ActiveTSN - Actuation in the Tagus-Sensornet

Context: Technological advancements in the area of embedded systems and the need to interconnect the various systems using wireless communicating has led to the development of a new concept in networked embedded systems - Sensor Actor networks. The networked device composed of various sensors/actuators, microcontrollers and wireless interfaces, is often characterised by diminutive size and reduced power consumption. The amalgamation of various such devices is capable of cooperatively solving complex problems. Taguspark already contains an infrastructure of this nature Tagus-SensorNet - containing dozens of devices and supports various applications based on simple sensors without any ability to actuate. However, there are many applications in which it is necessary for the system to be capable of acting upon the environment by way of Sirens, motors or other intelligent devices based on 'standards' such as X10 or KNX. This is the scope in which this project is incorporated.

Objectives: To implement the capability to actuate in some motes available as a part of the Tagus-SensorNet, in a partition attached to the MIT EBLab (see Projecto Smart Power). The idea is to complement the Smart Power project so that not only can the power consumption of devices be estimated but also control their functionality.

Description: Starting with an evaluation of a previously developed actuator board - Overboard - create an application that can command the AC, the shutters, lighting as well as other systems in the room. The application in this context implies the global functionality of the network, so that a control loop between sensors and actuators is formed. This application should permit Choreographed control techniques without resorting to a global Orchestrator (such as a PC), this entails cooperative communication between sensors and actuators localised in the environment measured/controlled.

An example of such a control loop is that of a network of gas sensors, extraction fans and sirens. The gas sensors, upon detecting an excess of a toxic gas (such as CO), should communicate with extraction fans and sirens. The sirens should be triggered to warn users of the presence of the gas and the extraction fans should be triggered to fumigate the gas. Upon reaching nominal gas levels the fans should switch off, but the sirens might remain active, requiring human acknowledgment.

Orientation: Rui M. Rocha, Carlos Almeida

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