Task 1.2: The SwarmBox

[ Dutta, Jafari, Kumar, Lee, Pappas, Rowe, Sangiovanni-Vincentelli ]

Just as there has been a dramatic build-out of wireless communication infrastructure over the last decade or so, there will be a similar build-out of more capable infrastructure that we call the "immobiles." These are compute and communication nodes that provide vendor-neutral gateways between local devices and services (accessible via local wireless or wired networks) and a hierarchy of computing and networked services including the cloud. Such an infrastructure extends the cloud by giving it a presence close to the end devices that interact with the physical world (a vision that Cisco calls "The Fog"), and it gives the endpoint devices a generic way to leverage services that reside in the cloud. The SwarmBox is the first prototype of such a component. It has computing and networking capabilities roughly comparable to mobile devices, but unlike mobile devices, the emphasis is not on interaction with humans through touchscreens and audio, and the devices do not (normally) move around. Such an architecture has a number of key potential advantages: The emphasis of the SwarmBox task will be on identifying the software and hardware capabilities and architectures that will make such immobiles most useful. The hardware will be primarily COTS.