The Internet of Things (IoT) — billions of embedded systems, mobile sensors, wearable computers, and other small computational things coming together to enable exciting new applications — will probably revolutionize science, society, and the field of computing, but only if we can do two things:
First, we must develop low-cost, sustainable, and easily deployable sensing technologies that can provide the world with information about everything from the health of humans, aging structures, young plants, and threatened wildlife populations to the efficiency of manufacturing processes.
Second, we must learn how to design computational things without batteries. Batteries add size, weight, and cost. Batteries are environmentally dangerous and wear out over time. Charging, replacing, and eventually disposing of billions of IoT batteries would be ridiculously expensive, tedious, and environmentally irresponsible. The computational things of the future will need to operate without the stable and reliable power that batteries provide.
We explore and develop hardware and software technologies that are energy-efficient, adaptive, and robust. We build systems that support sophisticated applications even when energy is scarce and failures are unavoidable. We design abstractions and tools, to help novice users simply solve computing problems that have traditionally been extremely challenging or impossible.
We focus on embedded devices, mobile sensors, and other small computational things — untethered computers that move, hide in everyday objects, operate using ambient energy, and interact with the physical environment. Our research makes it possible for these devices to be small, cheap, robust, secure, maintenance free, and more easily deployable for longer periods of time.
PERSIST: PERvasive, Sustainable, and In Situ Technologies