Throwbox Relays

To enhance connectivity between mobile nodes, we have designed throwboxes that act as stationary routers. Throwboxes are untethered from any power-supply, or backend wireless or wired connectivity. This makes throwboxes easily deployed ad hoc into a using batteries for short-term deployment, or solar for longer-term use. Throwboxes are designed to use a combination of COTS low-power platforms, such as the Stargate PXA255 platform, and low-power microcontrollers. One of the unique features is the incorporation of the MaxStream long distance radios on the low power boxes. This allows vehicular nodes to hail the throwboxes, which can turn its 802.11 radio on and off in advance of a vehicular node entering its range.

We reported on our use of throwboxes relays in several places:

The boxes were also in the local news: in 2006.

A UMass Throwbox deployed on the roof of the Computer Science Building
Outside a UMass Throwbox
Inside of a UMass Throwbox


Hamed Soroush, Nilanjan Banerjee, Aruna Balasubramanian, Mark D. Corner, Brian Neil Levine, and Brian Lynn. In Proc. ACM Intl. Workshop on Hot Topics of Planet-Scale Mobility Measurements (HotPlanet), June 2009. PDF
Aruna Balasubramanian, Brian Neil Levine, and Arun Venkataramani. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, 18(2):596--609, April 2010. PDF.
Nilanjan Banerjee, Mark D. Corner, and Brian Neil Levine. IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, 18(2):554--567, April 2010. PDF
Architecting Protocols to Enable Mobile Applications in Diverse Wireless Networks. Aruna Balasubramanian. PhD thesis, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, February 2011.
System support for perpetual mobile tracking Ph.D. Thesis. Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst
Improved Network Consistency and Connection in Mobile and Sensor Systems Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, September 2009 Winner of the 2009 UMass/Yahoo! Outstanding Dissertation Award!