Tutorial Session

Linking your Sensor Data:

An Introduction to ChainAPI  

Spencer Russell, MIT Media Lab’s Responsive Environment Group

4:45pm Monday, October 6


Come learn about ChainAPI, a hypermedia API that aims to create a distributed network of browsable sensor data servers. ChainAPI is a project developed by Spencer Russell in the Responsive Environments group enabling clients to store their sensor data so it can be easily browsed, discovered, and streamed. We’ll go over the basic system architecture and data formats and help attendees get up and running building applications that interface with the API. Attendees can work our sensor data, or start pushing data of their own. Please come prepared with a laptop and your development environment of choice. We’ll provide examples in Python, but anything that can speak HTTP, JSON, and websockets will do.


Spencer Russell is a Masters candidate at the MIT Media Lab’s Responsive Environment Group, led by Joe Paradiso. His research interests include sensor data infrastructure, audio spacialization, and Music Information Retrieval. Before joining the Media Lab Spencer worked as a musician and as a freelance hardware and firmware developer until he became Chief Engineer at BuLogics, Inc., a mesh networking and building automation company in Philadelphia. Spencer holds a BA from Oberlin College and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University.

Enabling IoT over Industrial Powerline Networks:

Applications, Requirements, and Technology Solutions

Michael Propp, Adaptive Networks Inc.

Tuesday, October 7  09:00 E14-633


In an industrial environment, cabling or wireless communications often cannot be successfully deployed and the most pervasive communications medium is the electrical low or medium voltage powerline. Industrial deployment of the IoT over the powerline requires continuous reliable communications to every node and fast response times for condition monitoring and control of each industrial device.  The powerline as a communications medium suffers from noise and severe signal attenuation, especially in industrial environments.  Additionally, lower layer (PHY, MAC and Link) approaches to simply achieve point-to-point communications bandwidth do not successfully translate into a multipoint network supporting large node populations with the required performance. Industrial deployment of the IoT over the powerline consequently requires a reexamination of what is needed at the lower layers. A reliable powerline communications solution meeting the requirements of the IoT in industrial environments is achieved through signal processing and protocols optimized for network communications in, and rapid adaptation to, the harsh, changing industrial powerline conditions. Such performance will be demonstrated in a setup of such conditions.


Michael Propp co-founded Adaptive Networks with his brother David to develop technology and products for reliable network communications over industrial powerlines. He is the co-inventor of the technology, has co-authored 15 key patents in this area, has been active in and co-authored both ISO and IEC standards related to powerline communications, and currently manages the company. He has been responsible for the wide deployment of powerline networks on ships, in mines, and in subsea oil and gas production. His areas of interest include complex dynamic systems and the relationship of stochastic systems theory to thermodynamics and statistical and quantum physics, as well as powerline communications. Dr. Propp holds SB/SM EE (1981) and Ph.D. EE (1985) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.