Monday, December 19, 2016

Professor Edward A. Lee receives 2016 Achievement and Leadership Award

TerraSwarm PI and UC Berkeley faculty member Edward A. Lee was awarded the 2016 Technical Achievement and Leadership award by the IEEE Technical committee on Real-Time Systems, as announced in IEEE TCRTS.

The award is given to recognize individuals for their outstanding technical achievement and leadership and is annually presented to the recipient at the IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium.

Dr. Vijay Kumar elected to 02Micro Board of Directors

Professor Vijay Kumar, faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and PI for the TerraSwarm project, was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of <b>02Micro International Limited</b>.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Kumar as a member of O2Micro’s Board of Directors", says Sterling Du, chairman and CEO of O2Micro. "His broad, industry experience will provide valuable insight to O2Micro as we continue to expand the scope and impact of power and battery management products and technology designed to improve and enhance people’s lives around the world". 
Dr. Kumar brings to O2Micro’s Board of Directors his extensive experience in Embedded Internetworking of Cyber-Physical Systems, Internet of Things, Mechanical, Electrical and Systems Engineering, as well as industry leading Autonomous Robotics and Computer Learning technologies.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Security expert and TerraSwarm PI Alex Halderman claims paper ballot best technology for casting votes.

According to Reveal, University of Michigan computer science professor Alex Halderman and a team of activists, urged Hillary Clinton to challenge election results in three key swing states. The team which included Professor Halderman and civil rights lawyer John Bonifaz said they'd discovered evidence that votes were manipulated in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvnia. Further, the team successfully hacked Washington's pilot internet voting system in less than 24 hours. The team's actions followed hacker intrusions that breached the Democratic National Committee and the email account of one of Hillary Clinton's top staffers as reported in Wired on 11/23/2016.

In a post in Medium, Halderman states that though this year’s deviations from pre-election polls were not likely the results of a cyberattack, he says

I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked. But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other. The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence — paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
Halderman reaffirmed his position that the US electronic voting infrastructure is vulnerable and added that the the only surefire way to guarantee an election’s integrity is a paper audit.

Monday, October 17, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Jose Carmena Receives Award from National Eye Institute

As reported by UC Berkeley's News, TerraSwarm PI Jose Carmena will receive a $225,000 award from the National Eye Institute as part of the federal BRAIN initiative. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is part of a Presidential focus intended to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain by supporting the development and application of innovative technologies. The award will support testing of newly developed miniaturized wireless sensors or "neural dust." As previously reported, these sensors have the potential to record activity within the central nervous system. The implanted sensors' design is unique in using ultrasound to both power the sensor and retrieve readings. Possible applications for the research include less invasive medical treatment options.

Monday, September 26, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Bjoern Hartmann Named Director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley

TerraSwarm PI Bjoern Hartmann has been named as the director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley.  PI Bjoern Hartmann is an Assistant Professor in the EECS Department. He has served as the chief technology officer for the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation since its inception.  His research on Human-Computer Interaction centers on novel design, prototyping, and implementation tools for the era of post-personal computing.

The Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation works to educate top innovators at the intersection of design and technology, and to provide students with opportunities for hands-on experience working in interdisciplinary teams to address real world problems. It is designed to provide a space for collaboration using multiple modes of engagement among students from different disciplines and levels of expertise.  Focusing on human-centered engineering, the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation facilitates an increased role for design in undergraduate engineering education at UC Berkeley.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar's Lab Develops Quadrotor with Onboard Navigation

As reported by IEEE SpectrumPopular Science, and Gizmodo TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar's Lab at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a drone capable of on-board navigation. Traditionally when quadrotors perform complex maneuvers, such as flying through narrow openings, it requires an expensive complex external motion capture system that relays information to the drone. TerraSwarm PI Vijay Kumar's Lab has developed a 250 gram quadrotor drone that accomplishes these tasks using a single camera and on-board sensing and computing.  This creates an opportunity for real world applications by enabling the quadrotor to perform these complicated operations outside a controlled laboratory setting.  The quadrotor can move at speeds of up to 4.5 m/s, with acceleration of over 1.5g, and roll/ pitch angles of up to 90 degrees. While the current design still requires that the location of obstacles, relative the drone's starting position, be provided in advance, the research team is working to integrate the drones camera into real-time planning and control framework in the future.

