Srivastava01smart - Smart Kindergarten Sensor-based Wireless Networks for Smart Developmental Problem-solving Environments Mani Srivastava EE

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Smart Kindergarten: Sensor-based Wireless Networks for Smart Developmental Problem-solving Environments Mani Srivastava EE Department UCLA [email protected] Richard Muntz CS Department UCLA [email protected] Miodrag Potkonjak CS Department UCLA [email protected] ABSTRACT Despite enormous progress in networking and computing technologies, their application has remained restricted to conventional person-to-person and person-to-computer communication. However, continual reduction in cost and form factor is now making it possible to imbed networking - even wireless networking - and computing capabilities not just in our PCs and laptops but also other objects. Further, a marriage of these ever tinier and cheaper processors and wireless network interfaces with emerging micro-sensors based on MEMS technology is allowing cheap sensing, processing, and communication capabilities to be unobtrusively embedded in familiar physical objects. The result is an emerging paradigm shift where the primary role of information technology would be to enhance or assist in “person to physical world” communication via familiar physical objects with embedded (a) micro-sensors to react to external stimuli, and (b) wireless networking and computing engines for tetherless communication with compute servers and other networked embedded objects. In this paper we present the application of sensor-based wireless networks to a “Smart Kindergarten” that we are developing to target developmental problem-solving environments for early childhood education. This is a natural application as young children learn by exploring and interacting with objects such as toys in their environment. Our envisioned system would enhance the education process by providing a childhood learning environment that is individualized to each child, adapts to the context, coordinates activities of multiple children, and allows continual unobtrusive evaluation of the learning process by the teacher. This would be done by wirelessly-networked, sensor-enhanced toys and other classroom objects with back-end middleware services and database techniques. We explore wireless networking, middleware, and data management technologies for realizing this application, and describe challenges arising from ad hoc distributed structure, unreliable sensing, large scale/density, and novel sensor data types that are characteristic of such deeply instrumented environments with inter-networked physical objects. 1. INTRODUCTION The focus and application of wireless information technology so far has largely been on using low power, portable computers, enhanced with multimedia I/O peripherals, for richer “person to computer” and “person to person” interactions. However, the interaction of users with computers and peripherals is quite different from their interaction with objects in physical environments. This requires that users and their applications adapt to information technology, rather than the other way round, thereby limiting the application of information technology in
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This note was uploaded on 08/25/2011 for the course EEL 5937 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Central Florida.

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Srivastava01smart - Smart Kindergarten Sensor-based Wireless Networks for Smart Developmental Problem-solving Environments Mani Srivastava EE

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