Matt Reynolds' Photo
Nortel Networks Assistant Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Duke University
3473 FCIEMAS // Box 90291
Durham, NC 27708
matt's email
RFID systems Everest ORCA sub GPS sheep

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Some Recent Research Projects



Interaction object position tracking for large scale displays
We have developed a method for tracking tangible interaction objects called 'pucks' atop the glass surface of a large LCD or plasma display. An array of piezoelectric transducers adhered to the corners of the display glass emit 200KHz, Gaussian shaped acoustic pulses that propage through the glass as longitudinal acoustic waves. Each puck carries a receiving transducer as well as signal processing electronics enabling pucks to measure pulse time of arrival and thus calculate their location on the display surface. Millimeter scale accuracy has been achieved at 100Hz update rates on the surface of a 42-inch LCD panel. There is no fundamental limit to the number of pucks that can be tracked with this method.

Reynolds, Mazalek, and Davenport. "An acoustic position sensing system for large scale interactive displays", in IEEE Sensors 2007.

Mazalek, Reynolds, and Davenport, "TViews: An extensible architecture for developing multi-user digital media tables'', in IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications, Special Issue on Interacting with Digital Tabletops, vol. 26 no. 5, 2006, pp. 47-55.


Beyond RFID: Peer to peer, semi-active RFID tags
We are developing a new type of peer-to-peer RFID tag that does not require a centralized reader. Instead, an extremely low power UHF receiver, consuming 10 microwatts on average, allows these tags to run from a watch cell or from harvested power (eg solar) effectively indefinitely, and receive and cache data from nearby peering tags. Tags that encounter each other in the wild exchange data with their neighbors and pass along identity and metadata 'virally'. We have identified an application in animal interaction sensing where peer-to-peer tagging could lead to orders of magnitude improvement in population biology data collection. This technology is being tested in discrete form and is suitable for single chip integration.

Presented at NSF Workshop on Animal Tracking and Physiological Monitoring 2007.

An r f i d location system   Beyond RFID: Fine grained location and sensor data from passive radio tags
Passive tags are an attractive solution to many object identification and tracking problems because they can be made cheaply, and because they do not have a battery to wear out over time or temperature. We are extending existing passive tag systems to include fine grained location information by taking advantage of signal characteristics including time of arrival and multipath signature at multiple antennas.
Additional Past Projects
Flying Karamazov Brothers   A stage-scale, musical computer interface for the Flying Karamazov Brothers
How does a musical instrument work when it is the size of an entire theater? A full size instrumented stage performance instrument was constructed for the Flying Karamazov Brothers show, "L'Universe", which went on national and European tour from 1999-2002. This instrument includes a custom stage positioning system accurate to the centimeter level, as well as a gestural interface for playing music, where the whole stage floor is mapped to various instruments and musical notes.

Reynolds et al. ``An Immersive, Multi-User Musical Stage Environment'', in Proceedings ACM SIGGRAPH 2001, ACM Press, NY, 2001, pp 553-560.
ORCA submarine   MIT Project ORCA autonomous submarine
A 6-axis strapdown IMU incorporating then-new MEMS accelerometers and gyros was designed in 1998 for MIT's ORCA autonomous submarine, which is the 5-time winner of the Office of Naval Research / AUVSI Student Underwater Vehicle Design Contest.

Altshuler, Atkins, Cavic, et int Reynolds, Smith, and Warmann, "ORCA II: An improved underwater autonomous vehicle'', in Proceedings of AUVSI'99, AUVSI International, 1999.
GPS tagged sheep   GPS tagging of sheep in the Norwegian Lyngen Alps
An experimental GPS tag was designed for shepherding in the far north of Norway. This tag included the first generation SiRF STAR low power GPS chipset along with a custom peer-to-peer UHF radio for communicating sheep coordinates to a network of WiFi enabled download points located strategically in sheep congregation zones.
Everest weather probe  

Long-term weather monitoring on Mt. Everest
Four custom satellite uplinked weather probes were designed for the 1998 Everest expedition led by climber Pete Athans. This resulted in the first long-term seasonal weather data collection performed on Everest, including a data set from the South Col spanning May-September 1998.

John B. West, "Barometric pressures on Mt. Everest: New data and physiological significance". Journal of Applied Physiology, 86:1062-1066, 1999.




Beyond RFID
I am working on extending RFID beyond identification, to include fine grained location information, as well as peer-to-peer communication among tags and readers. This will open up a new way for computers to interact with the world- a form of non-optical vision.

Smart Materials
When we think of computing devices, we usually think of plastic cases full of circuit boards. It's an often overlooked fact that digital is not necessarily synonomous with electronic. Bulk materials can perform computational functions, both in the classical and quantum domains. I seek new engineered materials and structures that perform computational tasks. One day your desktop can be made of computer...

Innerspace Computing
A typical RFID tag's circuitry is only 250 square microns- that's a quarter square millimeter in area. In that tiny speck of silicon, you can fit memory, logic, power harvesting circuitry, and a rudimentary radio for communicating with the outside world. These are the building blocks for an Innerspace Computer- a wearable computer that you wear inside you. How can Innerspace Computers help us be healthier, happier, more secure, and more productive?