City Bee to the rescue of those at risk in busy cities

May 30, 2007

A recently launched project could make it easier to rescue vulnerable people lost in the urban jungle.

The CityBee project, funded by the EU's Sixth Framework Programme,is working on developing a low-cost wireless metropolitan network based on Location Based Services (LBS) wireless technology, which could be used for locating and providing useful services to lost citizens.

Each network will be specifically designed and tailored to meet the needs of vulnerable groups within society, such as children, the elderly and the disabled (both physically and mentally).

The proposed solution will use the IEEE 802.15.4 radio frequency standard (Zigbee), which provides a license-free radio frequency band at 2.4GHz and has sufficient capabilities for the development of a flexible, easily extendable, robust private wireless network.

The network is being designed to be flexible and scalable, to cover a variety of scenarios, from large metropolitan areas up to entire cities. The network will be divided into clusters and a multi-cluster network/transport layer will be implemented. The CityBee network will be formed by fixed and mobile devices and a Control Centre.

One of the partners in the project, Steve Lane, explains: 'One possible future application of such an infrastructure could be the communication with vulnerable or at risk people who require specific care.

'For example Alzheimer's sufferers can have their freedom rights restricted because of the risk of finding themselves in unusual surroundings. This network infrastructure would enable them to continue with their lifestyle because of the security measures the technology creates and the flexibility of being able to wear smaller, smarter devices for monitoring and management purposes. The IEEE 802.15.4 offers the possibility to create complex networks with relatively low power consumption for the mobile nodes, and permits high distances between nodes compared to other wireless network standards, making it ideal for this type of patient monitoring.'

The project is banking on using the lower cost Zigbee technology, instead of other location and communication technologies, because of its belief that the benefits for installers, operators and users of the CityBee network will ensure as wide as possible an uptake.

The town council of Barcelona will be the first to commission and evaluate the CityBee network in the district of 'Nou Barris', where a public institution for impaired people is located.

Other potential applications for the technology include a vehicle tracking solution for small businesses, and a live information service which could offer such services as waiting times at bus and tram stops, urban guides and synchronising traffic light signals with the arrival emergency vehicles.

The project began on 1 October 2006 and will run for two years.

Source: CORDIS

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sydney makes its mark with electronic paper traffic signs

July 28, 2015

Visionect, which is in the business of helping companies build electronic paper display products, announced that Sydney has launched e-paper traffic signs. The traffic signage integrates displays from US manufacturer E Ink ...

Tech leaders warn over 'killer robots' (Update)

July 28, 2015

A group of top tech leaders, including British scientist Stephen Hawking and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, on Tuesday issued a stern warning against the development of so-called killer robots.

Researcher to talk at Black Hat on 'scary' area in Android

July 28, 2015

Does that cute little green robotic creature with two ear-sticks call up feelings of an open, friendly mobile operating system, aka Android? Wow, Monday stories were not about how cute and adorable is that little green creature. ...

Cellphones can steal data from 'air-gapped computers'

July 28, 2015

Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) Cyber Security Research Center have discovered that virtually any cellphone infected with a malicious code can use GSM phone frequencies to steal critical information ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.