Assignments and Projects

You ever wanted to be a helicopter pilot? Now is your chance!

We have a quadrocopter and we want it to fly. Several projects are available, so come talk to us. If you have a great idea, we are open for discussion.
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Like to play with 50 Android tablets?

Pervasive Systems has 50 Nexus 7 Android tablets, which we would like to transform into a video wall. They are also testbed for opportunistic communication and sensing. If this is what you like to do for your Msc or Bsc graduation project or any other project, HBO "stage", etc., contact me to discuss possibilities.

Mobile phones are the next big thing!

Urban sensing combines traditional wireless sensor networks with opportunistic and participatory sensing. Sensor data from wireless sensor networks (e.g. sensors in the infrastructure, like lamp posts and traffic lights) are extended and enhanced by data collected by people with their mobile phones and vehicles on the road.

The sheer scale of thousands of mobile phones used as sensors collecting data is almost beyond imagination. Data is collected in places were previously no measurements were taken, thus broadening the scale and scope of information gathering considerably. Sharing and combining information collected by large numbers of people will reveal patterns that were previously invisible. Acting on this newfound information, the city's stress (e.g. air pollution, traffic load and flow, noise) may be alleviated and thus improve quality of living.

Traditional sensing becomes people-centric sensing, opening a new range of applications in personal, public and social contexts.

Projects on Smart Phone Sensor Network

Smart phones, like iPhone or Android-based phones, have a multitude of sensors onboard. Examples of these sensors are GPS, accelerometer and camera. But even not-so-smart phones have sensors, although we might not realize they have them: the microphone, light sensor and onboard radios.

Not all mobile phones have connection to internet, but still they have the means to participate in the sensor network. With their Wifi or Bluetooth radio they can connect to nearby mobile phones or the existing infrastructure-based sensor network and thus take part in the sensing network. So, the sensor network consist of a variety of components: the (fixed) wireless sensors in the infrastructure, simple mobile phones without internet connection, and smart phones with internet connection that can act as mobile base stations.

Project 1: Data dissemination in mobile phone networks

In this project/assignment we want to investigate how sensor data can be spread around in mobile phone networks in a cost-effective and efficient manner using any communication medium available. Points that need to be taken into account are:
  • some data is only valid for a limited period of time, after which the data becomes stale,
  • some data is only interesting locally,
  • some data is globally interesting,
  • some data is only interesting for certain phones.
contact: Hans Scholten

Project 2: Exchanging sensor data in mobile phone networks using game theory

Spreading data in a mobile phone network uses energy and bandwidth in individual phones. Why would a mobile phone relay data for other phones in such a network if it doesn't win anything? Why would it spend energy and bandwidth for such actions? This project/assignment investigates how game theory can be used to "convince" a phone to participate in actions that are not directly beneficial for this phone, but are good for the functioning of the network as a whole.

contact: Hans Scholten

Project 3: How to use social networks to enhance smart phone networks?

Social networks are par excellence tools to monitor trends, to find out what currently is in and what is out. For example, the number of messages on Twitter could be used to predict how many people will come to a concert. Or it leads to a better appreciation of current dangerous situations, like the recent fire in Moerdijk. In general, information gathered by monitoring social networks can be used to enhance information from sensor networks. Combining these different streams of information enables a better understanding and prediction of events in realtime, in the short term as well as in the long term. The subject of this project/assignment is how social networks can be used to achieve this goal.

contact: Hans Scholten

Project 4: Playing in a band: ensembles in mobile phone networks

Unlike animals (George Orwell: "Animal Farm"), mobile phones are not equal. They come in all sizes and shapes, and have different sets of sensors. Sometimes it would be handy to have a GPS to get your precise position, but unfortunately your phone is the cheap model without one. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to "borrow" the GPS from the guy next to you with his newest iPhone model? This is just an example of finding resources in the vicinity that would enable you to accomplish some goal. This finding and sharing of resources is also useful to achieve, not personal goals, but more general ones. For instance, a city counsel could try to find phones in a certain area to collect noise levels in that part of the city. It might need more than two phones to supply the required set of resources to achieve a goal. The minimal set of phones to fulfill a goal is called an ensemble. Like their musical counter part, all members in the ensemble, possibly playing different instruments, are needed "to perform the music". This project/assignment researches how to set a goal, find the required ensemble and "perform". Attention should be given to privacy concerns.

contact: Hans Scholten

Project 5: User interfaces and data visualization in public spaces

Collecting data from sensors and social networks is only step one. Presenting the data in an attractive, but informative way is the next step. Out-of-the box thinking is essential here. We not only want to present data in web pages and on mobile phone screens, we are especially interested in new creative and innovative ways to show information in public spaces. Of course, huge screens come to mind, but this is not what we want in first instance. Objects that change color, light intensity, size, shape or location is what we want. Only for students looking for a project or assignment that explores their creative side!

contact: Hans Scholten

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