Friday, September 9, 2016

TerraSwarm PIs Sanjit Seshia and Richard Murray Receive NSF "Frontier" Award

As reported in it's September, 6, 2016 Press Release, a research team including TerraSwarm PI Sanjit Seshia and TerraSwarm PI Richard Murray has received a National Science Foundation "Frontier" award for their project Verified Human Interfaces, Control, and Learning for Semi-Autonomous Systems (VeHICaL).  The five-year $4.6 million award will support multidisciplinary research into systems that operate together with human operators. The goal of the project is to enhance human collaboration and interaction with automation in the physical environment in a way that enhances safety, privacy and performance. The research team for the VeHICaL project includes Sanjit Seshia, University of California, Berkeley; Thomas Griffiths, University of California, Berkeley; Claire Tomlin, University of California, Berkeley; S. Shankar Sastry, University of California, Berkeley; Ruzena Bajcsy, University of California, Berkeley; Richard Murray, Caltech; and Cynthia Sturton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Possible applications for the VeHICaL project's research outcomes include drones and semi-autonomous cars.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PI Pieter Abeel Co-Principal Investigator for New Center for Human-Compatible Aritificial Intelligence

Pieter Abbeel will serve as a co-principal investigator for newly launched Center for Human-Compatible Aritificial Intelligence along with Anca Dragan (UC Berkeley), Tom Griffiths  (UC Berkeley), Bart Selman (Cornell University), Joseph Halpern (Cornell University) Michael Wellman (University of Michigan),  and Satinder Singh Baveja (University of Michigan). Professor Abbeel is also co-principal investigator of TerraSwarm funded research project on the Human Intranet.

The new center is being launched with a $5.5 million grant from the Open Philanthropy Project. Additional grants from Levehume Trust and the Future of Life Institute will fund the center's research.  It will be lead by University of Califonia, Berkeley Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Stuart Russell. The Center for Human-Compatible Aritificial Intelligence will focus on ensuring that sophisticated artificial intelligence systems function in a manner that is aligned with human values. “AI systems must remain under human control, with suitable constraints on behavior, despite capabilities that may eventually exceed our own,” Russell explained in UC Berkeley's news article. “This means we need cast-iron formal proofs, not just good intentions.”

Monday, August 8, 2016

Apple Buys TerraSwarm PI Carlos Guestrin's Startup Turi

Turi, an artificial intelligence startup founded by TerraSwarm PI Carlos Guestrin, has been acquired by Apple. News of the purchase appeared in several articles including the Wall Street Journal's, "Apple Buys Machine-Learning Startup Turi" and Geek Wire's "Exclusive: Apple acquires Turi in major exit for Seattle-based machine learning and AI startup."

Turi enables companies to make sense of data, offering a software platform that helps them develop and manage applications with machine learning capabilities. It allows developers to detect fraud, create recommendation engines, analyze customer data, and target potential customers.

Carlos Guestrin, the Associate Professor of Machine Learning at the Computer Science and Engineering Department of the University of Washington, founded Turi in 2013. Formerly GraphLab and Dato, the startup adopted it's current name in July. The name is a reference to software creation techniques that rely on computers making inferences from data to essentially teach themselves without specific instructions.

