a) SmartMart: IoT-based In-store Mapping for Mobile Devices (Dr. Byron J. Gao)

Quite often, when shopping in a supermarket (e.g. Walmart), shoppers are frustrated at locating the items on the shopping list and no assistance is available. On the other hand, retailers lose about 20% of sales as a result. The objective of this project is to leverage Internet of Things (IoT) technology to make store items "smart" so that they can automatically register and update their location information, allowing shoppers to search, locate, and map them on the store floor plan using mobile devices. Advanced features include recommending routes, computing shortest paths for multiple items on the shopping list, and facilitating exploratory search and personalized search capacities.

2. IoT-based Robotic Systems

Development of home Nanny robots that can significantly ease the workload of human beings has become one of the most active research areas in robotics, control, and computer vision. A home Nanny robot is a multi-functional service robot, which can possibly perform many complex household chores (e.g. organizing home, washing dishes, doing laundry), take care of disabled or elderly individuals (e.g. grabbing drinks, medicine, and food), and assist with child care. Due to various uncertainties at home, there are many challenging tasks to make a service robot perform a given task reliably and safely. Among them, two basic and key problems have to be solved: robot navigation (locate any specific object, find the best path to approach the object, and avoid household obstacles) and object identification and handling (robot can see an object with mounted cameras, detect an object in the image, and match the object with one of the stored 3D models to recognize the object in the scene and then obtain their geometry and pose information, which will guide the robot to operate its arms accordingly).

The objective of this project is to explore a real time IoT-based robot navigation algorithm, develop an adaptive object identification and handling methodology, and investigate an IoT-based home Nanny robotic system that can perform a variety of tasks in a home environment.

3. STUM -Socializing Things for User-friendly Management in IoT

While Internet of Things (IoT) offers numerous exciting potentials and opportunities, it remains challenging how to effectively manage things to achieve seamless integration of the physical world and the virtual one. In this project, we investigate an interesting direction, establishing a management framework STUM that smoothly socialize things through Twitter and comprehensively manage them in an effective and user-friendly way. We plan to design and implement a smart home prototype to showcase the framework. We also plan to provide a workbench with a set of tools, supporting streamlined deployment of such prototypes and their convenient maintenance, development, and extension.

4. Design and Verification of IoT Systems

Increasingly, the design of modern reasoning control systems for teams of reconnaissance and combat unmanned vehicles rely on ad-hoc, self-healing networks. The nature of such systems require specialized methods of design and verification to automate and shorten the development time and verify the properties specific to these systems to increase their software reliability.

This project will focus on distributed scheduling as an algorithmic approach for the reasoning component of the control system. Such an approach has certain benefits. For instance, it can allow several robots to coordinate and dynamically adjust their actions to create, as a team, future situations necessary to achieve a certain common goal.

The project will have three main aspects: development and evaluation of the distributed reasoning component for a cyber-physical system with communication via internet, a control system of an individual robot and a hybrid verification system for a scheduling based reasoning component.

The perceived novelty of the suggested hybrid verification system is its ability to verify that scheduling commitments of robots are indeed fulfilled in the future and verify thread safety of critical shared data structures: hierarchical task networks and schedules.

To accomplish these tasks we will use a simulation, a team of two-track rovers and electrically powered model planes. The control system will use Android-based cellphones as embedded devices on board rovers and model planes that will communicate via Wi-Fi.