Thursday, January 22, 2015

TerraSwarm Test Bed Workshop Produces First Generation SwarmBox

The TerraSwarm Test Bed Workshop, held in the Swarm Lab and Invention Lab at UC Berkeley on Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17, attracted 35 participants from UC Berkeley, UCSD, UIUC, UMich, CMU and industry.  The goal of the two-day hands-on workshop was to design and build the first generation of Swarm Box hardware, software, assessors and apps.  Outcomes included designing and laser-cutting the mounting boards, and the building of one complete SwarmBox. Ubuntu Studio was selected as the operating system to use for the first generation SwarmBoxes since it supports the required networking interfaces such as 1588.  During the meeting, a number of details were discussed and documented on the Test Bed wiki.  Future plans including completing the first set of 20 SwarmBoxes and distributing them to member universities.  Discussion about design and implementation details is continuing on the testbeds mailing list, which is open to all TerraSwarm members. For instructions about getting on the mailing list, go to

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

TerraSwarm PI Carlos Guestrin's Analytic Software Startup Changes Name from GraphLab to Dato

According to and, open-source analytic software startup GraphLab has been renamed Dato.  In addition to rebranding itself, Dato has also raised an additional $18.5 million in Series B funding bringing their total capital investment raised so far to $25.5 million.

Dato's product lets developers build apps with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities that automatically scale and tune so that a software creator can easily take their product from a proof of concept to a fully functional app.

TerraSwarm PI Carlos Guestrin, co-founder and CEO of Dato, told Enterprise Apps Today:
"While we began life as a graph analytics open source project, the underlying engine has morphed a couple of times, adding significant innovations for the handling and analysis of tabular data as well as text and images."

"Dato calls the tabular data structures SFrames", explained Guestrin, noting that they provide a significant performance advantage over alternatives in computational scale. "For advanced machine learning, Dato offers a deep learning module which enables highly accurate recognition of images." 
"The list really goes on, and our new name is apt to fit both our current and planned solution enhancements. Dato literally means 'unique data item' in Portuguese and Spanish, my native languages."
The Enterprise Apps Today article explains: There is a direct intersection between Dato's tools and the growing market for Big Data solutions, and in particular Hadoop. According to Guestrin, Dato supports all data types, including tables, graphs, images or text and can access data for analysis whether it resides on a laptop, or in a file system, a database, Hadoop distribution or a private/public cloud environment.

Dato already has some high-profile users: Zillow, Adobe and Paypal.
To read the articles in full, please visit the following links:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

IP Group invests in Exyn Technologies, founded by Vijay Kumar

IP Group, a UK-based developer of intellectual property based businesses, has agreed to provide initial capital of up to $1,000,000 for a significant minority stake in Exyn Technologies Inc., a drone aircraft development start-up founded by TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar at the University of Pennsylvania.

According to The Telegraph and IP Group's news page, the initial capital will be provided in tranches subject to the successful attainment of commercial and technical milestones.  This is IP Group’s first spin-out with a US university.