Smart Cities: “The Array of Things”

Dr. Charlies Catlett

The Array of Things (AoT) is a system that provides urban data with greater spatial and temporal precision than is currently available for understanding air quality, microclimate, vibration, noise, and other factors, providing measurements from hundreds of locations throughout Chicago.

AoT devices include embedded and remotely programmable (AI) capabilities “edge computing” to process images, sound, vibration, and other data within the installed devices, creating measurements that cannot be obtained from traditional sensor networks. AoT is being implemented in a growing number of cities around the world through a formal partnership program.

CKS Public Presentation & Discussion, sponsored by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), allowed Senior Computer Scientist Charlie Catlett to share with university students, professionals and experts in Cambodia how and why the Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago created the Array of Things), how they designed, piloted, and scaled up this innovative urban measurement system that is now spreading to over a dozen partner cities throughout the world. The event was attended by 57 people. The event stimulated a very strong interest from many participants, excited to discover the existence of such innovative technology, and how it may be applied to Cambodia and its bustling capital Phnom Penh. Charlie addressed all queries from the audience, from AoT associated risks and benefits, data privacy, artificial intelligence capacities, and its durability, security, capacity and adaptability applied to Cambodian environment.

Charlie Catlett is the founding director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data, Urban CCD. He was the CIO at Argonne National Laboratory, and Director of the National Science Foundation’s Tera Grid initiative, USA. This Public Presentation was part of a larger scoping mission that took place as a component of CKS new Urban Studies Research program. The mission was led by Natharoun Ngo, in collaboration with the UNDP. It included senior-level consultations with Royal University of Phnom Penh Dean, Senior Minister of Public Work and transportation, and Vice governor of Phnom Penh City hall, to name a few.

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