Carnegie Mellon to showcase new security research at Taiwanese event

December 05, 2005

Carnegie Mellon University researchers and members of Taiwan's government-affiliated Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) will unveil new security technology December 6 in Hsinchu, a research-rich area south of Taipei.

"The new research we plan to show at the upcoming symposium is designed to contribute significantly to technology developments in both Asia and the United States," said Tsuhan Chen, a Carnegie Mellon professor in electrical and computer engineering and co-director of the ITRI lab at Carnegie Mellon along with co-director Shiaw-Shian Yu, based at ITRI in Taiwan.

Increased demand for both Internet and physical security prompted both Carnegie Mellon and ITRI researchers to develop a software toolbox capable of tracking everything from an errant teenager taking the family car for an unscheduled drive to surveillance at major transportation hubs.

ICTrack, the new flexible toolbox for tracking unauthorized cars or intruders in a company's parking lot, is made up of a series of building blocks, or modules, according to Chen. "Each module represents a unique type of mathematical algorithm configured to track anything you can imagine," Chen said.

These modules comprise a large software library where both novice and professional users can access the software and build their own security system from the comfort of their home or office, researchers said.

To supplement the ICTrack software, users can purchase off-the-shelf video equipment for use at home or in the office, Chen said. Last year, for example, consumers spent more than $100 million on security systems to ward off home intruders, according to the American Marketing Association.

The second technology scheduled to be unveiled at the Taiwan symposium is a dime-size motion sensor designed to track lost or stolen laptops and cell phones. It can also be used to assist with personal navigation. The sensor, housed in a cube-shaped casing, can be embedded in any commercial product. Once embedded, it automatically senses any small acceleration and emits a specially coded signal.

"The tiny sensor also has found interest from law enforcement officials in both Taiwan and the United States where some officials see it being used to track missing children," Chen said.

In addition to showcasing new technologies, Carnegie Mellon University President Jared L. Cohon will give a keynote address about innovation in America, and Ed Schlesinger, head of electrical and computer engineering, will talk about Carnegie Mellon's research in devices and materials.

The ITRI lab at Carnegie Mellon provides $1.5 million a year over the next four years for continued research in visual computing technologies, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), and system-on-a-chip (SoC) design and methodology.

"The lab is an important part of our strategy to integrate research in various centers," said Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering Dean Pradeep Khosla. The information technology industry accounts for 10 percent of the U.S. economy and nearly 60 percent of business spending capital.

Future projects include student and faculty exchanges and educational outreach programs.
More about ITRI

The Industrial Technology Research Institute--ITRI--is a non-profit R&D organization engaging in applied research and technical service. It was founded in 1973 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in Taiwan to attend to the technological needs of Taiwan's industrial development. ITRI has played a vital role in the transformation of the economy from an agriculture-based model to an industrial one. By the year 2001 it had grown to a 6,000-person operation and it currently serves as the technical center for industry and an unofficial arm of the government's industrial policies in Taiwan. Backed by its broad research scope and close industrial ties, ITRI is becoming an increasingly active member in the global industrial R&D community. ITRI's research projects span a wide spectrum. Most of the projects fall into five major established fields: Communications and Optoelectronics, Precision Machinery and MEMS, Materials and Chemical Engineering, Sustainable Development, and Biotechnology and Medicine.

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