Orchestrating Sensors and Actuators for the Urban Environment
The digital design of public spaces still is a difficult task. In particular when developing novel interaction scenarios, an early and iterative deployment in the field is necessary so system design can take account of the real-world conditions of the public environment. To enable a faster prototyping of such scenarios, this class will develop a software server platform in Java, which will enable the orchestration of wireless ‘interaction nodes’. These interaction nodes are hardware modules which wirelessly provide sensors and actuators based on ‘panStamp’ hardware (wireless Arduino). Similar to the ‘internet of things’ paradigm, a wireless network of interaction nodes is to be created, that works reliably in urban environments over a distance of up to 20 meters.
Simple versions of such a server configuration have been trialed in some of our previous student research projects (e.g. the kick-flickable light fragments, and the parasites project). The aim of this project is now to build a reliable, longer-distance, and universal server platform which can be reused in future projects.
The project is organized as a collaboration between designers and technologists. The overall system will be developed in collaboration with product designers (from a parallel project in the faculty of Arts and Design), and with another group consisting of media architects, HCI master and Medieninformatik bachelor students. Each group will focus on different aspects.
The role of the Computer Science and Media students lies in the software part and its interfacing with the hardware. The designers will work conceptually, but also will physically build several interface modules that then are orchestrated by the server system, which is to be developed by the CS&Media students.
For CS&Media students this means:
- software development based on and building upon an existing JAVA SWT application
- dealing with code management systems
- analysis of potential strategies for wireless event handling
- implementation of a universal software system for the orchestration of ‘interaction nodes’
testing ‘in the wild’