Sensors for the Networked World

An Interdisciplinary Sensors Workshop is scheduled to hold on the November 21, 2014 at Bahen Centre for Information Technology, University of Toronto, Canada. This one-day workshop assembles thought-leaders along the complete technology pipeline, from the researchers investigating how to design, fabricate, and interconnect new sensors, to those with emerging applications for them. Speakers from Electrical & Computer Engineering, Civil & Mineral Engineering, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and Chemical Engineering span that spectrum.

According to the organisers, “the world around us is getting ‘smarter’: increased connectivity supporting increased information from the ever-expanding network. Sensors provide that information. Temperature sensors feed information from drill sites deep in the earth’s crust to control rooms in Galveston, Texas. Atmospheric sensors ping information on the chemical composition of smog to scientists in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. And here in Toronto, pressure sensors embedded in pavement calibrate traffic lights around real-time volume. Topics include:

Integrated, Chemically Specific Sensing Solutions for Liquids, Aerosols and Gases by Amr S. Helmy, a Professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Toronto. His talk will review and compare different opto-fluidic techniques for sensing samples in different phases.  Frequency-Shifted Interferometry for Fibre-Optic Sensing by Li Qian from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto. She will explain the versatile fibre-optic sensing technique that relies on a continuous-wave (CW) light source, an optical frequency shifter, and a slow detector.

Sensing Sensors and Visualizing Vision: Veillance in the Vironment of People, Places, and Things by Steve Mann, who has been recognized as “the father of wearable computing” (IEEE ISSCC 2000) and “the father of augmented reality (AR)” for his invention of “Digital Eye Glass” (EyeTap) and mediated reality (predecessor of AR). He also invented the Chirplet Transform, Comparametric Equations, and HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging (U.S. Pat. 5828793). He will demonstrate and present new technologies and innovations for sensing sensors and visualizing their sensory capabilities, using Spaceglasses to see the sensory fields around us as time-reversed lightfields. Localization of Wireless Terminals using Smart Sensing by Shahrokh Valaee, a Professor and the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. He is the Founder and the Director of the Wireless and Internet Research Laboratory (WIRLab) at the University of Toronto. According to Valaee, “New smartphones are equipped with plurality of sensors. Accelerometer, gyro, barometer, and magnetometer are among the sensors that are commonly available in recent generation of smartphones. With smart use of such sensors we have developed precise positioning schemes that can find the location of user in covered areas where the GPS service is not available. Our technology uses RF signals received from WiFi access points or iBeacons, along with the readings from multiple sensors, to locate the user.”

How Sensors are Literally and Figuratively Driving Mobile Robots by Dr. Timothy Barfoot an Associate Professor, University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies — UTIAS. In this talk, he will discuss how sensing technology is currently enabling a huge number of exciting new applications of mobile robots, from self-driving cars to automated mining to planetary exploration.  Mobile Sensing by Parham Aarabi is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. His talk will focus on new types of sensor data processing algorithms, as well as new sensing mechanisms, that can be or have been employed on mobile devices.

AirSenCe: A Sensor Array Approach to Measuring Air Pollution by Greg Evans, he is a Professor with the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. In his presentation, he will describe the work at Centre for Atmospheric Aerosol Research on sensor array-based measurement of air pollutants and how this approach is helping to overcome some of these issues. Some of the remaining challenges and opportunities will also be described. Optical Sensors for Energy Efficiency in Steelmaking by Dr. Murray Thomson, who is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. According to Dr Murray, “Over the last 20 years, my research group has developed, patented and commercialized optical process sensors to measure gas composition, temperature, flow rate and process endpoints. The sensors have been based on absorption and emissions spectroscopy in the ultraviolet, visible, near infrared, mid infrared and terahertz wavelengths. Lessons learned during the transition from laboratory through field trials to commercialization will be discussed.”

mm-wave Silicon Sensors and Active Tags by Sorin P. Voinigescu, a Professor at the University of Toronto. According to his Abstract “This talk will review a range of mm-wave sensors for automotive radar, active and passive imaging, as well as industrial distance and target identification sensors and mm-wave tags operating in the 60-180 GHz range which were designed, fabricated and tested at the University of Toronto in the last 8 years in collaboration with industry partners.”

You can join this programme on November 21, 2014 for this one-day workshop. Faculty, graduate students and industry partners working on mechanisms or applications of sensing are welcome to attend the talks or submit posters for presentation.


University of Toronto