Current industrial and academic research indicates that wireless and sensor systems might soon become an integral part of our daily lives with their applications ranging in economically and societal important areas such as retail, supply chain management, asset management, safety critical situations in work places and healthcare.
The shift from personal computing to wireless and sensor systems is a motor for innovation expected to transform ICT business over the next decennia. The strong increasing penetration of networked embedded systems in products and services creates huge opportunities for all kinds of enterprises and institutions. At the same time the fast pace of penetration poses an immense threat to most of them. They all need to respond timely in mastering the following technological and market challenges:
- Wide diversity and increasing complexity of applications and needs
- Increasing number of non‐functional constraints
- Increasing degree of integration and networking
- Increasingly multi‐disciplinary nature of products and services
- Growing importance of flexibility and software
- Shrinking time‐to‐market
Our research produces results on mastering the complexity of such systems and exploring various settings and application domains in which they can play a role. We closely cooperate with institutes and industry at large in order to keep the direction and the results of our efforts relevant.
The principal aim is to provide the long‐term programme and expertise needed to understand the core structure and behavior of the future wireless embedded systems that will be required to realize the application potential, and to make this understanding manifest in readily applicable hard‐ and software frameworks and sound conceptual foundations.
Applications that might be addressed in the school are:
Sustainability / energy reduction
Although much of the worldwide increase in electricity consumption is attributed to ICT, the same ICT technology can also be used to reduce the worldwide energy consumption. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) can, for example, be used to control the consumption, production, transportation, and storage of electricity (smart grids). In addition, a WSN can be used to control and schedule electricity consuming and producing appliances in an optimal way. Smart sensor networks that sense the state of the house and its individual users, can predict and control energy streams in buildings.
Fitness and medical applications
Intelligent miniaturized sensing systems with sensor monitoring physiological data and movement behaviors equipped with wireless communication capabilities can monitor and analyze various aspects related to health and fitness. Such systems can not only capture the motion and health parameters of the users, but also self‐organize into an ad‐hoc, dynamic wireless network, process data locally to extract relevant features, apply distributed inference to assess the physical activity and condition of the users, transmit parameters to body implants, digital spectacles, hearing aides, speech control, etc and eventually provide real‐time feedback.
Security and safety
Security systems play an important role in our daily life and are needed to increase the safety in both public areas (streets, airports, train stations, etc.) and industrial spaces. Examples are: automated assessment of situations and alarm generation; personal security; safety‐critical services; crisis detection; smart alarms; secure operation of dangerous devices; location‐ and context‐based security.
Transport and mobility
Enhancement of traffic safety and efficiency, and reduction of emissions, by utilizing vehicle‐to‐vehicle or vehicle to infrastructure communication. Companies in distribution, transport and industry are under constant pressure to optimize their process efficiency, to improve service levels for their customers, and to comply with new legislation such as food safety regulations. Bridging the gap between the physical world (“The flow of goods”) and the digital world (“The flow of
information”) provides tremendous value to achieve these objectives. Particularly, companies require relevant real‐time information about their goods: the location of goods, the history of goods (traceability), the condition and status, and unexpected events (such as transportation delays).