The Advance of Sensor Networks and Autonomous Systems

The past five years have seen the emergence of a growing array of autonomous swimming, flying, and rolling vehicles, each highly sensored and capable of real-time communication with processors external to themselves. Practical designs are now commercially available for each of the four primary areas of our environment: terrestrial, marine (subsea, surface, and amphibian), atmospheric (gravity constrained), and space (orbital and planetary).

A look at a selection of these achievements in networked sensor systems will set the stage to discuss the communications layer of the ubiquitous computing stack.

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Knowledge Engineering & the Emerging Technologies of the Next Decade*

Between Mathematics, Computer Science, Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Statistics, is emerging an area of effort concerned, not just with using data or information gathered slowly over months or years, but with its real-time acquisition, interpretation and analysis, and its real-time use in appropriate decision-making, automatic adjustment, and intelligent response.

For a team capable of bridging the disciplines involved, the potential for application is truly unlimited.

*This article was originally written 15 September, 2005 when the author was Director of Engineering at BioSonics, Inc. It was published at MathSciTech on 12 January 2010.
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