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“Wireless Sensor Networks for Developing Countries” Springer CCIS Book Series Now Available

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the First International Conference on Wireless Sensor Networks for Developing Countries, WSN4DC 2013, held in Jamshoro, Pakistan, in April 2013.

The 10 revised full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 30 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on WSN applications/services for developing countries; mobile WSN; underwater WSN; VANETS; body area networks; energy harvesting in WSN; WSN and cloud integration; WSN and IoT; QoS and Qot; WSN MAC, network and transport protocols; cross layer approaches; security aspects in WSN; WSN applications in smart grid and energy management; WSN in structural health monitoring.

More info is available here.

Team develops tooth embedded sensor for oral activity recognition


A team of researchers at National Taiwan University has developed a sensor for embedding in a single tooth. The sensor as the team explains in their study paper records movement using an accelerometer to identify different oral activities such as chewing, smoking, coughing, etc. The team presented their sensor at this year’s International Symposium on Wearable Computers held early this month in Switzerland.

As scientists develop ways to make electronics smaller, researchers find new ways to use them. In this new effort, the team in Taiwan has developed a sensor that is small enough to fit inside of an artificial tooth, or to sit astride a natural one. The current sensor developed by the team uses very tiny wires to carry data from the sensor to a computer—future versions will use Bluetooth to allow for a wireless implementation.

The sensor measures jaw movement, and because of that is able to identify different types of oral activities. Currently it is capable of recognizing (after  for each individual) the difference between chewing, smoking, coughing, eating and drinking. This, the researchers say, could be invaluable to dentists, doctors and other scientists. The device would allow a , for example, to monitor teeth grinding, a doctor to verify how much a person is eating or smoking, and a behavioral scientist to measure .

To verify the accuracy of the device, the research team enlisted the assistance of eight —each had a sensor affixed to a tooth and then was asked to perform several different activities (cough, chew , etc.) for approximately 30 seconds each while the computer analyzed the data and made a personal profile for them. Afterwards, each of the volunteers was then asked to engage in the various oral activities and the researchers report that the sensor and computer were 93.8 percent accurate in determining which activity was being performed.

More info here.


How Can IBM’s Approach To Sensors Change The World?

Around the world, the increased use of sensors — and the data insights they provide — is leading to better management of resources and increased efficiency. A recent article on highlights how IBM is creating smarter cities with sensor technology. The article also discusses how advanced application of sensors can be used to address any number of everyday urban challenges from finding a parking space to increasing access to critical information in the wake of a natural disaster.

Unfortunately, the widespread use of sensors can still be cost-prohibitive. Few organizations can afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars per sensor and companies need to be working hard on the idea of bringing the cost down to an affordable level. The key is to make it easier and cheaper for everyone to gain access to the sensor space.

Besides cost, there are two other barriers hampering the widespread adoption of sensors. The first is that much of the sensor industry is focused on the sensor base or the sensors themselves rather than combining all the components to present a complete solution. In many cases the end user or system integrator must put together different components, write the software and then embed it with the sensor hardware.

The second area of focus for many vendors is the big push for cloud-based data collection systems. However, many of these are generic APIs that work with any platform that is configured to use them.  By themselves they are good ways to visualize your data, but not in the context of any real analysis or domain-specific expertise.

The reality is the end user needs both preconfigured hardware and cloud-based monitoring combined to serve a specific purpose. Users want sensors solutions that are easy to install and setup with clear instructions that explain what they’re capable of doing. They also need sensors that are easy to connect to other software and can integrate seamlessly with sensors from multiple vendors.

To be successful, organizations need to provide cheap, easy, and complete solutions that are broad enough to work with other systems. Sensors and the valuable insights they provide could be the key to smarter, more efficient cities and societies. It’s vital to develop integrated systems that are more affordable and readily available.

More info here.

IEEE Tutorial: Recent Advances in Wireless Sensor Networks

TechFocus2010This presentation covers various characteristics of a wireless sensor network in monitoring an unattended area. Results of how wireless sensor network topologies can be effectively used for physically accessible areas are presented. Minimizing packet traffic by collecting data using a mobile Base Station is discussed, along with energy consumption. An innovative technique of distributing keys for shared secret key based communications is described, and various characteristics including resiliency, and monitoring a battle-field using wireless sensor networks are outlined. Analytical model is introduced and compared with simulation results. The need for layered sensing in secured communications is investigated.

Free access compliments of: Academic Press

Free access for a limited time only!

More info here.


