Wirelessly-enabled sensing technologies offer the hope of enabling economically and socially important applications including intelligent transportation systems and other so-called smart city initiatives, home automation, improvements in manufacturing, and tools for humanitarian assistance and disaster response. Importantly, the value may only be realizable through the integration of a number of dis-similar, separately-built, separately-owned, and separately-controlled sensing sub-systems. SMILE -- the Synchronized Multi-sensory Integrated Learning Environment -- is a CMU project that aims to create, deploy and validate a framework that addresses key challenges that arise in such a system-of-systems.
In this talk, we present early results of the SMILE project. We begin with an examination of some practical barriers in a typical smart city application. From this, we develop themes related to low-power operation, programmability, synchronization, federation, and the interplay between them. Within this context, we discuss four sub-projects: (1) a synchronization approach for low-power devices, (2) a family of visual sensing techniques that explore the domain of real-time learning onboard small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), (3) a demonstration system that combines information from such sUAS with intelligent ground-based sensors, and (4) the sketch of a new language framework, called TickTalk, that seeks to ease the programmer's burden in creating software for such complex, heterogeneous, distributed, fault-prone systems.