Carnegie Mellon Students Win Best Demo Award at SenSys 2009-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Students Win Best Demo Award at SenSys 2009

SensorFly in motion
SensorFly in motion

Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley students Aveek Purohit, Zheng Sun, and professor Pei Zhang were awarded the Best Demo prize at the 7th annual ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys) in Berkeley, California. The Carnegie Mellon team demonstrated “SensorFly – A Controlled-Mobile Aerial Sensor Network”.

The SensorFly demo was chosen out of over 30 other select demos from universities across the globe. Votes came from the organizing committee and the overall conference attendees. The demonstration lasted two hours, as Zhang, Purohit and Sun presented to the capabilities of SensorFly.

Zhang, an assistant research professor at the Silicon Valley campus, developed SensorFly using inexpensive, off-the-shelf components. "SensorFly is a controlled-mobile flying sensor network platform. To the best of our knowledge, it is the most lightweight flying sensor platform implemented to date. SensorFly, with its miniature helicopter-based mobile sensors, addresses the shortcomings of the static sensor networks approach,” said Zhang. “Our presentation demonstrated how SensorFly could be used in numerous applications, including emergency response and urban-combat”

Purohit and Sun, both Ph.D. students in Electrical and Computer Engineering, have centered their research around mobile sensor networks as well. “The most exciting part of working on SensorFly for me, is its interdisciplinary nature. Building the novel mobile sensing platform has involved exploring cutting-edge ideas from several different domains,” said Purohit. Adds Zheng, “Having strong interests in both control systems and sensor networks, I always had a hope to combine the two together in my research. SensorFly gives me such an opportunity. I loved hearing people saying, ‘Cool’ when they first saw our flying helicopters at SenSys, and I have to agree, designing and flying your own little intelligent helicopters is really fun!”

“I’m extremely proud of my students and the work they are contributing to this project,” said Zhang. “To win the best demo award at one of the most selective, prestigious international sensor conferences is a great honor. I think the work we are doing with SensorFly will continue to gain recognition as we develop it further.”