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

Archive for July, 2007

Wireless Sensor Networks and Applications

Wireless Sensor Networks and Applications is the title of the new book by Li, Yingshu; Thai, My T.; Wu, Weili (Eds.)
(ISBN: 978-0-387-49591-0) to be available next month. It aims to provide a reference tool for the increasing number of scientists who depend upon reliable sensor networks.

The book is divided into four sections: design and modeling, network management, data management  and ends with security issues. There are 18 self-contained chapters,  each one of them is given expository but also scholarly treatment, covering the history of its specific topic, reviewing state-of-the-art thinking relative to the topic, and discussing currently unsolved problems of special interest.

Table of Contents and more details

StreetWise: Sensors say take the highway!

As rush hour has expanded far beyond 60 minutes, drivers’ frustration has grown. And grown. Alternative-route seekers play the game, trying to shave off a minute here, a minute there, betting on the roads less taken.

But a bunch of MIT technology gurus would say, more often than not: Hit the highway, not the byway. And they’ve got the data to back it up.

Read more.

Monitoring the US Power Grid

A network of compact surveillance sensors could soon be monitoring the US power grid. Sensors attached to electricity pylons would spot problems like bad weather or other damages and automatically re-route around trouble spots. Electricity companies already measure the load on power lines to spot problems and divert power around them. But the wireless sensor network under development at Iowa State University will provide firms with much more detailed information.

Every pole will have a small box attached, incluiding a camera. It will detect movement, temperature, humidity and monitor the power in the lines. The sensor boxes will connect to one another using wireless links, and will feed information on what is happening on the grid back to a central control station. They will run on batteries and solar panels so they can keep relaying information if the power is cut. The control system will then make decisions on how to reroute power around any problems detected.

Protecting the 157,810 miles of power lines in the US is the main focus of the project, there are a lot of lines across very remote areas and with no way to monitor them.

You can visit the Project’s info at the Dependable Computing and Networking Laboratory

ZigBee Powers Energy Efficiency

Scheduled for August 14, 2007 07:00 AM PDT, curiously coinciding with the 4th anniversary of the Northeast Blackout of 2003, this webinar will address energy efficiency today as it’s been driven by global macro trends like global population growth, increased competition for scarce energy resources and concerns about global warming.

Energy efficiency is also seen as one of the best alternatives to building more power plants and a necessary step in securing the future of the world’s energy supply. By joining online you will “meet” many of today’s top industry experts who are actively working to shape energy efficiency in the US. Moreover, there will be a Q&A time at the end.

The event is being sponsored by the ZigBee Alliance and registration is Free, Open to All but Space is Limited.

You can sign up here

Is your Mote running UNIX yet?

From Crossbow’s blog:

Recently I have come across a very interesting research project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This project called LiteOS is being developed in the Computer Science Department by Professor Tarek Abdelzaher and his student Qing Cao. The goal is to provide a UNIX like operating and development environment for motes and sensor networks. A prototype implementation has been completed for the MICAz Mote. It includes an object oriented (C++ based) programming environment as well as run-time support for dynamic loading and execution of multiple threads. In addition, a file system which will be familiar to Unix/Linux users is provided as well.

The LiteOS environment consists of a PC based shell application and the Mote based runtime and file system routines. The shell implements a subset of UNIX commands such as Is, mkdir, ps, man, etc. These commands are used to interact with the file system and for process execution management. To install an application the user simply copies its executable to the file system on the target node. Remote files and directories are intuitively mapped into a network hierarchy tree. Changing the current working directory to the remote node transparently maps installation and execution commands to that node.

Grape Networks Invades Europe

Grape Networks, a company specializing in the wireless sensor monitoring of vineyard microclimates and sensor canopy management on the Internet, announced that the company has established sales offices in Germany and France.

Since Grape Networks’ inception four years ago, the company has been dominating the vineyard marketplace for the wireless sensor monitoring of microclimates on the Internet in the U.S., but the U.S. only represents 5% of the 20 million world wide vineyard acres. Furthermore, according to Peter Tsepeleff, president of Grape Networks, “…the company has had a tremendous response in vineyards in the U.S., and now that we have a proven system, it is time to expand into the huge international arena.”

Grape Networks monitors vineyards with miniature wireless sensors embedded directly next to the grape berry. The sensors operate on just two double AA batteries, and transmit data in a wireless mesh to a gateway, where the data is sent to the Internet for reception anywhere in the world. Along with temperature, humidity and solar radiation, alerts for frost and powdery mildew are sent to any Internet enabled PC or mobile phone.

More info here.

SunSPOT puzzle

A nice video about a puzzle built with SunSPOTs is available here. The webpage with the source code is available here.

RETOS, a new WSN operating system

From Moteiv’s blog:

The Mobile & Embedded System research group at Yonsei University has released a new operating system for wireless sensors networks called “RETOS”, Resilient, Extensible, and Threaded OS for Wireless Sensor Networks. Information about the operating system was published at this year’s IPSN/SPOTS conference, where I was a member of the program committee. The initial release supports Moteiv’s Tmote Sky modules.
RETOS is a departure from the standard TinyOS framework that many know and love. It supports dynamically loadable modules (ala SOS from UCLA) and a multithreaded system allowing programmers to block on events instead of building complex state machines for asynchronous code.

Body Sensor Networks – will you be a medalist by 2012?

Researchers from Imperial College London are developing miniature computers that could enable detailed and quantitative analysis of our fitness and health.

“Imagine computers as small as a pin head, but with enough power to carry out information processing, and affordable enough to be disposable,” says Professor Guang-Zhong Yang from Imperial College London. “As these inexpensive, flexible and customisable devices get more and more common, the computers themselves will gradually “disappear” into the fabric of our lives.”

The complete story here.

Cities Get Smart with Wireless Sensor Networking

Municipalities worldwide are adopting Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) technology to make their cities safer, healthier, greener, and more productive, according to a recent research study by ON World.

WSN solutions for Smart Cities are being driven by increased spending on wireless broadband infrastructure, standards such as IEEE802.15.4 and ZigBee, increasing Green regulations, and the ongoing need for improved public safety

Commercial WSN solutions for transportation, public safety, and municipal services are currently deployed in cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Songo, South Korea. From several recent surveys with 220 North American municipalities and public safety organizations, ON World found that cities are highly motivated to adopt WSN over the next 18-24 months for transportation, public safety, utility networks, and energy management.

More info here.