Efficient architectures and algorithms for distributed video analytics for Smart Cities

Most of the smart city components, as articulated by the 20 candidate cities chosen for Smart City implementation by the Indian Government, can greatly benefit by the use of cameras as sensing devices. Examples include surveillance, smart parking, transit management, etc. This is not surprising as cameras are a very versatile and rich sensor and hence one can extract useful information to enable a diverse set of applications. However, the negative is the high data bandwidth required to transfer data from the cameras to the computing center. Hence it is imperative that one explore ways of analyzing the camera data at the edge so that only useful information is sent to the computing center, thus minimizing bandwidth. At the same time, the whole system needs to be flexible enough to allow programmatic control of what useful information to extract as this depends on the actual application. Hence this forms the basic premise and problem for this proposal.

Understanding swarming and collective motion in bacterial populations

One of the hallmarks of a cyber-physical system is the emergence of collective intelligence from the individual elements of the system. For instance, the synthesis of a decision based on multimodal sensory information from the individual nodes of a sensor network. Complex living organisms can also be considered as cyber-physical systems because their survival depends on taking the right decisions based on the collective information gathered from their sensing organs as well as possibly from their neighbours.

In this context, bacteria and similar microbes present an excellent test-bed to study how collective intelligence emerges in a biological system. Given the fact that such systems have evolved over millions of years, the methods they use for decision making and for dealing with noise may be near-optimal and may give us valuable insights in the design of non-living cyber-physical systems.

Distributed multi-agent algorithms for micro grid control

A microgrid is a networked group of distributed energy sources with the goal of generating, converting and storing energy. This scenario is being envisaged as an important alternative to the conventional scheme with large power stations transmitting energy over long distances. The microgrid technology is useful particularly in the Indian context where extending power supply from the main grids to remote villages is a challenge. In order to take full advantage of the modularity and flexibility of micro-grid technologies, smart control mechanisms are required to manage and coordinate these distributed energy systems so as to minimize the costs of energy production, conversion and storage, without jeopardizing grid stability.

Design of large-scale IoT networks

A well-designed communication network that provides reliable quality of service (QoS) guarantees is a critical platform on which a variety of novel cyber-physical system (CPS) applications can be built. When designed well, the CPS entities can seamlessly talk to each other, and the network acts merely as a transparent enabler. When designed poorly, bottlenecks, congestions, delays, etc. that develop can choke not only CPS applications and but also the development of new CPS applications.

We are at a point in time where large scale IoT deployments, those that can improve delivery of societal services, are just beginning – smart meters at homes, safety monitoring of equipments, mobile health, improved distribution and leakage detection in water networks, among many others. Many innovative services are also being developed around such applications. It will not be long before IoT data starts flooding the network. It is therefore crucial that the right design decision choices are made at this stage, when the IoT networks are being planned, because once deployed, there is always reluctance to modify them.

Projects completed in 2013

Decentralized low power filtration via field effect – A water bottle for desalination Principal Investigator Prof Sanjiv Sambandan (Professor, Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics) Duration 1 August 2012 to 31 July 2013 Waste …

Projects completed in 2014

An interactive gateway for relaying physiological parameters and video data between mobile ambulances and hospitals (AMBULET) Principal Investigator Dr Malati Hegde (Principal Scientific Officer, Department of Electrical Communication Engineering) Duration 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 …

Projects completed in 2015

Agricultural automation: Mobile phone based analysis of images of plant leaves to give decision support in agriculture Principal Investigator Prof A. G. Ramakrishnan (Professor, Department of Computer Science and Automation) Duration 16 August …

Projects completed in 2016

A solar dashboard for India. A cooperative project between ICER & RBCCPS Principal Investigator Prof Pradip Dutta (Chairman and Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering) Duration 1 December 2014 to 30 November 2016 Renewable energyis a …

Autonomous coordinated navigation of drones

The broad objective of the project is to achieve autonomous navigation of multiple drones. There are several important problems that need to be answered before we could achieve this objective. We would like to study these questions in the context of Smart Cities, to enable applications such as delivery of essential supplies like medicines/organs etc. across the city.

Our long-term goals are: (1) Design of drones which can cover city wide areas, (2) suggest infrastructure which could potentially be used in a city for drones, and (3) autonomous navigation strategies for multiple drones.

The goals for the first project year are: (1) Creating an infrastructure for drones, (2) designing of drones, (3) autonomous navigation of a single drone with GPS, and (4) state perception using computer vision for drones.

Smart City test bed

The Indian Government has identified Smart Cities as a priority area for development in the coming years. ICT will play a key role in supporting smart city solutions and more specifically, IoT technologies will be a key enabler for providing the “smarts”. The requirements from citizens in cities is diverse and cuts across many different verticals like transportation, water management, solid waste management, smart parking etc. Typically, each vertical will be addressed by a different vendor, who will provide an end-to-end solution. However it has been recognized of late, that a better approach might be to have a horizontal approach where in sensors, and other data are made available across different silos – in order to foster new, cost effective solutions to various city related problems and citizen needs. A simple example is that of a camera sensor which can aid in not only in surveillance but also in crowd management, smart parking, transit operations management etc. applications. Hence there is a need to develop smart city ICT/IoT framework as a generic platform that will support a diverse set of applications.