Anthony Rowe: The CONIX research center


My name’s Anthony Rowe, and I’m an associate
professor in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University,
and I’m also the director of the new CONIX research center. The CONIX research center is a new center
that’s funded in part by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), as well as DARPA. The grand vision in CONIX is to take work
that’s being down in cloud computing, edge computing, and network and rethink how we
can have systems that work seamlessly across all three of these. To help drive the CONIX research we have three
application focus areas. One is in enhanced situational awareness where
the idea is that we can have one or a couple of people that are able to coordinate a large
number of autonomous drones that can be flying around the city. So imagine being able to create something
like Google Maps or Google Street View, only now the information would be live. Another application that we’re interested in
is smart and connected communities where the idea is that we want to be able to deploy
sensors across the city so that we can take all of these different little information
feeds and make higher level inferences about what’s going on in the city to help manage
and optimize city operations. The last application that we’re looking
at is mixed-reality systems where the idea is to be able to seamlessly combine both the
virtual and the physical worlds together. So what that means is people could either
wear goggles where you see a virtual environment, you could have goggles where it’s more like
a head’s up display where you can see digital information overlaid on the environment, or
a much more simple version that you’re likely to see in your home or your businesses sooner
would be holding up a tablet and being able to look through it and see annotated information
on it. In the future, if these devices are responsible
for important tasks like controlling autonomous vehicles or managing infrastructure in a city,
they need to be able to perform even if the cloud disappears. We’ll basically have a new set of APIs and
protocols that will allow application developers to much more easily push intelligence into
the network. Our research is really looking 10 to 20 years
into the future, but we think that some of these components and building blocks will be available,
at least in early prototypes, within the next five years.

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