Apple uses machine learning in predicting word completion in messages, photo facial recognition, and applications such as Siri. It's acquisition of Turi is seen as part of a larger push by Apple into artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Friday, August 5, 2016

First Dust-Sized Wireless Sensors Built by TerraSwarm PIs Jose Carmena, Michel Maharbiz, and Jan Rabaey

An August 3, 2016 news article, "Sprinkling of neural dust opens door to electroceuticals," reports that a team of University of California, Berkeley engineers including TerraSwarm PIs Jose Carmena, Michel Maharbiz, and Jan Rabaey have developed the first dust-sized, wireless, implantable sensors. Measuring 1 millimeter cube, the sensors are approximately the size of a grain of sand. The batteryless sensors use ultrasound as both a power source and to communicate results, overcoming one of the major challenges to this type of technology. Unlike radio waves, ultrasound vibrations can penetrate most of the human body, and is already widely used in healthcare settings. This opens the possibility for applications deep within the body.  Piezoelectric crystal is used to convert ultrasound vibrations from outside the body into the electricity needed to power the device's on-board transistor, which is in contact with nerve or muscle fiber. Changes in the voltage of the fiber alters the circuit of the device causing variation in the echo picked up by the ultrasound receiver.

Applications include real time monitoring and stimulation of internal organs, muscles, or nerves. This technology opens the door to new diagnostic and treatment of a wide range of conditions including epilepsy, inflammation, and paralysis. Compared to currently available implantable electrodes that require wires to be passed externally, these sensors are sealed in the body decreasing the likelihood of infection and accidental displacement. The researchers are currently working on building sensors using biocompatible thin films, which would allow the sensors to function in the body for a decade or more without degradation. Future work includes developing even smaller sensors.

Monday, August 1, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Richard Murray Named to Defense Innovation Advisory Board

TerraSwarm PI Richard Murray has been appointed by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to the Defense Innovation Advisory Board. As reported in the July 29, 2016 article "Caltech's Richard Murray Named to Department of Defense Panel on Innovation," the panel is composed of fifteen members. It was established in March with a mandate to provide independent advice to department leaders on innovative and adaptive ways to meet future organizational challenges with the goal of quickly identifying solutions to DoD problems. It includes innovators and scholars with expertise in new technologies and organizational behavior, and represents a commitment to ongoing private public partnerships.

TerraSwarm PI Richard Murray is the Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control & Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering at California Institute of Technology. He is an expert in systems and control engineering, including leading a recent AFOSR-sponsored MURI on specification, design and verification of distributed embedded systems. His appointment to the Defense Innovation Advisory Board was announced on July 26th by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at the opening of Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Boston. With work beginning this summer, the panel is scheduled to provide initial recommendations to the secretary in October.

Friday, July 29, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Pieter Abbeel Working With Non-Profit OpenAI

A July 25, 2016 article by Popular Mechanics,"The Robot Maid of the Future Might Teach Itself How to Do Chores," reports that TerraSwarm PI Pieter Abbeel is working with the non-profit artificial intelligence research company OpenAI on teaching robots to learn how to complete common household tasks.  OpenAI hopes to use deep learning to enable robots to train themselves to complete manual tasks. This process has the potential to increase robots' ability to adapt to constantly changing real world environments, and substantially decrease the amount of robotic programming needed in the future.

PI Pieter Abeel brings his experience with robot learning and deep reinforcement learning to the project. Last year his research group successfully used algorithms to enable a robot to complete several simple tasks using a process of trial and error. Cited as a major milestone in AI, the process developed by PI Pieter Abeel's team more closely approximates how humans learn.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Resarch Team Develops Tiny Computer with Enormous Potential

A July 15, 2016 article"Tiny Computer Has Enormous Potential," covers the work of University of Michigan Researchers including TerraSwarm PI David Blaauw and TerraSwarm PI Prabal Dutta. The article reports on the team's work developing the Michigan Micro Mote, an energy efficient computer built on a cubic millimeter scale. Outfitted with sensors for temperature, pressure, and imaging, this computer is able to network with other Michigan Micro Motes with a range of 2 meters.

