AoT is an urban sensing instrument, measuring environment, infrastructure and activity to scientifically study solutions to urban challenges
- Array of Things (AoT) is an “urban sensing” instrument, meaning we are measuring data on environment, infrastructure and activity in order to scientifically investigate solutions to urban challenges ranging from air quality to urban flooding.
- This exciting, innovative and collaborative system was developed by the University of Chicago Computation Institute’s Urban Center for Computation & Data and Argonne National Laboratory, in partnership with the City of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
- The project consists of a network of programmable sensors inside decorative “nodes” that are being installed on traffic signal poles around Chicago to collect real-time data.
- All data collected is available (open and without charge) for public access and use via the City of Chicago’s open data portal and Plenario, a portal that supports search, exploration, and downloading of open datasets from around the world.
- Using the Waggle technical platform developed at Argonne National Laboratory, each “node” contains a variety of sensors that measure the environment, infrastructure and indicators of activity in its immediate surroundings. The sensors transmit data to a central database roughly once a minute.
- Sensors in the nodes will measure temperature, barometric pressure, light, vibration, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone and ambient sound intensity.
- An imaging camera is included in each node to detect, using software algorithms, conditions such as standing water, fog and rain, or the flow of pedestrians and vehicles on the street. Image data will be processed within the node.
- Continued research and development will help to create sensors that can monitor other urban factors of interest such as precipitation, wind and pollutants such as carbon dioxide, methane and volatile organic compounds. The nodes are modular, so new sensors can be added as they become available.