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.