The computers are built in layers using a Phoenix processor. With a standby power consumption of about 2nA, the Michigan Micro Mote is able to power its battery using artificial, ambient light and a 1mm2 photovoltaic cell. The solar module also serves as the mechanism to program the machine through a pattern of flashing light. Possible applications for these micro computers include medical devices, environmental monitoring, and surveillance. Going forward the research team hopes to increase the communication range for the Michigan Micro Mote and continue work on developing even smaller machines.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Jan Rabaey Serves as Electrical Engineering Division Chair

TerraSwarm PI Jan Rabaey has been appointed as Electrical Engineering Division Chair, EECS UC Berkeley as of July 1, 2016.  This is the second time he will serve as Electrical Engineering Division Chair, having previously held the position from 1999-2002.  Jan Rabaey is the principal investigator for the Human Intranet project. He holds the Donald O. Pederson Distinguished Professorship in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the scientific co-director of the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC), as well as the founding director of the Berkeley Ubiquitous SwarmLab. His research interests include the conception and implementation of next-generation integrated wireless systems. This includes the analysis and optimization of communication algorithms and networking protocols, the study of low-energy implementation architectures and circuits, and the supporting design automation environments.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Ana Claudia Arias Serves as Advisor on Pan-European Collaborative Research Project

TerraSwarm PI Ana Claudia Arias will serve as a US Advisor on a five-million Euro pan-European collaborative research project to create new low cost, light weight, wearable devices by developing new organic semiconductor materials that can be printed on flexible film.  Funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, EXTended Model of Organic Semiconductors (EXTMOS) will use a new approach to develop the next generation of devices for the Internet of Things. Led by the University of Bath, the collaborative project includes twelve European academic and industrial partners. Possible applications include medical sensors, flexible displays, and low energy diffuse lighting.

According to her website, Ana Claudia Arias received her PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge, UK before joining the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include the use of electronic materials processed from solution in flexible electronic systems. She uses printing techniques to fabricate flexible large area electronic devices and sensors. She is a co-investigator on the TerraSwarm HumanIntranet Project, a two-year project to develop a first-generation Human Intranet intended to boost human input-output performance as an open, scalable, form fitting platform.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Pieter Abeel honored as recipient of the PECASE

TerraSwarm PI Pieter Abeel was honored at the White House on May 5th as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for his contributions to machine learning and robotic manipulation of deformable objects and his dedication to the education of the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Pieter Abeel is co-investigator of the Human Intranet project, a two-year Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) STARnet funded project to develop a first-generation Human Intranet intended to boost human input-output performance as an open, scalable, form fitting platform. According to his website, Pieter Abeel's work includes the development of apprenticeship learning algorithms which have enabled advanced helicopter aerobatics. His group has also enabled the first end-to-end completion of reliably picking up a crumpled laundry article and folding it. His current research focuses on robotics and machine learning with a particular focus on challenges in personal robotics, surgical robotics and connectomics.

Established in 1996, the PECASE is the highest level of recognition for science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Considerations for the award include public education, community outreach, and commitment to community service as shown through scientific leadership.

Monday, May 23, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Jan Rabaey to appear at 2016 International Microwave Symposium

TerraSwarm PI Jan Rabaey will give a keynote address titled "The Human Intranet- Where Swarms and Humans Meet" at closing ceremony of the 2016 International Microwave Symposium.

The 2016 International Microwave Symposium, an annual conference and exhibition of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S), will be held in San Francisco from May 22 - 27, 2016. The event includes a week of technical sessions, interactive forums, workshops, short courses, seminars, and plenary and panel sessions for technologists focused on microwave theory and practice. The IMS trade show is expected to draw the participation of more than 600 companies. PR Newswire has posted a story about the event highlighting PI Jan Rabey's address.

 "The Human Intranet- Where Swarms and Humans Meet"  Jan M. Rabaey, Donald O. Pederson Distinguished Professor, UC Berkeley, 2016 International Microwave Symposium, May 26, 2016, San Francisco.

Some of most compelling application domains of the IoT and Swarm concepts relate to how humans interact with the world around it and the cyberworld beyond. While the proliferation of communication and data processing devices has profoundly altered our interaction patterns, little has been changed in the way we process inputs (sensory) and outputs (actuation). The combination of IoT (Swarms) and wearable devices offers the potential for changing all of this. Yet, realizing full potential requires that a number of barriers are overcome, most notably the non-scalable nature of the current deployments.

