Energy Efficient Embedded Digital Architectures


The E3DA unit addresses research in embedded, autonomous systems from the point of view of energy savings. Our focus is on the development of energy efficient systems and technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) with an approach centered on the device itself, bringing intelligence (e.g., machine learning algorithms, signal processing, sensor fusion) close to sensors and therefore to the users, things and spaces that exploit them. We also address efficiently offloading data with novel, wireless communication protocols for sensor networks in support of fog computing.

Contributions to Smart Cities and Communities

The unit contributes to the activities of Smart Cities and Communities through research and innovation in the area of the Internet of Things, primarily with contributions to mobility projects (e.g., CLIMB), the Smart City Laboratory in Vela, and in the City Sensing Project. Specifically, E3DA promotes wearables and systems embedded in the environment as well as wireless protocols for (i) localization, proximity and management of individuals and groups moving throughout a Smart City, (ii) activity and behavior recognition, (iii) collection of environmental data, and (iv) feedback generation and actuation in real-time.

Contributions to Artificial Intelligence

The unit contributes to the research in AI by investigating the design of intelligent devices such as smarter IoT nodes, addressing communication, processing and overall resources. We target “cognitive things” embedding intelligence i.e. advanced filtering and machine learning on board, thus reducing the power required to wirelessly transfer the collected data. At the same time, we work with multiple wireless technologies focusing on making communication smarter, more reliable and more efficient. Our solutions help enhance the context awareness of devices through sensor data processing and wireless information sharing.

Other research directions

Other areas of research address the use of energy efficient embedded technologies in typical applications for wearable computing such as health, motor rehabilitation, biomedical signal processing (EMG, ECG, EEG) and man-machine interaction. We also explore the use of intelligent sensors and robust, energy-efficient protocols in Smart Retail and Smart Industry applications. Finally, through collaboration with the Fondazione Mach, we explore the use of proximity detection technology to enhance bio-logging opportunities for wild animal populations.

Key projects and results

  • Make it PAYT! – (Autonomous Province of Trento – L.P. 6/1999). Client company: Altares srl. Objective: Development of a complete system for the implementation of door-to-door collection of municipal solid waste. E3DA develops intelligent sensors for the certification of the emptying of the tanks. The ICT 4 Goods unit is also involved in the project.
  • SpinRetail – (Autonomous Province of Trento – L.P. 6/1999).Client company: Spindox srl. Objective: development of a hardware and software system for monitoring and analysis of user behavior in retail outlets. E3DA will develop technologies for tracking people and objects through intelligent sensors and localization technologies. The TEV unit also participates.
  • IoT Rapid Proto Labs – Erasmus+  Knowledge Alliance (EU). Objective: design and development of an interdisciplinary and intersectoral university curriculum on the Internet of Things through collaboration between universities, research institutions, SMEs and SME associations. The PMG unit also participates.
  • CrystalClear – Experimentation under the EU WiSHFUL FIRE project. Objective: Explore issues of co-existence of WiFi and 802.15.4 sensor networks by exploiting the WiSHFUL testbed infrastructure to explore the impact of real, controlled WiFi traffic on Crystal and other protocols that exploit synchronous transmissions.

Head of Unit