Andreas Soleiman

I am currently a research assistant at Uppsala University where I work on low-power mobile networking and visible light sensing systems under the supervision of Dr. Ambuj Varshney. I have a Masters' degree in Engineering Physics from Uppsala University, which includes a mix of applied physics, electrical engineering and computer science.

I am passionate about exploring new technologies to allow for a future of environmentally sustainable IoT. This includes the design of small devices that can sense and communicate without the use of any batteries, and harvest energy under constrained conditions to continuously power themselves. I design and build hardware for such systems, process analog and digital signals, program embedded controllers, and for applicational purposes; employ machine learning techniques to make inferences about the physical environment from sensor data.

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Recent news
  • My supervisor Ambuj won the prestigious ABB Research Award for his tireless work on sustainable networked embedded systems. I am very proud to have worked closely with him for the past 2.5 years at Uppsala!
  • Our recent work on the design of a low power communication mechanism for self-sustaining sensors is accepted as a full paper at ACM MobiCom 2019
  • Our work on battery-free utensils has been featured by the largest electronic newspaper in Sweden
  • Poster and demonstration was accepted at ACM MobiSys 2019
  • Invited to serve as PC member of the ACM S3 2019 workshop, held in conjunction with ACM MobiCom 2019
Awards and honors
  • Selected to attend the Rising Stars Forum of ACM MobiSys 2019
  • Selected for the Cornell, Maryland, Max Planck Pre-Doctoral Research School 2018
  • Best Demo Award, ACM WiSec 2018
  • Best Paper Award, ACM VLCS 2017, held in conjunction with ACM MobiCom 2017
  • Winner of the Student Research Competition at ACM MobiCom 2017
Hardware designs
   

   

Research activities
TunnelScatter: Low Power Communication for Sensor Tags using Tunnel Diodes
Ambuj Varshney, Andreas Soleiman, Thiemo Voigt
ACM MobiCom 2019, Los Cabos, Mexico .

Due to extremely low power consumption, backscatter has become the transmission mechanism of choice for battery-free devices that operate on harvested energy. However, a limitation of recent backscatter systems is that the communication range scales with the strength of the ambient carrier signal (ACS). This means that to achieve a long range, a backscatter tag needs to reflect a strong ACS, which in practice means that it needs to be close to an ACS emitter. We present TunnelScatter, a mechanism that overcomes this limitation. TunnelScatter uses a tunnel diode-based radio frequency oscillator to enable transmissions when there is no ACS, and the same oscillator as a reflection amplifier to support backscatter transmissions when the ACS is weak. Our results show that even without an ACS, TunnelScatter is able to transmit through several walls covering a distance of 18 meters while consuming a peak biasing power of 57 microwatts. Based on TunnelScatter, we design battery-free sensor tags, called TunnelTags, that can sense physical phenomena and transmit them using the TunnelScatter mechanism.

Enabling the Next Generation of Wireless Sensors
Andreas Soleiman
Rising Stars Forum of ACM MobiSys 2019, Seoul, South Korea .

In this early-stage work, we propose various solutions to enable the next generation of wireless sensors. Our vision is to introduce battery-free wireless sensors that can be deployed ubiquitously. Such sensors would have the ability to both infer the physical environment, and communicate the sensed information wirelessly. In particular, we explore the emerging research directions of ambient and analog RF backscatter for communication, and visible light for sensing. We combine these concepts with energy harvesting to achieve self-powered operation. Furthermore, we introduce novel mechanisms that eliminate sensor-local computational blocks, and instead couple sensors directly to ultra-low power communication modules to transmit sensor information. Our initial results show that we are able to achieve operation of both sensing and communication at a few microwatts of power. Moreover, we can maintain a sufficiently high sensing resolution to enable novel battery-free applications such as hand gesture sensing and intrusion detection.

Poster: Towards Backscatter-enabled Networked Utensils
Andreas Soleiman, Ambuj Varshney,
ACM MobiSys 2019, Seoul, South Korea .

