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

Archive for February, 2007

Scheduled Channel Polling, a new Media Access Control protocol.

Californian researchers have implemented a new communication protocol for wireless sensor networks which is ten times more energy-efficient than existing protocols. In current sensornets, each individual unit needs to be active at least 30 minutes everyday while this new protocol requires less than two minutes of activity per day. This communication protocol has been developed at the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) of the University of Southern California. Wei Ye was the lead researcher, working with John Heidemann in the ISI Laboratory for Embedded Networked Sensor Experimentation (I-LENSE).

So what did they do?

The activities of the [sensor] units are orchestrated by special operating rules called Media Access Control (MAC) protocols. More than three years of ISI research — supported by the National Science Foundation, Intel and other funders — produced a new protocol, SCP-MAC

Read the complete article from Roland Piquepaille’s Technology Trends, here.

Contiki Workshop Registration

An update to our previous post on the contiki workshop’07 – the priminary program and registration is now available from the Contiki website.

Sensors in Humans!

Sensors_in_human_body Powered by mere vibrations or the movement of magnets, novel sensors and transmitters developed by a small company in Vermont are changing the way engineers are looking at fatigue.

Communicating wirelessly via the Internet to engineers halfway across the world, the embedded sensors developed by MicroStrain–a small business based in Williston, Vt., and supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF)–are revealing how objects as diverse as the Liberty Bell, enormous mining trucks and even human knees respond to daily use.

By monitoring strain levels and tracking the cumulative effects of fatigue, the researchers’ ultimate goal is to supplant the nearly universal system of “replace by this date” with a smarter approach of replacing components based upon the actual operating loads components experience.

Read complete article here.

Energy harvesting modules unveiled for wireless sensors

Advanced Linear Devices has announced the industry’s first energy harvesting modules designed specifically to capture, accumulate and store power from a variety of energy harvesting sources and supply it to wireless sensor networks, remote controls, and many other applications. The modules’ outstanding energy efficiency is designed to make energy harvesting a reliable and long-lasting source of power and free many applications from the constraints of battery or AC power sources.

The complete article is available here.

Smart Clothing

smart_clothing Microscopic chain mail made from miniscule metal links has been made by US researchers. It could ultimately be used to create textiles with sensors and other electronics built in.

Jonathan Engel and Chang Liu at the UIUC, made their chain mail using manufacturing techniques borrowed from the microchip industry. The fabric has a similar tensile strength to nylon, can be bent around any shape and stretches to increase its length by one-third. It also readily conducts electricity.

The researchers were motivated to find flexible materials in which electronic sensors could be embedded. The fabric could be used to make smart clothing. Microchip-scale electronic components could perhaps also one day be built directly into the links of the chain-mail and this would allow sensors, communications or power components to be completely embedded within fully flexible fabrics.

Read complete article here.

New Version of SensorBridge

Augusta Systems Inc., today announced the release of SensorBridge v2.0, a suite of software components for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 that enables rapid integration, intelligent processing and enterprise utilization of sensor data within an integrated development environment. The new SensorBridge v2.0 components add new machine to machine (M2M) communications features and expand the product’s prior capabilities for sensor networking and security convergence.

More information is available here.

Cogent introductory CD

The Cogent research group prepared a very interesting industry-focussed CD, called Distributing the Future. The content of the CD is available online here. Included in the CD are also some demos and video, that are available here.

Job opening: Statistical Machine Learning for Wireless Sensor Networks

A postdoctoral research position in
“Statistical Machine Learning for Wireless Sensor Networks”
is currently available at the Machine Learning Group, Free University
Brussels (ULB), Belgium.
This position is ideal for someone interested in being part of the cutting-edge research combining computational intelligence and wireless networking. This leading university of Belgium has a long and rich history of pioneering research; the ULB researchers were honored by four Nobels, three Wolf prizes and two Fields medals among numerous prestigious recognitions. For this position open to international candidates, please note that the application deadline is 5th March, 2007.

For further details visit:

Agents spy on fires

Computer scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have created software agents that can navigate a robot safely through a fire and then replicate themselves.

The engineers are using wireless sensor networks that employ software agents that so far have been able to navigate the robot and spot a simulated fire by seeking out heat. Once the agent locates the fire, it clones itself, creating a ring of software around the fire.

Read the complete article here.

Wireless Sensors Extend Internet's Reach

The Associated Press today has an interesting article about the work going on at UCLA’s Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, which has a big grant from the National Science Foundation to pioneer the deployment of so-called “wireless motes” that can be used to monitor physical spaces. The center’s headquarters is covered with:

“dozens of miniature, low-resolution cameras and sensors. They’re wirelessly linked to computers throughout the 6,000-square-foot space, keeping tabs on traffic flow in public areas and monitoring temperature, humidity and acoustics. The building serves as a testing ground for developing and perfecting wireless sensing technology to connect major chunks of the real world to the Internet.”

The technology is “quickly catching on,” says the article, “attracting the attention of the military, academics and corporations. Just as the Internet virtually connected people with personal computers, the prospect of wireless arrays sprinkled in buildings, farmland, forests and hospitals promise[s] to create unprecedented links between people and physical locations.

The complete article can be read here.