The EWiDS project developed and tested large-scale wireless (sensor/actuator) networks to be used in practical applications such as crowd control or assisted living. These networks were meant for scenarios in which (large groups of) people need to be monitored and managed, for instance in busy areas such as museums and train stations, or simply at home.The aim was to improve safety and comfort of individuals.
The central research question for the project was how to devise a large-scale collaborative network of small, highly mobile, wireless devices, which collect, disseminate, aggregate and process information within the network, in order to take independent, informed decisions and to provide instant feedback to its users.
Challenges were scaling up solutions for the deployment of wireless distributed sensor/actuator systems. Issues to be addressed include: ease of installation, (self-)configuration and maintenance; ease of application development and deployment, hiding complexities of the network; and harnessing the behavior of a large network of relatively primitive nodes (constraining the emergent behavior).
Almende contributed with our expertise in installing and utilizing large-scale networks of MyriaNed sensor nodes, as well as aggregating and analyzing the data resulting from these nodes into insights and visualizations which can be relayed back to the user to effectuate behavior change.
The project contributed to our expertise in managing large-scale sensor networks in practical, real world settings and using the data to map complex behavior flows. Specifically, we gained insights on the importance of ease of installation and maintenance for sensors deployed at such a scale.