The AXIOM project has started, aiming to ease the programming of the most versatile and powerful microcomputers which will appear in the upcoming years. This challenge won’t be measured against formal and academic objectives, but against real needs of people in everyday life, in the domestic contexts and in the care for their cities.
The project is one of the five funded projects among more than 140 by the European ICT Cyber-Physical System Programme of Horizon 2020, raising almost four millions and gathering together all the necessary resources to fulfil these objectives in the shortest possible time. Roberto Giorgi, Associate Professor at the University of Siena and confident in project management due to his ten-years experience in the field, will guide the definition of the new architectures of these microcomputers. They will be materially realized by SECO, leader enterprise in the embedded technology space and creator of the minicomputer UDOO together with AIDILAB, an enterprise born from a research group at the University of Siena. The protocols of communication between the hardware components will be under responsibility of FORTH. Evidence will provide a low cost and efficient solution for work balancing across distributed systems, while the Barcelona Supercomputing Center will leverage its know-how in High Performance Computing into simplifying the programming of these new minicomputers, currently available only to experienced programmers. The ground of comparison will be real scenarios, common in the new modernity.
Thanks to these scenarios the challenges issued by the AXIOM project will become concrete: the energy-efficiency and the stability of the basic architecture will be tested not in closed labs but in authentic contexts, through use cases generated by the University of Siena. From the Smart Cities to the Smart Home, from real-time video surveillance to in-house security, these scenarios will be outlined by the Department of Social Science. An unusual collaboration so, between the the Department of Computer Engineering, represented by Professor Roberto Giorgi, expert of Computer Architecture, and the Department of Social Science, represented by Professor Antonio Rizzo, expert of Interaction Design and Cognitive Science, in order to identify and realize the enabling technologies in respect of the needs of everyday life. Suitable tests for testing the new technologies will be defined, tests which will involve two enterprises, leader in their respective fields: Vimar for domotics, Herta Security for video surveillance.
But the main aspects of the AXIOM project regard the use of open-source resources only, both from a hardware and a software point of view, in order to incentivize the development of innovative solutions by the growing community of hobbyist and professional makers. The future of AXIOM thus is to be a technology open to third-party developers, engineers of tomorrow, but also to everyone who just wants to learn, and that will contribute to make the house of the future more open, but also safer.