by Margarete Hälker-Küsters (Fraunhofer AISEC) and Erwin Schoitsch (AIT)

Market intelligence firm IDC predicts that by 2025 each of us will be interacting with a smart device several thousand times each day. This technological change will have considerable impacts on our lives and lifestyles, and will be accompanied by new challenges, opportunities and risks. In this edition we focus on smart applications in several domains, tackle a few technological aspects and deal with security and quality issues.

by Philipp Sprenger and Dominik Sparer (Fraunhofer IML)

A new joint project between Fraunhofer IML and TU Dortmund University combines blockchain, IoT and artificial intelligence (AI). The demonstrator for “cyber-physical production systems (CPPS)” integrates smart contracts and blockchain technology into a multi-agent system at shop-floor level. The system covers negotiations, financial transactions and agile self-organisation while employing only limited hardware resources in a near real-time environment.

by Christian Kühnert (Fraunhofer IOSB), Johannes Sailer (Fraunhofer IOSB) and Patrick Weiß (Fraunhofer ICT)

Deep Learning algorithms usually need a large amount of data. Still, when analysing measurements from manufacturing processes, informative data in sufficient quantities is rather rare, making the task more complex. Therefore, the development of so-called few shot learning algorithms, focusing especially on the analysis of small data sets, is one of the current research topics of the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence.

by Sara Kepplinger (Fraunhofer IDMT)

“I describe this sound as ‘pling’ and the other as a ‘plong’…’”, the participant said, distinguishing between hockey pucks made from different materials. Similarly, it is possible to “listen” to acoustic quality in the context of industry. Based on a demonstrator using an air hockey table, we show an approach for acoustic quality monitoring, applicable to smart manufacturing processes.

by Hanna Herger (Fraunhofer IIS) and Thomas Windisch (Fraunhofer IIS)

The requirements for efficient production and manufacturing processes are becoming increasingly complex in global competition. Digitalisation should increase not only quality but also flexibility and the mobility of processes. The solution for meeting these requirements can be “wireless IoT technologies”, which form a basis for networking and interaction between machines (M2M) as welLl as between information systems and the physical world. For IoT applications in the field of production and logistics, in particular, “wireless IoT technologies” are increasingly used to digitise processes and make them more efficient. This article shows how the field of commissioning is optimised by the wireless networking technology s-net®: Wireless pick-by-light systems enable more efficient and flexible order-picking processes and support interactions with people.

by Alexandros Fragkiadakis (FORTH), Theoharis Moysiadis (Future Intelligence Ltd) and Nikolaos Zotos (Future Intelligence Ltd)

Traceability allows the identification and tracking of products as they travel through the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the consumer. Smart Product [L1] is a research project aiming to design and develop a secure IoT-based architecture for supply chain traceability, product origin verification and authenticity certification.

by Apostolos P. Fournaris and Christos Koulamas (ISI/Research Center ATHENA)

The application of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies in large scale and complex cyber-physical systems of systems (CPSoS), such as those on large, tertiary sector buildings, energy grid and industrial production lines, still presents great challenges in the standardisation of the necessary mechanisms, procedures, components and tools for the deployment, configuration, commissioning and maintenance of their associated highly heterogeneous distributed subsystems. The problem is magnified if one also considers the typical, resource constrained nature of most of the networked embedded devices in a CPSoS, as well as the usually strict requirements in properties related to correct and safe operations, such as real-time, reliable and secure processing and net working [2].

by Jennifer Wolfgeher (FH Burgenland), Mario Zsilak (Forschung Burgenland) and Markus Tauber (FH Burgenland)

Digitalisation is already supporting individuals and smart cities in various ways. To increase automatization and digitisation, decisions must be based on trustworthy information. We are investigating the most common features of citizen participation and smart city platforms with the aim of determining the trustworthiness of the digital environment in this context.

by Georgios Mylonas (Computer Technology Institute & Press “Diophantus”) and Ioannis Chatzigiannakis (Sapienza University of Rome)

Today’s students are the citizens of tomorrow, and they should have the skills and tools to understand and respond to climate change. Green Awareness in Action (GAIA) has built an IoT infrastructure within 25 schools in Europe, in order to enable lectures that target sustainability and energy efficiency, based on data produced inside school buildings. The school community has reacted very positively to this approach and has reduced energy consumption as a consequence.

by Martin Striegel (Fraunhofer AISEC) and Thomas Otto (Fraunhofer IVI)

Smart intersections help to address increasing traffic density and improve road safety. By leveraging data from infrastructure sensors, and combining and supplying those data to road users, their perception can be improved. This aids in protecting vulnerable road users (VRUs) and acts as a crucial building block for enabling automated and autonomous driving.

by Jakob Abeßer and Sara Kepplinger (Fraunhofer IDMT)

Noise pollution, especially in urban environments, can have negative health impacts. Smart city applications for acoustic monitoring become essential to cope with the overall increasing noise pollution in residential areas. Based on measurement data from a distributed acoustic sensor network, a web-based application allowing for a real time visualisation of the citywide noise exposure was developed as part of the research project “Stadtlärm”.

by Constantine Stephanidis (FORTH-ICS)

The ICS-FORTH Ambient Intelligence (AmI) Programme is a long-term horizontal interdisciplinary RTD Programme aiming to develop pioneering human-centric intelligent technologies and environments which seamlessly support everyday human activities and enhance well-being through human-technology symbiosis.

