Ford Sensor Showroom

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The Ford Motor Company will remodel or refresh 70% of its vehicles by year end 2008. With new cars comes the need to develop an innovative technological solution to track the popularity of new launches and concepts.

Wireless sensors are becoming increasingly more intelligent with the ability to obtain several types of data including, but not limited to light, temperature, humidity, and movement.

The Ford Sensor Showroom takes advantage of the capabilities of wireless sensors and integrates them with a graphical web application to provide useful representations of the data collected through the sensor network.

Information from actions such as a door being opened or seat being occupied is interpreted and reported by the sensors to a central database. From there, the data is displayed as colored wireframes, bar graphs, and simple text.

In order to be usable on a large scale, the Showroom is designed to support the addition and configuration of any number of vehicles and sensors to the system which can be configured through the web interface.

The system uses the Crossbow Imote2 wireless sensors in a network that allows the sensors to communicate with a base station or to other sensors if the base is out of range. The sensors are programmed using C# and transmit data from the base station through a mini-USB port to a mySQL database.

Nathan Crosty, Austin Drouare, Colin Nemchik, Devin Schnepp

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