics.

How long have you been involved in the Intel® Software Innovator Program?

I joined the program in the summer of 2015. It has been an amazing adventure that has taken me to many shows and demos. I have met some amazing innovators in all types of fields and the team from Intel has been amazing. I’ve enjoyed working on the BB-8 and Intel® Edison board project at SXSW and Google* I/O and the Intel® Joule™ board warehouse scanner at IDF, Maker Faire Portland and New York.

Tell us about a few of the projects you’ve been working on.

Lately, I’ve been working with pushing compute capabilities at the edge including machine learning and computer vision. These projects include remote analytics and monitoring. For example, my Intel® Joule™ warehouse scanner allows object recognition at the edge without cloud connectivity. It allows you to train an Intel® Joule™ board to recognize objects with a web cam and act on recognition.

Tell us about your monthly meetups.

My monthly meetup has grown to a regular group of 25 members with very diverse backgrounds and ages ranging from 10-70. We usually work on a project together during our meetup, as well as a monthly show and tell of what people are working on at home/work. Everyone is welcome and we pair up so people get the chance to learn additional skills along the way. We are currently working on a voice activated “magic mirror” project using an Arduino 101* controlled vehicle.

What project are you most proud of and why?

I am proud of my BB-8’s AWS Adventure project, a hive computing gateway I built using Sphero BB-8’s and an Intel® Edison board. The aspect of hive computing I found most interesting was taking multiple sensor inputs and using a machine learning algorithm to build and tune a 2D model in real time. The biggest challenge was buffering the large amounts of data to make a workable data set.

What trends to you see in robotics and/or IoT?

I see lots more processing being accomplished at the device level; the increase in processing power and need for more intensive analytics at the remote device level will be driving these trends. I think the use of IoT in industrial and commercial applications will bloom. We will see lots of change in that space. This will include monitoring, manufacturing automation, safety, and logistics. On the consumer side we will see better options for security, power use monitoring, age in place, and home automation that will be table stakes in new homes.

What projects do you have planned for the future?

I am working on two projects currently, adding voice controls/integration to my home automation projects and an IoT security platform. My meetup group is currently building a “magic mirror” heads up display that we hope to integrate with home controls and sensors. The challenges include integration with vendor neutral voice (Amazon/Siri/Google) and all the available home automation products and how to build universal adapters for many different types of products.

What Intel® technology do you use in your projects?

I have enjoyed working with the Intel® Joule™ and the Intel® Edison platforms. I find having a full compute package helpful in the types of applications I like to build. Micro-controllers lack the compute capabilities I need for most of my projects.

Want to learn more about the Intel® Software Innovator Program?

You can read about our innovator updates, get the full program overview, meet the innovators and learn more about innovator benefits. We also encourage you to check out Developer Mesh to learn more about the various projects that our community of innovators are working on.

Interested in more information? Contact us on Twitter - Bob Duffy and Wendy Boswell