The Human Intranet proposes an open scalable platform that seamlessly integrates an ever-increasing number of sensor, actuation, computation, storage, communication and energy nodes located on, in, or around the human body acting in symbiosis with the functions provided by the body itself. The traditional set of senses and interactions is to be augmented by a set of new capabilities, some of which might be hard to even imagine today.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

TerraSwarm PI Sanjit Seshia to Receive 2016 Frederick Emmons Terman Award

TerraSwarm PI Sanjit Seshia will be presented with the 2016 Frederick Emmons Terman Award in October at the 46th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference. The Frederick Emmons Terman Award, sponsored by the Hewlet-Packard Company since 1969, recognizes the contributions of one outstanding young electrical/ computer engineering educator to the profession annually.

Technologies Sanjit Seshia and his group developed support the first online course offering to include a physics-based virtual robotics laboratory along with automatic built-in grading and feedback. His other contributions to the field include co-authorship of "Introduction to Embedded Systems - A Cyber-Physical Systems Approach," a textbook used at UC Berkeley and universities globally. Previous award recipients include Ali Niknejad (2012), Randy Katz (1999), TerraSwarm PI Edward Lee (1997), and Leon Chua (1974).

Monday, May 16, 2016

TerraSwarm Graduate Student Pat Pannuto Receives Outstanding Poster Award at INC12

TerraSwarm graduate student Pat Pannuto has been presented with the Twelfth International Nanotechnology Conference  (INC12) Outstanding Poster Award for "Accessors and the RoboCafé: Interoperability in the Internet of Things."  The conference was held in Leuven, Belgium from May 10-12, 2016.

The poster includes the following acknowledgement "Sponsored by the TerraSwarm Research Center, one of six centers administered by the STARnet phase of the Focus Center Research Program (FCRP) a Semiconductor Research Corporation program sponsored by MARCO and DARPA."

At DARPA's WaitWhat? conference in 2015, the TerraSwarm Research Center debuted the RoboCafé, an interconnected swarm of robots, sensors, and people. A key challenge for the emerging Internet of Things is interoperability.

Interoperation is not simply support for three vendors' smart light bulb APIs. It requires policies for sharing contested resources and decoupling intent from devices -- raising the blinds may light a room as easily as turning on a light.

Accessors are an active research project exploring these questions, and the RoboCafé an application that stressed, tested, broke, and informed Accessor design.
In the RoboCafé, a swarm of mobile robots patrol the café, moving in a sentry pattern to periodically visit the whole space. As the robots move around an online summarization algorithm continuously extracts "interesting" things the robot encounters, clips of each new face the robot sees. Users in the RoboCafé can use a smartphone app to order candy or snacks. Upon ordering, the smartphone is automatically localized and a robot is taken off patrol and tasked to deliver the goods to the user. At any point, the detection of applause in the environment will demand robot attention no matter its previous task, simulating critical events such as gunshot detection.

The key technical challenge of the RoboCafé lies in the integration of very disparate technologies: online summarization of key events, an acoustic-based positioning service for localizing people in the café environment, a machine-learning framework for context detection, and the control of a swarm of mobile robots. Accessors recast each of these technologies as event-driven actors with tightly constrained interfaces. The Accessor architecture decouples the control and data plane, starting acoustic event detection and handling reported applause events, but leaving the transport of high-bandwidth audio signals to the underlying system. A policy engine federates access to robots, allowing applause events to supersede food delivery or patrols. The unified model of computation facilitates reasoning of interactions between applications and opens the door to applying formal methods for proving overall system correctness.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Article Highlights Software Analysis Tool and Applications in Automotive Industry

A software analysis tool currently in development by TerraSwarm postdoc Armin Wasicek was highlighted in an article "A Secret Tool to Catch the Next VW-Style Emissions Cheat," by David Talbot in the MIT Technology Review.  The team is working on software that uses the data from an operating vehicle including the rate of fuel consumption, RPM, and temperature. This data is compared to the car's standard operating parameters to identify anomalies. In a matter of hours, the software identifies problems that currently take a day or more to diagnose.

