Wednesday, June 25, 2014

3 Minute Video about the CITRIS Invention Lab

There is now a 3-minute video about the CITRIS Invention Lab at UC Berkeley:

"The CITRIS Invention Lab supports faculty, student and community innovation by providing the knowledge, tools and support to rapidly design and prototype novel interactive products, embedded sensing systems and integrated mobile devices. The new facility will be a vital piece of the CITRIS pipeline running from the minds of researchers through CITRIS laboratories, and into the markets, industries, and streets of the world. The 1,700 ft2 Invention Lab is located on the first floor of Sutardja Dai Hall at UC Berkeley and supports 3 major functions:
  • Learn: Faculty teach Engineering and New Media courses on interactive product design and prototyping.
  • Build: The lab offers a full suite of tools, technical support and fabrication services for creating functional prototypes.
  • Launch: The lab promotes turning concepts and ideas into new ventures by offering work space for the Foundry business incubator."

We used resources from the Invention Lab during the May 29 SwarmOS Workshop (

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New TerraSwarm Faculty Member Alex Halderman Comments on Electronic Voting Machine Tampering

In the recent elections in India, the press raised concerns about the apparent ease of tampering with electronic voting machines. Hari Prasad, with private sector cyber security firm NetIndia, helped expose the flaws in the machines.

New TerraSwarm faculty member, Alex Halderman (University of Michigan) has been collaborating with Hari Prasad of NetIndia on preventing election hackers.

In an article on SciDev.NetView on Private Sector: Heading off Election Hackers, Halderman was quoted:

“The problem we faced going into this work was that India didn’t really have an indigenous research community looking into election security issues,” says Halderman. “So it was just absolutely crucial to be able to have people with local knowledge of the technology community, of the political process, and access to the technology.”
“In terms of developing communities within each country that are able to deal with the difficult technical details surrounding conducting elections with computers, I think it’s going to be essential to reach out to the private tech sector and try to forge new partnerships,” says Halderman. "This is because there are “simply not enough” people in academia looking into the problem."

According to Halderman, further academic-private research partnerships are essential to election security in other countries that are experimenting with electronic voting systems.

To read the article in full, please visit:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

SwarmOS Workshop at Berkeley Develop Internet of Things Accessors

The TerraSwarm SwarmOS Workshop was held at UC Berkeley on Thursday, May 29, 2014. It was attended by nearly 30 people from University of California, Berkeley, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Michigan, University of Illinois and University of California, San Diego. The primary goal of the workshop was to get developers set up with the software from various teams by writing accessors, a component class that a swarmlet instantiates to access a service.

The following teams were successful in creating Accessors, many of which interfaced between physical hardware such as the ElectricImp and Philips Hue light bulbs and used technology developed by TerraSwarm participants such as Ptolemy II and Get All The Data (GATD).

  •         Brad Campbell, David Jun, Edward Lee: Ptolemy / Get All the Data (GATD) Interface 
  •         Pat Pannuto, Nikunj Bajaj: Ptolemy model that uses Strain Sensors to determine who won a Thumb War
  •         John MacCallum, Long Le: Synthetic Disco
  •         Mark Oehlberg, Patricia Derler, Bjoern Hartmann, Alec Dara-Abrams: Breathalyzer
  •         Chris Shaver, Ilya Rostovtsev: Asynchronous channels in JavaScript Accessors
  •         Meghan Clark, Armin Wasicek, Matt Weber: Spatial Authentication
  •         Nitesh Mor, Shuhei Emoto, Douglas Chan: Accessor for Sensor triggered Photo-taking
  •         Roozbeh Jafari, Marten Lohstroh, Viswam Nathan: Real-time Emergency Detection using Ultrasonic Range Finders 

The presentations and other materials are available to TerraSwarm participants at:

Photo: The scene during the hack-a-thon (Credit: Alec Dara-Abrams).