IST Lunch Bunch

Tuesday February 16, 2016 12:00 PM

Intelligent Sensors for the Internet of Things: Parallel Computing on Chicago Street Poles

Speaker: Pete Beckman, Northwestern-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering, Argonne National Laboratory
Location: Annenberg 105

Sensors and embedded computing devices are being woven into buildings, roads, household appliances, and light bulbs. And while the Internet of Things (IoT) is at the peak of its hype curve, there are challenging science questions and multidisciplinary research problems as the technology pushes into society.  Waggle ( -- an open source, open hardware research project at Argonne National Laboratory -- is developing a novel wireless sensor system to enable a new breed of smart city research and sensor-driven environmental science. The Waggle IoT sensor platform supports sensing and actuation that requires in situ computation, such as is needed for image recognition, machine learning, audio classifiers, and autonomous control —- essentially a parallel, distributed computing environment in a small box.  After the data is collected, it can be used to improve groundwater simulations a nd weather and climate models, with the aim of understanding the urban heat island and boundary layer. Cities are embracing this kind of data-centric computing and seeking to use high-fidelity data streams to improve quality of life. Waggle is the core technology for the Chicago Array of Things project (, which is beginning its deployment of 500 sophisticated sensor nodes in the city of Chicago this spring. Prototype versions are already deployed on a couple of campuses.  Waggle sensor boards are being tested for deployment in solar-powered trash cans ( and in street kiosks in NYC. The presentation will describe both the design of these new sensor platforms and the new kinds of systems, science, and changes to society that may result.

Series IST Lunch Bunch

Contact: Diane Goodfellow at 626-395-6842