Section: Other Grants and Activities
The FeedNetBack proposal has been accepted as a STREP project at the FP7-ICT-2007-2 call in October 2007. It is coordinated by Carlos Canudas-de-Wit and gathers researchers from academia (INRIA-NeCS, ETH Zurich, Universidad de Sevilla, KTH Stockholm, Universita di Padova) and from industry (Ifremer, Vodera, Vitamib, Intellio and OMG).
The main objective of the FeedNetBack project is to generate a rigorous co-design framework that integrates architectural constraints and performance trade-offs from control, communication, computation, complexity and energy management. The goal is to master complexity, temporal and spatial uncertainties such as delays and bandwidth in communications and node availability. This approach will enable the development of more efficient, robust and affordable networked control systems that scale and adapt with changing application demands. The project will extend the current scientific state-of-the-art in networked control and develop a set of software tools to support the co-design framework. To demonstrate the potential and limitations of the new technology, FeedNetBack will apply it on two industrial test cases of realistic complexity and scale: underwater inspection systems based on fleets of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), and surveillance systems using a network of smart cameras. The control component is essential in both test cases as they require cooperation of distributed objects to achieve a common goal (http://feednetback.eu/ ). Specific issues that will be addressed in the project include:
Heterogeneity: The sensor hardware and the communication means may be of different natures (different noises, bandwidths, resolution characteristics, etc.).
Mobility: Sensor location may not be fixed. Dynamic location of sensors will lead to varying topologies.
Resource management: The energy and computation capabilities of each node are generally limited.
Scalability: Wireless sensor networks may comprise hundreds or thousands of nodes. It is therefore crucial that the complexity of the design procedures and the resulting controllers scale slowly with the number of nodes.
Asynchrony: Information exchange between sensor/control units may not be synchronous in time.
Since in NCS the goal is to ensure satisfactory performance of the overall closed loop system, these problems are treated holistically through sets of performance constraints.
The co-design framework aims at controlling more complex systems with a fraction of the effort, while increasing availability and reliability. The framework will enable application developers, programmers and systems integrators to fully use the potential of networked control in a wide set of industrial domains. Examples of areas where an impact is expected are the fields of factory automation, public infrastructure safety and security, transport and building maintenance.
FeedNetBack will go beyond developing new technologies, but will also apply these technologies to areas of society where they protect the environment and improve people's safety, security and ultimately quality of life.