Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Plotting the road ahead for wireless sensor networks

28.03.2006


Wireless sensor networks consisting of multiple objects, each capable of simple sensing, actuation, communication and processing have tremendous potential. To better realise their full capabilities researchers are developing a broad vision of innovative future applications.



Wireless sensor networks are a typical example of a network of ‘cooperating objects’, tiny embedded computers that cooperate together to produce an intended result. Such embedded systems, be they tiny processors in ‘intelligent clothing’ or the increasing numbers of computers in automobiles, are characterised by their need to interact with their immediate surroundings. However, it is only by cooperation with other objects that the full capabilities of such networks can be reached.

The problem faced by system designers is that, with so many cooperation possibilities with other networks, intelligent objects or even users themselves, how are they to know the best research direction to take? Which possibilities are likely to be taken up by society and industry globally, and which will turn out to be a blind alley?


These are the questions that the IST project Embedded WiseNts aims to answer. The project has brought together twelve partners from ten different European countries, the top research institutions in wireless communication, distributed computing and cooperating objects, to come up with some answers.

The project partners are focusing on the development of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) and their applications, especially in the form of Cooperating Objects (CO), to help develop a roadmap for innovative future applications. Their objective is to gain a broad vision of embedded wireless networks in the future (+/- 10 years), what their requirements would be and what technical progress is needed to this end.

What specific areas of weakness have the team found? “One of the first things we noticed is that most applications out there at the moment are very application specific,” says Marrón. “Which means that one key area we must address is that of adaptation. There is a distinct need for a middleware layer to cope with the diversity of software layers.”

“We have a big issue in energy-aware software, for example,” he continues. “When you have lots of small cooperating objects everywhere, you cannot keep stopping to change the batteries. So we need better energy efficiency both in hardware and software, and that can be either better batteries or algorithms that are more power-aware, that can turn off the radio module in the software, say, when it is not in use. As this will affect many software layers, we need to have cross-layer information.”

While systems designers are working on areas like energy-efficient hardware and software algorithms right now, Marrón believes that these issues and others even more important, such as security and authentication, will remain important issues for the next ten years.

Embedded WiseNts ends in December 2006. The project’s findings are already feeding into other research areas associated with cooperating objects. One example is a new project which is examining the possibilities for using cooperating objects in combination with robotics.

“The promise of cooperating objects in robotics is very big,” says Marrón. “[We] will be looking at how to develop a sensor system for the robots being introduced in fire fighting, as well as for the support of tiny autonomous flying objects known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs.”

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.europa.eu.int/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/BrowsingType/Features/ID/81223

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Magnetic Quantum Objects in a "Nano Egg-Box"
25.07.2017 | Universität Wien

nachricht 3-D scanning with water
24.07.2017 | Association for Computing Machinery

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>