New products, Conferences, Books, Papers, Internet of Things

Archive for October, 2006

EraSME: The First Transnational Project is Starting Now

The first transnational co-operation project of the European initiative EraSME is starting now. EraSME is a co-operation between more than 20 European funding agencies running or at least planning SME-oriented programmes. The aim of the project is to foster international co-operation between SMEs and RTOs (research or technology organisations) or universities. Transnational joint projects are supported concertedly by several countries; the money comes from the various national support programmes. Each country brings its own support programme into the common pilot project.

The complete story here.

Industrial Energy Harvesting

While Muenstermann of Honeywell Process Solutions guesses that 80% of wireless installations do not require off-the-grid power sources such as batteries, truly untethered sensors are the wave of the future. And so it was gratifying to see Perpetuum displaying its PMG17 vibration energy harvester, which promises to generate useful energy from from levels of vibration that are 35% lower than previously possible. In size, Perpetuum’s device is somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball. The company makes provisions for continued operation during power outages (that is, when vibration ceases). Sensicast, too, had vibration energy harvesters (looking much like Perpetuum’s) on display in its booth, thanks to a working relationship with Ferro Solutions. “Sensicast is excited about continuing to work with Ferro on powerful, joint energy solutions,” says Patrick Rafter of Sensicast.

Interestingly, Ferro also makes hybrid sensors that combine piezoelectric and magnetic materials “to deliver sensitivity approaching that of SQUID magnetometers, but with much lower power consumption and in a much smaller package,” the company notes.

The complete story here.

Arch Rock Primer Pack

Arch Rock Corporation has introduced the first wireless sensor network that can be accessed and operated as a full-fledged member of the IT infrastructure, allowing enterprises to use standard Internet management tools to gain visibility and control down to the level of individual sensor nodes.

Arch Rock Primer Pack is a complete wireless sensor network (WSN) that is simple enough to be deployed in an hour as a pilot network in a factory, office building or data center, yet sophisticated enough to be seamlessly integrated into enterprise applications as a set of standards-compliant web services.

The complete story here.

Intelligent sensors watch for impending floods

A “grid” of smart river sensors that monitor water depth and flow and can predict impending flooding is to be installed in a UK river.

By producing more accurate and concise data than existing monitoring systems, the network could give locals and government decision-makers earlier warning of rising trouble.

Two of thirteen sensor nodes have so far been installed along a kilometre stretch of the River Ribble, in the Yorkshire Dales, and the rest of the network should be in place by the end of the year. “The river floods regularly after Christmas every year,” says Danny Hughes, a computer and environmental scientist at Lancaster University, UK, who is working on the project.

The complete story here.

Rethinking Network Computing and Communications across Urban Environments.

The International Technology Alliance (ITA), led by IBM, consists of top researchers in industry, academia, and government whose goal is to rethink network computing and communications across urban environments.

While capabilities grow every day and the price of hardware continually drops with new technology, the fact remains that there are no well-established standards for sensor network nodes or data produced by them. The ITA consortium will receive approximately $138 million, from the US Army Research Laboratory and the UK’s Ministry of Defence. The program is unprecedented in terms of its geographic scope, its length of 10 years, and the depth of its industry-academia collaborations.

Furthermore, the alliance is willing to discuss undergraduate projects for those who would like to try their hand in this type of research.

Read the complete article at Rensselaer Polytechnic online.

Z-Wave to seize Home Automation market

Z-Wave won the 2006 PC World Award and more recently the Prestigious 2006 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award in the Wireless Category. The Z-Wave protocol, an obvious contender to ZigBee, provides solutions to home automation applications at low cost. Z-Wave is charaterized by simplicity and there is a SoC solution developed by its originator, the small Danish company Zensys. The number of products is growing among satisfied customer, according to this article from Embedded magazine. Moreover, the technology is backed up by the Z-Wave Alliance.


PhD Positions at Wayne State University

Professor Hongwei Zhang from the CS Dep at Wayne State University has research positions availables for talented student that would be interested into joining his research group.

Their research focuses on foundational and systems issues in designing dependable services for dynamic and large scale systems (such as wireless sensor networks and the Internet). Examples include application-adaptive messaging, reliable and real-time communication, and scalable dependability for wireless sensor networks.

Presently, there is especial interested in the modeling and algorithmic issues in building dependable sensornet systems. Their work has provided dependable messaging services for several large scale sensor networks (including the one where more than 1,400 sensor nodes were deployed, the largest sensor network ever deployed so far), as a part of their effort in building the foundations and services for dependable sensornets.

Further details here

Prof. Zhang can be contacted at: hzhang (AT) cs (DOT) wayne (DOT) edu

Atific Helicopter: A Multi-Radio WSN Development Kit

AtificAtific, a finnish company, introduces the world’s first multi-radio platform for WSN.
The platform contains high performance embedded platform based on a FPGA chip, which can host several embedded processors in addition to traditional programmable HW logics. Besides, it uses 1 to 4 separate and independent digital radio modules and supports mesh networks.

It excels as a platform for heterogeneous protocol and application software and hardware development. The kit comes with a reference design, documentation, white paper with examples and source codes. See special prices for universities and product details here.

Nictor, making waves in wireless enabled studies on irrigation

The wireless sensor device looks like a toy and is not much bigger than a person’s hand — yet it heralds a revolution that could save massive amounts of water and help keep the state’s agriculture industry afloat. The device, called a “nictor”, uses wireless sensor devices that have been developed in a laboratory at the University of Melbourne. The lab is part of the National ICT Australia group of research centres.

The wireless technology is at the heart of a system that gets water to the crop and farm on demand, not by a scheduled roster. The system uses water more efficiently than a conventional irrigation system and requires less water to be used. It’s the result of research that has been driven by John Langford, director of the university’s Melbourne Water Research Centre, and a team of specialists from various organisations.

The complete story here.


BBN Technologies, Harvard University, and the City of Cambridge are collaborating on a wireless sensor network that spans, Cambridge, MA, but will provide access for educational institutions, from kindergartens to graduate schools, all across the U.S.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the network will consist of 100 streetlight-mounted sensor nodes, each equipped with a professional meteorological sensor package for environmental monitoring. The sensors will detect weather measurements, such as wind speed, direction, temperature, air pressure, relative humidity, and rainfall. Radios in the nodes will allow them to communicate across a mesh-network. Through a gateway to the Internet, all data collected will be freely available to academic researchers throughout the U. S. The network will also be an open resource for the sensor network community, giving them the opportunity to test new algorithms for distributed sensor data processing and wireless networking in a real-world environment.

The complete story here.