Ambient Intelligence (AmI) technology holds great promise in permeating everyday life by changing the nature of almost every human activity. Research in the past few years has indicated that the realization of AmI vision requires the development of systems that integrate sensing, computing and networking with advanced techniques for data and knowledge representation and management. AmI systems derive their power from the vast number of interactions among a large number of heterogeneous components with versatile properties and capabilities. Nevertheless, if this technology is to be accepted, intuitive and efficient human-system interaction must be provided.
The complexity of AmI applications that results from their dynamic and distributed nature and the need to provide a safe and controllable environment for people constitutes an opportunity for the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) research. In order to achieve the AmI concept, researchers and developers must employ modern, highly effective AI techniques. In the aims of AI, research envisages to include more intelligence in AmI environments, allowing for better support to human occupants and access to the essential knowledge to make better decisions when interacting with these environments.
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The 72nd IETF meeting is now in progress in the Dublin area and is gathering something like 1200 people. Interesting to sensor networks are the 6LowPan and ROLL Working Group Meetings. These working groups address routing standardisation processes of the so-called mesh under (6LowPan) and routing over (ROLL). 6LowPan is an effort to standardise the translation of IPV6 packets so to meet sensor network requirements. ROLL aims provide an architectural framework for routing and path selection at
Layer 3. The final scope is to enable interoperability between vendors.
For more information about the IETF agenda, ROLL and 6LowPan docs, click here
Ben Hoyt has implemented Protothreads as a C++ class that is easy to use. He has a written a piece on protothreads in C++. From the post: “What protothreads give you is the ability to write procedural, thread-style code, but without the overhead of real threads. The kind of thing embedded programmers normally use
switch state machines for.” Take a look at the examples of Protothreads in C++ here.
WirelessHART is the first open wireless communication standard specifically designed for process measurement and control applications. Its specs were ratified last September 2007 and, despite lengthy certification process, compatible devices are expected to be in the market this year.
Here is a podcast with Joy Weiss CTO Dust Networks, interviewed by Control Engineering editor Peter Welander, about their leading role in technology that drives wireless instrumentation.
More about the standard in this whitepaper from the HART Communication Foundation.
The longest running sensor network was a “significant first step” in being able to record environmental conditions across extremely large and challenging environments, CSIRO scientist Tim Wark said. The network, based at the Brisbane ICT Centre, can measure variables such as temperature, soil moisture, water quality, humidity and solar energy levels.
The sensors, called “flecks”, were developed by the CSIRO and run on a combination of solar and battery power. Each sensor node sends collected information back to a central database to be recorded and analysed. The data is transferred via the flecks themselves, which form an ad-hoc network. “Power is the biggest issue,” said Dr Wark, the project leader for wireless sensor networks at the CSIRO ICT Centre. “The flecks send and receive data through radio and that consumes a lot of power. We designed them to stay asleep most of the time, and wake up only to take measurements or send and receive data.”
More info here
The Berkeley wireless sensor network group has made its 6lowpan implementation publicly available in tinyos-2.x-contrib/berkeley/b6lowpan. It adds IPv6 support to TinyOS, and supports address stateless autoconfiguration, multihop routing, and fragmentation for an MTU of 1280 bytes, among other things. Standard internet tools like ping6, nc6, and tracert6 can be used to debug installations using b6lowpan, and applications may use UDP as the transport layer.
More info here.