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SensorHound Innovations of West Lafayette, Indiana, Receives National Science Foundation Grant To Develop Software Products

SensorHound Innovations of West Lafayette, Indiana, a company developing software products and services that could reduce the cost of developing, deploying and operating networked embedded systems, was awarded a six-month $150,000 Small Business Innovation Research Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation.

The company's software solutions are based on research from Purdue University's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Department of Computer Science. SensorHound Innovations is scheduled to become a tenant in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette this January.

Systems being developed act as sensors, gathering data from an environment and sharing it electronically. Co-founder Patrick Eugster, an associate professor of computer science, said sensors will be used in the future to control the power grid and other systems. Improving how they communicate could diminish the possibility of events like power outages.

"SensorHound Innovations specializes in making these sensor networks reliable through our pure software solutions," he said. "Our specialized software can be loaded onto sensors by the manufacturers. It provides information to a developer or system administrator while monitoring the sensors, and it can raise an alarm should something go wrong."

The company has developed laboratory-tested prototypes, and the NSF SBIR grant will help in creating commercial prototypes of the flagship product, adding new features to the original research. Commercial versions could be created by mid-2014.

Co-founder Vinai Sundaram, the principal investigator of the SBIR grant, said the company's solutions stem from research that he, Eugster and co-founder Matthew Tan Creti conducted with the help of other faculty and students from the Department of Computer Science and the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Sundaram earned his doctorate degree from Purdue's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Tan Creti is a doctoral candidate.

"The motivation for our research came from personal experience in trying to build network systems," Sundaram said. "We expected information to come in from the sensors, but when data didn't arrive we realized a diagnosis tool was needed for people who develop these systems."

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