Research > Faculty Projects

The TerraSwarm Research Center (TSRC)

Principal Investigator
Jeffrey A. Bilmes

Carlos E. Guestrin, Computer Science, Emily Fox, Statistics

University of California - Berkeley

Award Period
01/15/2013 - 01/14/2018

Much has been said about the potential for solving societal-scale problems offered by swarms of sensors measuring physical quantities, wirelessly connected among themselves and with central repositories or distributed databases. Sensory systems have been proposed (and deployed) for a borad range of monitoring (and even actuation) applications. Advances in design and manufacturing technology have enabled the cost, size, power consumption, and variety of interface nodes and the associated networks to improve dramatically. Some industry observers predict that in 10 years there will be thousands of smart sensing devices per person on the planet (yielding teraswarms), ensuring that we will be immersed in a sea of networked real-world interface devices.

The potential goes far beyond what has been accomplished so far. When realized in full, these technologies can seamlessly integrate the cyber world (centered today in "the cloud") with our physical/biological world, effectively bridging the gap between the two. This can enable humans, machines, and infrastructure that are far more aware and adaptive to their environment. We call this emerging global cyber-physical network the "TerraSwarm." Fromthe perspective of the information world, this revolution gives the network eyes, ears, hands, and feet to interact with the physical world. From the perspective of the physical and biological world, this revolution enables coordination, intelligence, and efficient use of resources. Envision a tale of two swarm-enabled "SmartCities" with safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation during the best of times, and secure, quick, and adaptable emergency response during the worst of times.

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