by Patrizia Sailer (Forschung Burgenland GmbH), Christoph Schmittner (AIT) and Markus Tauber (Fachhochschule Burgenland GmbH)

Making cyber-physical systems “smart” by managing the trade-off between security and resource usage is of utmost importance for building sustainable industrial systems. For example, addressing cyber security issues in such systems often require strong encryption. This may result in increased power consumption on devices that often depend on limited energy supply. In this work, we present an initial investigation into the usage of electrical power under different degrees of security in such situations to understand and quantify the level of reduction of power usage due to varying degrees of security.

by Matthias Wenzl (Technikum Wien), Georg Merzdovnik (SBA Research) and Edgar Weippl (SBA Research)

The vast majority of the IoT is made up of computing devices that are highly specialised for their particular purpose. Owing to their specialisation and the resulting constraints, such as energy consumption and the deterministic fulfilment of deadlines (real-time requirements), these embedded systems tend not to share many security features in common with standard operating systems. We aim to provide automated approaches to implant security features into connected embedded systems to counter the lack of security features in the backbone of the IoT and improve their resilience against unauthorised access attempts.

by Rasmus Adler (Fraunhofer IESE) and Patrik Feth (SICK AG)
Machines in an Industry 4.0 context need to behave safely but smartly. This means that these smart machines need to continue to precisely estimate the current risk and not shut down or degrade unnecessarily. To enable smart safe behaviour, Fraunhofer IESE is developing new safety assurance concepts. SICK supports related safety standards to implement these concepts in an industrial setting.

by Ivana Šenk (Inria and University of Novi Sad) and James Crowley (Inria)

With the encroachment of smart objects into our lives, it is increasingly important to define a principled approach to estimate the value of alternative technologies at design time, to define product specifications and to compare similar products. In mature domains, such approaches are based on properties that are referred to as “qualities”. We are working to develop a hierarchical model for qualities for smart objects based on different modes of interactions.

by Christian Kudera, Georg Merzdovnik and Edgar Weippl (SBA Research)

The heterogeneous landscape of IoT devices poses new challenges to the deployment of honeypots. So far no generic honeypot framework exists that is capable of attracting attacks for the wide variety of hardware and software architectures. By combining real world device information and virtualisation techniques, we aim to build AutoHoney(I)IoT, a framework that automatically creates target device tailored honeypots for the (Industrial) Internet of Things, which are capable of convincing attackers that they are breaching a real device instead of a decoy.

by Ivan H. Gorbanov, Jack Jansen and Steven Pemberton (CWI)

As IoT moves from the hands of professionals and academics into those of the general consumers, it becomes increasingly important to provide them with the appropriate tools for interaction. Yogurt is a domain-specific programming language for IoT, designed to tackle the disparity between powerful but complex languages and user-friendly environments with restricted capabilities.

by Nikolaos Petroulakis (FORTH), Konstantinos Fysarakis (Sphynx), Sotiris Ioannidis (FORTH), George Spanoudakis (Sphynx) and Vivek Kulkarni (Siemens)

Next generation networks, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), aim to create open and global networks for connecting smart objects, network elements, applications, web services and end-users. Research and industry attempt to integrate this evolving technology and the exponential growth of IoT by overcoming significant hurdles such as dynamicity, scalability, heterogeneity and end-to-end security and privacy. SEMIoTICS proposes the development of a pattern-driven framework, built upon existing IoT platforms, to enable and guarantee secure and dependable actuation and semi-autonomic behaviour in IoT/IIoT applications.

by Amel Achour, Lotfi Guedria and Christophe Ponsard (CETIC)

Sensor networks are developing at a fast pace and are facing new challenges such as sensor mobility resulting in topological changes within a network or in adjacent networks with roaming nodes. To address such situations, we are working to extend a reference open source implementation of a border router with extended smart bridge mode.

by Olivier Parisot, Philippe Pinheiro and Patrik Hitzelberger (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology)

“Decision Management System for Safer Spacecrafts” (DMSS) is a data analytics platform for the space domain that can detect anomalies in huge telemetry data acquired from numerous sensors in a complex IoT architecture.

by Brandon Foubert and Nathalie Mitton (Inria)

In the context of smart farming, communications still pose a key challenge. Ubiquitous access to the internet is not available worldwide, and battery capacity is still a limitation. Inria and the Sencrop company are collaborating to develop an innovative solution for wireless weather stations, based on multi-technology communications, to enable smart weather stations deployment everywhere around the globe.

by Gregory Stainhaouer, Stelios Bakamidis and Ioannis Dologlou (RC ATHENA)

The spectral characteristics of speech can be used to cluster individuals according to whether or not they suffer from an allergy. Based on the principles of adaptive modelling and fundamental frequency variations, as well as speech analysis by means of acoustic models, our technique achieves an efficient classification based on uttered speech over a mobile phone. The final decision is derived by combining the individual estimates, providing a tool for the automatic diagnosis of allergies.

by Maria Pateraki (FORTH-ICS), Manolis Lourakis (FORTH-ICS), Leonidas Kallipolitis (AEGIS IT Research), Frank Werner (Software AG), Petros Patias (AUTH) and Christos Pikridas (AUTH)

Industrial environments can benefit from smart solutions developed on top of an infrastructure combining IoT and smart sensors that monitor workers in an non-invasive way, allowing the early detection and prevention of health risks. The sustAGE project aims to improve occupational safety and workforce productivity through personalised recommendations in two key industrial environments. 

Next issue: July 2021
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