Backscatter communication enables wireless transmissions at orders of magnitude lower power consumption when compared to conventional radio transceivers. This introduces novel opportunities for battery-free and ubiquitous sensing. We take advantage of backscatter communication to enable networked utensils. We imagine a scenario where such utensils can provide essential information about the state of the food or the beverage; for instance, the temperature or the quality of food contained in the utensils. We propose flex sensors, to achieve this capability, by augmenting utensils with flexible and inexpensive battery-free sensors that can communicate wirelessly. We demonstrate our efforts by designing a smart cup that tracks the temperature of beverage.

Demo: Backscatter-enabled Polymorphic Light Sensors
Andreas Soleiman, Ambuj Varshney,
ACM MobiSys 2019, Seoul, South Korea .

Light as a medium for sensing and communication enables new scenarios, such as controlling devices with gestures, or communication for Internet of Things~(IoT) devices. However, a limitation of existing systems is that they often sense only a narrow part of the light spectrum. We argue that the ability to sense a broad light spectrum significantly enhances ability of such systems expanding possible application scenarios. We demonstrate our work in progress to develop the concept of polymorphic light sensing~(PLS). PLS sensor morphs itself according to applications requirements, to track desired parts of the light spectrum (colours, infrared, and ultraviolet light). We couple the PLS sensor with ultra-low power backscatter mechanism, and demonstrate this enables us to sense and communicate the broad spectrum, while operating battery-free.

Demo: Towards Battery-free Radio Tomographic Imaging
Abdullah Hylamia, Ambuj Varshney, Andreas Soleiman, Panagiotis Papadimitratos, Christian Rohner, Thiemo Voigt
In Proceedings of the 11th ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks (ACM WiSec 2018), Stockholm, Sweden.
Best demo award

Radio Tomographic Imaging (RTI) enables novel radio frequency (RF) sensing applications such as intrusion detection systems by observing variations in radio links caused by human actions. RTI applications are, however, severely limited by the requirement to retrofit existing infrastructure with energy-expensive sensors. In this demonstration, we present our ongoing efforts to develop the first battery-free RTI system that operates on minuscule amounts of energy harvested from the ambient environment. Our system eliminates the energy-expensive components employed on state-of-the-art RTI systems achieving two orders of magnitude lower power consumption. Battery-free operation enables a sustainable deployment, as RTI sensors could be deployed for long periods of time with little maintenance effort. Our demonstration showcases an intrusion detection scenario enabled by our system.

MobiCom: G: Battery-free Visible Light Sensing
Andreas Soleiman
ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) at ACM MobiCom 2017, Snowbird, Utah.
Winner of ACM Student Research Competition

We present the first visible light sensing system that can sense and communicate shadow events while only consuming tens of microwatts of power. Our system requires no modification to the existing lighting infrastructure and can use unmodulated ambient light as a sensing medium. We achieve this by designing a sensing mechanism that utilizes solar cells, and an ultra-low power backscatter based transmission mechanism we call Scatterlight, which can communicate sensor readings without the use of any energy-expensive computational block. Our results demonstrate the ability to sense and communicate various hand gestures at peak power consumption of tens of microwatts at the sensor, which represents orders of magnitude improvement over the state-of-the-art.

Battery-free Visible Light Sensing
Ambuj Varshney, Andreas Soleiman, Luca Mottola, Thiemo Voigt,
ACM VLCS 2017 (Co-located with ACM MobiCom), Utah, USA.
Best paper award

We present the design of the first Visible Light Sensing (VLS) system that consumes only tens of microwatts of power to sense and communicate. Unlike most existing VLS systems, we require no modification to the existing light infrastructure since we useunmodulated light as a sensing medium. We achieve this by designing a novel mechanism that uses solar cells to achieve a sub-microwatt power consumption for sensing. Further, we devise an ultra-low power transmission mechanism that backscatters sensor readings and avoids the processing and computational overhead of existing sensor systems. Our initial results show the ability to detect and transmit hand gestures or presence of people up to distances of 330 meter, at a peak power of 20 microwatts. Further, we demonstrate that our system can operate in diverse light conditions (100 lx to 80 klx) where existing VLS designs fail due to saturation of the transimpedance amplifier (TIA).