Associate Professor Douglas Pancoast is working with an interdisciplinary team of designers, engineers, and scientists at the Computation Institute (a joint initiative of University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory), the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Northern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on the Array of Things urban sensing project.
WBEZ reports that the National Science Foundation awarded a $3.1 million grant to support the development of Array of Things as part of the White House's Smart Cities initiative.
Array of Things is an urban sensing instrument that will serve as a "fitness tracker" for the city, measuring the surrounding environment's temperature, humidity, light, sound, motion, and foot traffic, among other data. Starting next year, 500 Array of Things nodes will measure data on Chicago’s environment, infrastructure, and activity to scientifically investigate solutions to urban challenges ranging from air quality to urban flooding. The ultimate goal of this innovative community technology platform is to help make cities cleaner, healthier, and more livable.
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