Wireless sensor network to help prevent power cuts

Researchers are developing a wireless sensor network (WSN) designed to spot faults in electricity sub-stations that can lead to power cuts. The EPSRC-funded team will develop a WSN capable of sensing partial discharge (PD) in electricity sub-stations, a situation that occurs when the insulation of cables and other power equipment becomes old or damaged. Left unchecked, partial discharge can lead to dangerous and destructive faults including explosions and power cuts. Designed to be monitored centrally, the new WSN will allow operators to replace planned maintenance with condition-based maintenance.

Ian Glover, the new Professor of Radio Science and Wireless Systems Engineering at Huddersfield University told The Engineer via email that the traditional approach to PD detection using free-standing radio receivers has been to measure the difference in time-of-flight from the PD source to a set of spatially separated receivers.

‘The difference in the times-of-flight are found by cross-correlating the noise-like time waveforms arriving at the different receivers with each other,’ he said. ‘The difference in the times-of-flight for a pair of receivers defines a locus of points on which the source of PD could lie. Multiple loci, resulting from multiple pairs of receivers, intersect which gives the location of the source.’ The 4.5 year project, which has received £670,000 in funding, aims to develop a system that relies principally on measurement of PD signal amplitude and does not rely on time measurements. One challenge, said Prof Glover, will be to make the sensors sensitive enough to detect PD at a useful range without requiring sophisticated signal processing, such as the cross-correlation used in the time-of-flight approach. He said, ‘Such signal processing is power hungry and these sensors will probably need to be powered using energy harvesting technologies – solar cells, vibration, stray electric and magnetic fields, for example – if they are not to require expensive maintenance.’

Another challenge, he said, is that the attenuation [loss] of the PD signal in propagating from source to receiver may vary significantly, even for paths of the same length due to the complex propagation environment of the substation.

‘This means that the location of the PD source is almost certainly not possible by simply inverting a path loss law since the path loss law will be unknown,’ said Prof Glover. ‘It may be that we have to ‘calibrate’ our sensors using an emulated PD signal. This itself will require power and may further challenge the energy harvesting solution to maintenance avoidance.’

More info here.

Ultralow-power developments target next-gen wireless sensors

Imec__ULP_ADCThe ultrasmall sensors of the future will monitor our health parameters, vehicles, machines and processes, buildings and smart constructions, and the environment. They will operate autonomously for long periods on a small battery, and they will communicate wirelessly. A key factor for their success, therefore, is their low power consumption, which will define the range of applications and functionalities for which they can be used.

At the 38th European Solid-State Circuits Conference in September, Imec and Holst Centre (Eindhoven, Netherlands) presented four ultralow-power developments to drive next-generation sensors and sensor networks: a frequency-shift-keying receiver for body-area networks, a flexible successive-approximation-register A/D converter for wireless sensor nodes, fast start-up techniques for duty-cycled impulse radio receivers, and a design approach targeting subthreshold operation.

ULP receiver for body-area network applications
Imec and Holst have developed a power-efficient receiver for ULP BAN (ultralow-power body-area network) applications. Whereas most transceivers exploit OOK (on-off keying) modulation, the new receiver uses FSK (frequency-shift keying) modulation and is hence less sensitive to interference. The complete receiver, fabricated in 40-nm CMOS technology, consumes 382.5 μW. The sensitivity measured at a bit error rate of 10−3 is –81 dBm for a 12.5-kbit/sec bit rate. The bit rate is scalable up to 625 kbits/sec, enabling a trade-off between sensitivity and bit rate. Taking advantage of the short-range nature of BAN applications, a mixer-first architecture is proposed, leading to a good dynamic range.

Flexible SAR ADC for ULP wireless sensor nodes
Wireless sensor nodes for electroencephalography, electrocardiography, and temperature and pressure monitoring require ULP ADCs for both the sensor-readout interface and the wireless-communication front end. Each of these applications, however, has its own requirements for accuracy and bandwidth. Imec and Holst Centre have realized a flexible, power-efficient SAR (successive approximation register) ADC that designers can use for a variety of applications. The device supports resolutions from 7 to 10 bits and sample rates from dc to 2M samples/sec; the flexibility is achieved by implementing a reconfigurable comparator and a reconfigurable DAC. The chip, in a 90-nm process, occupies 0.047 mm2, and achieves power efficiencies of 2.8- to 6.6-fJ/conversion step at 2M samples/sec and with a 0.7V supply.

More info here.

