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Official website of the course "Ambient intelligence: technology and design" (code 01PRDxx) offered to students in the 3rd year of Engineering (among elective courses).

Warning: This page contains the archived version for the 2014/2015 edition of the course. The latest version of the course is available at:

Latest news

  • 2016-01-11: Updated the exam date and deadline for the Winter session.
  • 2015-09-23: Starting with the academic year 2015/2016, this course will change name to "Ambient Intelligence" and code (01QZP). The course contents and goals, however, will remain unchanged.
  • 2015-06-17: Updated the guide for realizing the video to embed in the project websites.
  • 2015-06-08: Updated the exam dates and deadlines for the Summer session.
  • 2015-06-07:The date for the "AmI Student Showcase 2015", where you may show your projects to a wide audience of students, professors, and entrepreneurs, has been fixed: 29 September 2015, Tuesday.
  • 2015-05-15: For all the groups that need to know about the politecnico maps and room locations, next Monday (18/05) at 10:00, we will meet (in Room 15S) the architects that are currently managing the architectural information system. The meeting is mandatory for the groups that need to access this information, and is open to all interested students. 
  • 2015-05-06: For all the groups that need to query the lecture timetables (and classroom occupation), tomorrow (Thursday 07/05) at 17:30, we will meet (in Room 3I) the two engineers that are currently maintaining the system, and we will discuss the available JSON APIs that you can use. The meeting is mandatory for the groups that need to access this information, and is open to all interested students. And to wet your appetite:
  • 2015-05-01: The template for Deliverable D3 has been published. The deadline for D3 has been postponed to Thusday 7 May 2015.
  • 2015-04-28: Class schedule has been updated to its final version. Please, have a look at the Log section.
  • 2015-04-21: On May 14, 2015, at 17:30-19:00, right after the group presentations, the head of the I3P incubator, Massimiliano Ceaglio will give a lecture on the topic "From a Project to a Product", and the I3P experts will be able to give feedback on the projects.
  • 2015-03-26: The exam section has been updated and the deadline for the first deliverable was moved to the 28/03.
  • 2015-03-25: Each group, on GitHub, has assigned two private repositories:
    • one for experimenting with git and GitHub (named git-experiment-X, where X is a digit);
    • the other (named as the group/project) for the "real" team work and for hosting the website as a GitHub Pages.
  • 2015-03-24: Information exchange and discussions about the topics are encouraged on the Facebook group linked to the course
  • 2015-02-24: Welcome to the 2014/2015 edition of the course
  • 2015-02-24: The material of the 2013/2014 edition of the course has been archived:

Basic info

See the Information section.


The following companies or organizations are supporting the equipment used in the course labs.




Identity card

Title: Ambient intelligence: technology and design
Credits: 6 credits
Year: 3rd year (elective courses - corsi a scelta)
Semester 2nd semester (march-june)
Language: English
Official link: Portale della Didattica
Main teacher: Fulvio Corno
Other teachers: Dario Bonino, Luigi De Russis

Class hours

Day Hour Location Type
Monday 16:00-17:30 Room 4D
or LADISPE lab
or Lab work
Monday 17:30-19:00 Room 4D
or LADISPE lab
or Lab work
Thursday 16:00-17:30 Room 3I Class
Thursday 17:30-19:00 Room 3I Class

See the Log section for detailed information.
On the Monday afternoons, the LADISPE is always available for AmI students.


See also the Materials page

Course Contents

The course aims at describing, from an experimental point of view, the field of Ambient Intelligence (AmI), outlining its multi-disciplinary nature as well as its technology and application areas. Nowadays, the evolution of consumer electronic technologies, wireless networks, sensors, etc. and the ability to represent and process knowledge and data on a large scale allow the conception of environments able to handle, in an optimal way, energy-related variables, comfort, safety, and user interaction. Such scenarios spur a variety of solutions, ranging from smart homes to smart buildings, from smart cities to smart transportation systems.
Special emphasis, on the course, will be devoted to design-related aspects and on the overall hardware-software architecture, besides reviewing the involved technologies. This will enable students to design and realize reusable and interoperable solutions, and to collaboratively build a working prototype of an AmI system, in the laboratory.
The course will be held in English and will include some seminars given by industry experts.

Learning Outcomes


Knowledge: technologies involved in the design and realization of smart environments, at various architectural levels (sensors, home automation networks, wireless sensor networks, user interfaces). Programming distributed systems based on web APIs. Software design methodologies.


