The Intelligent Dormitory (iSpace) is a student study bedroom built using the same design, furniturethe idorm and fittings as those found in the halls of Residence at the University of Essex. The iSpace was built by re-fitting a room in the Computer Science Department. Unlike normal student accommodation on Campus the iSpace’s furnishings are fitted with intelligent gadgets that can detect and learn the occupant’s behaviour with the aim of providing services that could improve the quality of their lives by generating an environment that suits their needs. These intelligent gadgets communicate with each other allowing groups of agents to coordinate their actions, and allowing remote access to their services via networks (e.g. Internet, GSM etc).
In addition to ad-hoc sets of gadgets, the iSpace is fitted with myriad of sensors and effectors to enable the intelligent agents to monitor and make changes tothe idorm the room's environmental conditions.The sensor network includes devices such as: temperature sensors (both inside and outside the room); humidity sensors; a small matrix of light sensors across the room; an active entrance lock system which provides access based on an individual's identity; an infrared sensor to detect movement and a video camera to externally monitor the room. A number of effectors connected to the same networks are also being installed these include: air circulators; fan heaters; a door lock actuator; motorised vertical blinds; automated window openers and a light dimmer.
The iSpace network is configured in such a way that the status of the effectors can be monitored and adjusted by both local or remote users, or the agents embedded within the iSpace environment, including those in gadgets. In other words, ththe idorme agent can intelligently remember the user’s habit of closing the blinds or dimming the lights under particular environmental conditions and then make changes to the environment according to those habits. Currently, we are working towards an agent that will continuously update its knowledge about user preferences, such that the user will not have to explicitly interact with the environment except in unusual circumstances. In summary, the iSpace’s agents have the potential to make an environment more economical, safer and more comfortable. They also have the potential to improve the quality of life for those people who require long-term care by providing autonomous environmental management.


Intelligent Inhabited Environments Group, Department of Computer Science
University of Essex