JOL SWARM - Turin JOL SWARM - Turin

JOL SWARM - Turin

Beyond the Internet of Things

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The JOL SWARM was established in February 2014 at the Telecom Italia headquarters at the Polytechnic University of Turin. The aim of this lab is to create innovation through synergies with the local area and close collaboration with the technological eco-system of the province of Turin.

The goal is to create synergies between academic research and industrial innovation in the field of distributed systems of the so-called “Internet of Everything”.

The SWARM lab is involved in a number of ICT research projects, studying how to apply distributed and pervasive technologies using the paradigms of collaboration and cooperation, where “things” and “people” interact via devices in complex systems that can lead to collective behaviour, as demonstrated by swarms of insects or flocks of birds.

JOL SWARM

We are working on four main technologies:

  • Swarm Energy: we are creating a new smart grid concept, through self-organisation at a district level and implemented via distributed intelligence, to achieve a system (or swarm) that deals with the variability of renewable energy sources and the dynamic pricing rates offered by energy providers while maintaining a high level of comfort for users. This branch of research also includes the activities of the European project INTrEPID and the EIT ICT Lab RICH project.
  • Swarm Mobile: as devices connected to the Internet of Everything, mobile terminals play a special role. In fact, they are not only devices with sensors, memory and computational capabilities but they also have a special characteristic: they are now part of our everyday life and move and interact with us throughout the day. They are therefore an essential element that links things and people in the emerging paradigm of the Internet of Everything. SWARM MOBILE activities are varied but all of them emphasise the role of cooperation between people and mobile terminals that create a swarm of people constantly on the move. It involves complex systems comprising users who interact with each other and with the environment like “swarms” using a smartphone. This group includes solutions developed for the VirtualBus service that manages “swarms of people” or for crowd-steering and crowd-sensing applications for widespread monitoring of our cities.
  • Swarm Homes: in this field, we experiment how a collaborative approach between the distributed home devices of telecom operators’ customers (e.g. broadband routers and home network devices) can enable new applications. In this field, we work on solutions based on collaboration between multiple home Wi-Fi networks and on interaction with many simple systems to obtain emergent intelligent behaviours (Swarm Intelligence). Since Access Gateways are usually permanently switched on and connected, they can exploit cooperation with other nearby gateways and users’ devices in order to enable the development of robust, scalable, adaptable and self-healing distributed applications. This group also includes a B.O.B. (Beyond One’s Bandwidth) solution for boosting ADSL router broadband through cooperation with neighbours’ gateways.
  • Swarm Robotics: when we talk about connected devices, we mainly think of smartphones, laptops and smart TVs but the current technological revolution also concerns devices that are able to interact with the environment, monitor actions and move autonomously: this is the world of service robotics, studied at the JOL CRAB. The SWARM Lab examines how the interaction of “simple” robotics systems can generate complex collective behaviour, which can adapt to the surrounding environment in order to function autonomously. For an example of possible applications, see the winner of the Electrolux Design Lab 2013 competition.