Mesh Potato Audio Setup and Management
Proposer: Edwin Blake
Brief Description: The Mesh Potato is a device that acts as node on a meshed wireless network and allows the connection of a plain old phone (POTS) or a computer via an Ethernet port (see http://www.villagetelco.org/about/mesh-potato/mesh-potato-faq/). A basic mesh potato node might only have a POT and the field engineer or user should have some way to help position it.
This project is to design an audio only network setup and management system. A possible uses case (to give you a feel) is:
The field engineer wants to know what potatoes he can see from the current location. Here there would be tones generated by each visible potato; a different tone for each device. Perhaps gateways have a different tone? Perhaps it needs to be optimised such that there is a tone which shows there is a clear pathway to a gateway.
Clearly the project will start by looking at the real needs of meshed network engineers and then research ways in which to satisfy their needs in the field.
Computer Science Content: Sonification (sound equivalent of visualization) and the use of earcons (as opposed to icons), usability, meshed network management. Mesh potato programming.
Specific Learning Outcomes: You will learn all about issues in audio interface design, and a good bit on programming routers in meshed networks.
Skills Required by Team as a Whole:
Theory: A least one student would need to look at the work of Stephen Brewster (http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~stephen/research.shtml) on earcons. He is a world expert on the use of non-speech sound in interfaces. Network management.
Implementation: Sound Unix systems development skills.
Facilities needed: Mesh Potato.
Supervision: The project will be co-supervised by Gary Marsden. There will be funds for getting further equipment and for running experiments. There will also be weekly project meetings.
Number of Students: 3