The development of this software has explored possible applications in detection of "chip-tuning" within vehicles. The  article explains that it is also likely to have broad applications in automotive emission controls and safety.  As the automotive industry works to address security and develop methods to identify problems within automotive IT systems, this new software is expected to be an important contribution to the field.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

TerraSwarm Interactive Pedestrian Lights Installed in San Leandro

TerraSwarm Interactive Lights have been installed around the perimeter of Casa Peralta, a museum and historic landmark, in San Leandro, California.

The team for this project includes TerraSwarm PI Bjoern Hartmann. In designing the installation the project team considered elements of function, safety, and aesthetics with a focus on creating a positive user experience. The installation is intended to encourage pedestrian traffic by providing energy efficient interactive lighting to the area. It uses exiting infrastructure, is cost efficient, and contributes less light pollution then conventional lighting options.

The presence of a pedestrian activates the lighting pattern. Sensors and stored data are used to regulate the lighting schemes, incorporating the elements of pedestrian speed and direction in the interactive display.

Monday, April 18, 2016

TerraSwarm Funded PI Bjoern Hartmann Named Interim Faculty Director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley

TerraSwarm funded PI Bjoern Hartmann has been named as the interim faculty director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley.  PI Bjoern Hartmann is an Assistant Professor in the EECS Department and has served as the chief technology officer for the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation since its inception. His research on Human-Computer Interaction centers on novel design, prototyping, and implementation tools for the era of post-personal computing.

The Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation works to educate top innovators at the intersection of design and technology, and to provide students with opportunities for hands-on experiences working in interdisciplinary teams to address real world problems. Focusing on human-centered engineering, the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation facilitates an increased role for design in undergraduate engineering education at UC Berkeley.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

TerraSwarm Funded Paper "SMT-Based Observer Design for Cyber-Physical Systems Under Sensor Attacks" Receives Best Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS 2016)

TerraSwarm funded paper, "SMT-Based Observer Design for Cyber-Physical Systems Under Sensor Attacks," has received best paper award at the IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS 2016), held as part of CPS Week in Vienna, Austria, from April 11-14 2016.

The paper states: This work was partially sponsored by the NSF award 1136174, by DARPA under agreement number FA8750-12-2-0247, by TerraSwarm, one of six centers of STARnet, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program sponsored by MARCO and DARPA, and by the NSF project ExCAPE: Expeditions in Computer Augmented Program Engineering (award 1138996 and 1139138.)

Yasser Shoukry, Michelle Chong, Masashi Wakaiki, Pierluigi Nuzzo, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, Sanjit A. Seshia, Joao P. Hespanha, Paulo Tabuada. "SMT-Based Observer Design for Cyber-Physical Systems Under Sensor Attacks". ACM/IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS 2016), Vienna, Austria, April 11, 2016.

We introduce a scalable observer architecture to estimate the states of a discrete-time linear-time-invariant (LTI) system whose sensors can be manipulated by an attacker. Given the maximum number of attacked sensors, we build on previous results on necessary and sufficient conditions for state estimation, and propose a novel multi-modal Luenberger (MML) observer based on efficient Satisfiability Modulo Theory (SMT) solving.We present two techniques to reduce the complexity of the estimation problem. As a first strategy, instead of a bank of distinct observers, we use a family of filters sharing a single dynamical equation for the states, but different output equations, to generate estimates corresponding to different subsets of sensors. Such a multi-modal observer can reduce the memory usage of the observer from an exponential to a linear function of the number of sensors. We then develop an efficient SMT-based decision procedure that is able to reason about the estimates of the MML observer, obtained out of potentially corrupted sensors, detect at runtime which sets of sensors are attack-free, and use them to obtain a correct state estimate. We provide proofs of convergence for our algorithm and report simulation results to compare its runtime performance with alternative techniques. Our algorithm scales well for large systems (including up to 5000 sensors) for which many previously proposed algorithms are not implementable due to excessive memory and time requirements. Finally, we illustrate the effectiveness of our algorithm on the design of resilient power distribution systems.

Monday, April 11, 2016

SRC TECHCON 2016 - Abstract Submission Deadline Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The deadline for abstract submission for TECHCON 2016 is 3pm EST on Wednesday, April 13, 2016.  TECHCON 2016 will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in Austin, Texas on September 11-13, 2016.

