Date Awarded

Fall 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Computer Science


Gang Zhou

Committee Member

Peter Kemper

Committee Member

Weizhen Mao

Committee Member

Haining Wang

Committee Member

Mark Hinders


In this work, we aim to develop new sensors and sensing platforms that facilitate the development of new mobile and embedded devices. Mobile and embedded devices have become an integral part of our everyday lives and the sensing capabilities of these devices have improved throughout the years. Developing new and innovative sensors and sensing platforms will provide the building blocks for developing new sensing systems. In an effort to facilitate these innovations we have developed two new in-air sonar sensors and a new reconfigurable sensing platform. The first in-air sonar sensor is designed for ranging applications and uses the phone's microphone and rear speaker to generate a wide beam of sound. The second in-air sonar sensor is an external module which uses a narrow beam of sound for high resolution ranging. This ranging information is then combined with orientation data from the phone's gyroscope,magnetometer and accelerometer to generate a two dimensional map of a space. While researching ways of enhancing the sensing capabilities of mobile and embedded devices, we found that the process often requires developing new hardware prototypes. However, developing hardware prototypes is time-consuming. In an effort to lower the barrier to entry for small teams and software researchers, we have developed a new reconfigurable sensing platform that uses a code first approach to embedded design. Instead of designing software to run within the limited constraints of the hardware, our proposed code-first approach allows software researchers to synthesize the hardware configuration that is required to run their software.



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