Skills: writing system specifications and high-level design of an Ambient Intelligence system, starting from its functional and behavioral requirements. Realization of real-world intelligent environments. Capability of working in group with modern Internet-based collaboration tools. The Python language for rapid prototyping.



Knowledge of programming languages, such as C or Java.
General knowledge of computer networks or communication networks.
The course has a strong interdisciplinary nature. The topics are mainly suitable for students enrolled in different degrees in the ICT sector (computer science, electronics, telecommunications), but in the work groups there will be a significant contribution from disciplines more oriented to AmI applications: electric, energy, design, mechanics, etc.



The course aims at tackling, from a system and multidisciplinary approach, the main enabling technologies and the design methodologies involved in the definition of a complex system such as the ones present in AmI.


The course will cover the following topics, including their theoretical, methodological and practical aspects:

  1. Introduction to Ambient Intelligence: definitions and available approaches for smart homes, smart buildings, etc. Overview of application areas (home, building, city, traffic, etc.) and types of applications (monitoring, comfort, anomaly detection, ambient assisted living, control and automation, etc.)
  2. Requirements and design methodology for AmI. Design, analysis and specification of requirements and functionalities related to user interacting with AmI settings.
  3. Taxonomy of Ambient Intelligent systems and state of the art industrial systems. Seminars with industry experts.
  4. Practical programming of AmI systems: the Python language, the Raspberry Pi computer, Web protocols (http and REST) and languages, web-based APIs and collaboration tools (git, github).


The course is strongly oriented to laboratory activities. Class lectures are mostly aimed at giving the background needed to develop the group work in the laboratory.

During laboratory hours (at LADISPE): students will work for programming simple intelligent scenarios and user interfaces with real home automation systems. Hands-on and insights about some topics discussed in class.
Additional hours will be devoted to assisted group work in the laboratory.

Some class exercises will focus on functional and architectural analysis and design, analysis of user interaction, and design and technology/component selection.





This section will host learning material: slides, documents, links, videos, etc. used during the course. All slides, examples, exercises, and any other material used in the classroom will be posted here.


In-class Exercises


Readings and papers




Groups and Projects


The exam consists of a presentation of the team project, designed and developed during the course, and an oral discussion on the same topic.

Each group is required to:

  • put and mantain the source code related to its project in the assigned Git repository (;
  • create, and properly update, a GitHub Pages website associated to the project repository, by following the instructions available at (see the "Project site" section); the website must be easy to navigate and well structured.

The project website MUST contain:

  • the three required deliverables (see below), according to the following (strict!) deadlines;
  • a video of the project, realized following this guide; the video must be prepared for the exam (see the video in the examples section, below).

Important dates and deliverables:

  • 19/03 discussion on groups and project ideas;
  • 20/03 submit group composition (on the shared Google doc);
  • 28/03 creation of the project website (via GitHub Pages) and deadline for the first deliverable (i.e., vision and goal - see the set of slides "AmI Design Process"); the first deliverable must be clearly identified in the website according to this template [PDF] [DOCX];
  • 30/03 check of the first deliverable with the students (in LADISPE);
  • 13/04 deadline for the second deliverable (i.e., system requirements - see the set of slides "AmI Design Process") to be published on the project website; the second deliverable must be clearly identified in the website according to this template [PDF] [DOCX];
  • 27/04 check of the second deliverable with students (in LADISPE);
  • 07/05 deadline for the third deliverable (i.e., system architecture - see the set of slides "AmI Design Process") to be published on the project website; the third deliverable must be clearly identified in the website according to this template [PDF] [DOCX]; 
  • 11/05 check of the third deliverable with the students (in LADISPE);
  • 14/05 final check of the projects (each group is required to give a 5-minute presentation of their project, and the current status of development). The presentation should be prepared by following these guidelines [PDF].

Exam rules

(extracted from the set of slides "Introduction to the course")

The team project (repository and website) must be ready for evaluation three working days before the exam.

The exam will consist of three parts:

  • oral presentation (max 15 minutes, by using PowerPoint slides or similar)
  • demonstration or a video if the project cannot be demonstrated (5 minutes)
  • discussion (5 minutes)

Contributions by each person should emerge in the entire project presentation (e.g., by dividing the oral presentation in parts).

Next exams with deadlines:

  • 18/01/2016, h. 10:00LADISPE
    • remember to enroll at the exam, by 14/01/2016, on the Portale della Didattica;
    • project must be ready for evaluation on GitHub on 14/01/2016 by 14:00;
    • specify which materials you need to be available at the exam (if any), via mail at the teachers, by the 14/01/2016;
    • (optional) to avoid last minute problems, you may want to try the presentation and the demo on 31/08/2015 from 14:30 to 17:00, at the LADISPE.