Additional information from the Semiconductor Research Corporation's (SRC) email announcement: TECHCON is designed to foster technical interaction among SRC's academic, government, and industry communities. The TECHCON 2016 program will include technical paper sessions showcasing research funded by SRC research programs through the presentation of 160 papers and accompanying posters. Technical paper presentations will be fifteen minutes in length and will be organized according to related technologies. TechFair will feature a poster display from each presenter based on his/her presentation. TechFair sessions provide an excellent opportunity for students to discuss their research projects in a one-on-one setting.

Call for abstracts:

Friday, April 8, 2016

TerraSwarm Funded Paper "Control Improvisation with Probabilistic Temporal Specifications" Receives Best Paper Award at 1st IEEE International Conference on Internet-of-Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI'16)

TerraSwarm funded paper "Control Improvisation with Probabilistic Temporal Specifications" received best paper award at the 1st IEEE International Conference on Internet-of-Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI'16) in Berlin, Germany. 

The paper states: "This work was supported in part by TerraSwarm, one of six centers of STARnet, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program sponsored by MARCO and DARPA."

Ilge Akkaya, Daniel J. Fremont, Rafael Valle, Alexandre Donze, Edward A. Lee, Sanjit A. Seshia. "Control Improvisation with Probabilistic Temporal Specifications". IEEE International Conference on Internet-of-Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI'16),  April 2-4, 2016.

We consider the problem of generating randomized control sequences for complex systems typically actuated by human agents. Our approach leverages a concept known as control improvisation, which is based on a combination of learning and synthesis from formal specifications. We learn from existing data a generative model (for instance, an explicit duration hidden Markov model, or EDHMM) and then supervise this model in order to guarantee that the generated sequences satisfy some desirable specifications given in Probabilistic Computation Tree Logic (PCTL). We present an implementation of our approach and apply it to the problem of mimicking the use of lighting appliances in a residential unit, with potential applications to home security and resource management. We present experimental results showing that our approach produces realistic control sequences, similar to recorded data based on human actuation, while satisfying suitable formal requirements.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Team Led by TerraSwarm-Funded PI Jan Rabaey Awarded a Two-Year Grant from STARnet

TerraSwarm-funded PI Jan Rabaey and co-principal investigators Ana Arias, Michel Maharbiz, Pieter Abbeel, Jose Carmena, and Bjorn Hartmann, have been awarded a two-year $551,019 grant via the Semiconductor Research Corporation (STARnet's SRC) to develop a first generation Human Intranet.

Conceived to take advantage of the proliferation of connected mobile devices and the resulting data, the Human Intranet is envisioned as an open, scalable, form fitting platform that seamlessly integrates an ever-increasing number of sensor, actuation, computation, storage, communication and energy nodes located on, in, or around the human body acting in symbiosis with the functions provided by the body itself. A heterogeneous power and data network consisting of wired and wireless links provides the communication backbone. 

This project will explore a couple of use cases including hybrid sensory expansion, and enabling higher information output through low-SNR actuation devices (such as pressure sensitive on-skin keyboards). Designed to work within an environment where devices connect to each other and collaborate to fulfill goals, the prototype systems will be built using existing as well as emerging devices.

Possible applications include less invasive medical diagnostic, monitoring, and treatment options; improved treatment outcomes; innovation; and improved communication. 


Monday, April 4, 2016

DARPA Announces Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2)

DARPA, a sponsor of TerraSwarm through STARnet, has announced the world’s first collaborative machine-intelligence competition, a grand challenge focused on spectrum collaboration.

With the number of devices accessing the electromagnetic spectrum on the rise, this challenge seeks to take advantage of progress and inspire innovation in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Competing teams will develop smart systems to create radios with machine-learning capabilities to cooperatively optimize the use of the wireless spectrum.

The Challenge addresses a fast-growing need. With an increasing number of devices connected to the wireless spectrum, a more nimble and efficient use of the finite resources will have applications in meeting future demand in ways not possible with the current system of pre-allocation of exclusive access to designated frequencies. The development of low cost software defined radios will also make it feasible to deploy spectrum monitoring on a larger scale.

The Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) website may be found at

Monday, March 28, 2016

TerraSwarm Funded Paper "Security-Aware Design Methodology and Optimization for Automotive Systems" Receives ACM TODAES 2016 Best Paper Award

The paper, "Security-Aware Design Methodology and Optimization for Automotive Systems" has been selected as the winner of the ACM TODAES 2016 Best Paper Award. The award will be presented at the 2016 DAC General Session.

The paper states: "This work was supported in part by the TerraSwarm Research Center, one of six centers supported by the STARnet phase of the Focus Center Research Program (FCRP), a Semiconductor Research Corporation program sponsored by MARCO and DARPA. This work was supported in part by the Industrial Cyber- Physical Systems Center (iCyPhy)."

Chung-Wei Lin, Bowen Zheng, Qi Zhu, Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli. "Security-Aware Design Methodology and Optimization for Automotive Systems". ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems (TODAES), Volume 21, Issue 1, November 2015.

In this paper, we address both of security and safety requirements and solve security-aware design problems for the Controller Area Network (CAN) protocol and Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) based protocols. To provide insights and guidelines for other similar security problems with limited resources and strict timing constraints, we propose a general security-aware design methodology to address security with other design constraints in a holistic framework and optimize design objectives. The security-aware design methodology is further applied to solve a security-aware design problem for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications with the Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC) technology. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our approaches in system design without violating design constraints and indicate that it is necessary to consider security together with other metrics during design stages.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

What Makes a Good System Designer?

In her article Masters of Abstraction, Ann Steffora Mutschler explains,"Good system designers are a unique breed. While it’s easy enough to distinguish the traits that define a good one from a weak one, it’s much harder to determine who possesses those traits before they are put to the test, or whether or how they can be taught."

The piece includes several sources who share their thoughts on the definition and characteristics of a good systems designer. TerraSwarm PI Edward A. Lee appears in the article and observes, "that there are enormous differences between good designers and weak designers. The productivity difference can be orders of magnitude. Interestingly, he said he hasn’t been able to detect any other correlations with personality traits. Some of the good designers are nerds, and some of them are outgoing and gregarious. It’s all over the map."

Monday, February 22, 2016

President Obama Honors TerraSwarm Funded PI with Top Award

TerraSwarm funded PI Rahul Mangharam from University of Pennsylvania has been selected as one of the recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers for his work inventing a formal methodology to test and verify the correct operation of medical device software. Rahul Mangharam’s research improves the safety of medical devices and reduces healthcare costs by ensuring that a device never drives the patient into an unsafe state, while providing effective therapy.

“These early-career scientists are leading the way in our efforts to confront and understand challenges from climate change to our health and wellness,” President Obama said. “We congratulate these accomplished individuals and encourage them to continue to serve as an example of the incredible promise and ingenuity of the American people.”

Intended to recognize some of the best scientists and engineers with extraordinary demonstrated potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge, awardees are selected based on their pursuit of innovative research and their commitment to community service.  For scientists and engineers early in their careers this award is the highest honor conferred by the U.S. government.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

SRC to Host TECHCON September 12 - 13, 2016

Semiconductor Research Corporation’s TECHCON 2016 is scheduled for September 12 – 13, 2016 at the Renaissance Austin Hotel in Austin Texas.

According to the email announcement, the general call for abstracts will open on Monday March 14, 2016.

TECHCON is largely student-presented and is an outstanding opportunity for networking with the world’s leading semiconductor industry companies and with researchers from other universities. Students will be invited to submit an abstract for consideration based on their association with SRC sponsored research. Abstracts are reviewed by technical committees that include member company representatives. Students with accepted abstracts are invited to present at TECHCON and have a unique opportunity to network with other researchers, students, and industry representatives. Because TECHCON 2016 is open only to the SRC community, authors are not precluded from publishing/presenting in open literature at a later date.

A separate call for students participating in Undergraduate programs will be made, opening on Monday April 18, 2016.

Please watch your email and the SRC website for more details for information about TECHCON 2016.