February 26, 2003
Helium Networks, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based mobile and wireless solutions company, signed an exclusive license to commercialize patented wireless LAN technologies and prototyped tools invented at Carnegie Mellon University. Wireless LANs, also known as "Wi-Fi," are labor intensive to design and optimize for network coverage and reliability. The tools and technologies from Carnegie Mellon reduce the cost of Wi-Fi design and ongoing maintenance by nearly 50 percent.
The design and optimization tool, dubbed "Rollabout" by Carnegie Mellon inventors, takes the guesswork out of designing and maintaining wireless LANs. To obtain the most complete and reliable wireless LAN design, a designer uses the Rollabout-generated coverage map and a drag-and-drop design interface to "virtually" relocate access points on the screen to receive a real-time estimate of the resulting coverage. Rollabout technology assists the designer in determining optimal access point placements and the best frequency assignments.
Alex Hills, Rollabout's inventor and Distinguished Service Professor of ECE and EPP, said "Rollabout is the result of almost a decade of experience in designing and troubleshooting wireless LANs. Wireless LAN access points must be placed correctly, and radio frequencies must be correctly assigned to these base stations."