  • Sample web site showing an effective video presentation and project summary, developed by two students of the Princeton University.
  • Smart Notification website, developed by three students enrolled in the 2014 edition of this course.
  • YouTube playlist containing all the videos produced by the students enrolled in the 2014 edition of the course.


This section will host the log of all the lectures, with the topics described in each of them. Please consider that the following information is a tentatitive preview of the course organization, is provided only for helping students organization and planning, and is subject to change without notice.

Type legend: L = Lecture, EA = Exercises in classroom, EL = Exercises in laboratory (LADISPE)

All lectures will be video-recorded (screencasting) and will be published after the class. Lectures will be also available in a dedicated YouTube playlist.

Date Time Type Topic Video Teacher
02/03/2015 16:00-17:30 L Course introduction.   Fulvio Corno
02/03/2015 17:30-19:00 L Definition and characteristics of Ambient Intelligence. Overview 2014 projects.   Fulvio Corno
05/03/2015 16:00-17:30 L Definition of the "theme of the year" (with examples).   Fulvio Corno
09/03/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Intro to labs, organization and materials. Programming for AmI.   Dario Bonino
09/03/2015 17:30-19:00 L Hardware fundamentals.   Dario Bonino
12/03/2015 16:00-17:30 L AmI Design Process (part I).   Fulvio Corno
12/03/2015 17:30-19:00 L Python basics.   Luigi De Russis
16/03/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Python basics: exercises.   Luigi De Russis
16/03/2015 17:30-19:00 L AmI Design Process (part II).   Fulvio Corno
19/03/2015 16:00-17:30 EA Group definition. Project ideas check, discussion and suggestions.   Dario Bonino
19/03/2015 17:30-19:00 EA Intefacing Python.   Dario Bonino
23/03/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Interfacing Python: exercises.   Dario Bonino
23/03/2015 17:30-19:00 L Introduction to Git   Luigi De Russis
26/03/2015 16:00-17:30 L Functional and non functional requirements.   Fulvio Corno
26/03/2015 17:30-19:00 EA Example of functional/non functional requirements document.   Fulvio Corno
30/03/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Proposals evaluation (group-by-group feedback on proposed projects and D1).   Luigi De Russis
30/03/2015 17:30-19:00 EL Proposals evaluation (group-by-group feedback on proposed projects and D1).   Fulvio Corno
      (Easter vacation)    
09/04/2015 16:00-17:30 L Web architecture and HTML   Fulvio Corno
09/04/2015 17:30-19:00 EA Web in Python with Flask   Fulvio Corno
13/04/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Web in Python: exercises.   Luigi De Russis
13/04/2015 17:30-19:00 L Web sessions. CSS.   Fulvio Corno
16/04/2015 16:00-17:30 L HTTP. REST architecture with examples.   Fulvio Corno
16/04/2015 17:30-19:00 EA REST in Python: the music server case study.   Dario Bonino
20/04/2015 16:00-17:30 EL REST in Python: exercises.   Dario Bonino
20/04/2015 17:30-19:00 L Bootstrap with Flask and exercises.   Fulvio Corno
23/04/2015 16:00-17:30 L Javascript.   Fulvio Corno
23/04/2015 17:30-19:00 EA Interacting with smart devices: the Hue case.   Dario Bonino
27/04/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Supervised work group and feedback about D2.   Luigi De Russis
30/04/2015 16:00-17:30 L jQuery and AJAX.   Fulvio Corno
30/04/2015 17:30-19:00 EA Interacting with smart environments: the Dog case.   Dario Bonino
04/05/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Supervised work group.   Luigi De Russis
07/05/2015 16:00-17:30 EA Hands-on session: databases with Python   Fulvio Corno
07/05/2015 17:30-19:00 - How to query the lecture timetable.    
11/05/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Supervised work group and feedback about D3.   Dario Bonino
14/05/2015 16:00-17:30 EA Final projects: review.   Dario Bonino
14/05/2015 17:30-19:00 L I3P seminar.   Fulvio Corno
18/05/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Supervised work group.   Dario Bonino
18/05/2015 17:30-19:00 - Meeting on noise analysis (in LADISPE).    
21/05/2015 16:00-17:30 EA Hands-on session: Android apps.   Dario Bonino
25/05/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Supervised work group.   Luigi De Russis
04/06/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Supervised work group.   Dario Bonino
08/06/2015 16:00-17:30 EL Supervised work group.   Dario Bonino