Summer School on Cooperation of Robots and Sensor Networks

Heterogeneous networks of sensors and unmanned vehicles open avenues for a class of novel applications. Tasks ranging from environmental monitoring to user support within emergency-response scenarios require fundamental and multidisciplinary research, typically spanning Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering topics in robotics, control, communication, and middleware. While the first two summer schools of this series concentrated on research problems within these different domains, this year the focus is on the combination of all involved areas in the context of real-world scenarios. This is tackled by an array of devices ranging from inexpensive, tiny, low power sensor nodes, through unmanned autonomous vehicles to resource rich and powerful command stations. Such a heterogeneity in communication mechanisms, processing capabilities, and inherent mobility of the different devices constitutes a so-called Mixed-Mode Environment.


This international summer school surveys research areas in the domain of Mixed-Mode Environments and targets to identify novel opportunities and research directions. The lectures will be held by renowned speakers from academia and industry.

The summer school will also provide an excellent opportunity to get in contact with known researchers working in this field, to meet distinguished scholars, and to establish contacts that may lead to research collaborations in the future.

As a special novelty, this year’s program will include a “Mixed-Mode-Challenge” across the school attendees. During the week, all participants will have the opportunity to work together in small groups and develop solutions for an interdisciplinary task involving mobile robots and stationary sensors nodes. First, the groups will validate their approaches in simulation and finally transfer them to real hardware. It is intended to use TurtleBots for the evaluation. The group with the best performing approach will be awarded a special prize.


The intended audience are young researchers and PhD students from universities and industrial laboratories around the world. As the number of attendees is limited, prospective participants should apply online providing a brief description of their research.

The summer school registration fee is 450 Euro. All rooms are shared between two people.

The summer school will take place in the historical Castle Ebernburg. The registration fee includes accommodation at Castle Ebernburg, all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee breaks), several social events and all study materials.


The summer school is organized by the Research Training Group Cooperative, Adaptive and Responsive Monitoring in Mixed Mode Environments, funded by the German Research Foundation, DFG, under grant GRK 1362.

Important Dates

Application deadline: June 25, 2012

Summer school: July 22-27, 2012

More info here.

WoT 2012

(submission deadline extended)

The third international workshop on the Web of Things (WoT 2012) will be held in conjunction with the tenth international conference on pervasive computing (Pervasive 2012) in Newcastle, UK, June 18-22, 2012.

Continuing the successful Web of Things workshop series, this workshop aims at further exploring the use of technologies and principles at the core of the Web to provide methods for a seamless integration of physical devices. In particular, our goal is to foster discussion on systems towards a real-time Web of Things and the discovery, search, and composition of services provided by Web-enabled things. The “Web of Things” workshop solicits contributions in all areas related to the Web of Things, and we invite application designers to think beyond sensor networks and Web applications, and to imagine, design, build, evaluate and share their thoughts and visions on what the future of the Web and networked devices will be.

Important Dates

Paper submission deadline: March 16, 2012
Notification of acceptance: April 2, 2012
Camera-ready papers due: April 20, 2012
Workshop date: June 19, 2012

More on the workshop website

Research Positions at CISTER

Two research positions in the fields of Cooperating Objects, Cyber-Physical Systems & Sensor Networks are available at the Research Centre on Real-Time Computing Systems (CISTER). The Centre is currently looking to strengthen its research team in the CONET NoE research clusters and SENODs project on all levels: Senior Scientists, Invited Scientists and Post-Docs.

The candidates should have a PhD in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering or related fields. Particular expertise in Cyber-Physical Systems is a plus. She/he should also have an international publication record and ability to do independent research. Fluency in written and spoken English is required.

Detailed info about the respective calls can be found here and here.

Embedded Networked Systems Engineer – National Geographic

National Geographic – Remote Imaging laboratories is hiring a Post Doctoral researcher to be responsible for the development, testing and performance evaluation of networked embedded devices, in fulfillment of an NSF Grant. These will extend video-recording devices (Crittercam) that have been developed by NGS. The new devices will be equipped with low power GPS localization, wireless communication and on-board execution of distributed algorithms for data storage, streaming and processing, as well as other functionality’s such as battery management. The work will be developed at the Remote Imaging laboratories, located in the headquarters of NGS in Washington, DC, and it will benefit from the guidance and mentorship of experienced engineers.

The Post Doctoral researcher will interact with other team members at the University of Maryland and Princeton University, who will, respectively, evaluate and develop distributed algorithms and determine data to be collected and develop biologically relevant models. The intellectual merit of the work in is development of methods for hardware integration to build distributed networks of embedded devices that are capable of executing algorithms, subject to severe power and weight constraints. 

See more info for applicants, locate job ad and apply here


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