The infrastructure offers autonomous edge solutions: GCN

The infrastructure offers autonomous edge solutions

The Texas Military Department (TMD), Camp Mabry, in Austin, is piloting a new technology that encourages the development of autonomous solutions to the limit.

The public infrastructure network node (PINN), created by the provider of distributed computing platforms EDJX in collaboration with the Institut Autonomy, is the first open standard that incorporates 5G intelligent transport systems, edge computing, radar , lidar, improved GPS and intelligent transport systems. The nodes, which look like beacon poles, are designed to provide edge sensors and low-latency computing capabilities needed to support the autonomy and Internet of Things.

PINNs “will enable TMD to accelerate emergency and disaster response for smart infrastructures [and] Accelerate Humanitarian Assistance from Disaster Relief and Disaster Operations, ”Lieutenant Colonel Alex Goldberg, leader of Texas in the Joint Innovation Unit of the Innovation Unit of the United States, wrote in an email to GCN. Defense. Specifically, the nodes will allow the department to deploy autonomous vehicles such as helicopters and drones instead of endangering humans during search and rescue missions. “We could hire drones to determine people on rooftops who need rescue or roads blocked due to downed power lines.”


Cell towers are usually separated by miles, but advanced sensor networks require denser technology. PINNs offer a variety of sensors in a single location, which can be deployed to multiple locations. The 400-acre Camp Mabry will have up to 34 PINNs located 1,000 feet away.

To determine where they will go, EDJX and the Institute for Autonomy are working with Esri, NVIDIA and Bentley Systems to create digital twins for the environment that will test and propagate signals such as lidar, radar, 5G and Wi-Fi, he said. say Jeffrey DeCoux, president of the Institute for Autonomy and CEO of Atrius Industries, a stand-alone infrastructure company.

“Historically, the military has operated a lot in a disconnected state, [focusing] about bullets, guns, tanks, “DeCoux said.” Now, because of the 4.0 industry and the networked world we’re in, it’s very much about connecting these things together. “

PINNs capture sensor data, which is then written to EDJX’s EdjNet platform, which allows that data to be processed using artificial intelligence algorithms, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, as well as predictive analytics.

“Data is written once to a PINN and the availability, or access to that data, is done through even though many nodes constitute the plurality of the network, so when the code that a developer writes it needs that data, it makes the network request instead of a specific PINN or location, ”said John Cowan, CEO and co-founder of EDJX. “This is what allows us to achieve the ultra low latency needed for many of these Internet of Things-style solutions.”

Goldberg said he hopes to reap several benefits from using PINN, including research and development on autonomous systems and peripheral networks that the Department of Defense could not achieve without the help of the private sector.

Current computer and network architectures cannot support the low latency required by connected and standalone systems, he added. “Autonomous ground and low-altitude systems require the fusion of sensors at fixed positions to deal with non-cooperative traffic,” Goldberg said. “This includes high-profile systems such as autonomous cars, flying taxis and auxiliary robots. It will also include a collection of devices that largely go unnoticed as they perform routine activities. ”

Another advantage of the pilot is that it will show society at large the advantage of using artificial narrow intelligence. “DOD in many ways can be the first customer,” Goldberg said. “And if it’s good enough for the DOD, from cybersecurity to logistics security, to all these other elements, civil society is willing to adopt them.”

He said he expects PINNs to be installed next month.

Cowan and DeCoux said their goal is to have tens of thousands of PINNs deployed by mid-2022 in cities, roads, military installations and rural communities.

PINNs will be funded through private industry and public sector partners and will be supported by technology firms such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which provides technology and experience to operationalize PINNs.

About the author

Stephanie Kanowitz is a freelance writer based in northern Virginia.

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