New products, Conferences, Books, Papers, Internet of Things

Archive for February, 2010

HP and Shell develop wireless sensing system for oil exploration

Hewlett Packard and Shell have agreed to develop a wireless sensing system that will be used to acquire high-resolution seismic data for the oil and gas industry.

According to Cliff Saran of ComputerWeekly, the two corporations are in the process of designing wireless accelerometer sensors, similar to the controllers used in the Nintendo Wii, but a “thousand times more accurate.”

The sensors are apparently based on microelectromechanical devices (Mems), which were originally developed for HP print heads.

“These Mems devices have been developed to take electrical signals and convert them to ink droplets,” HP spokesperson Rich Duncombe told Computer Weekly.

More info here.

WSN and wireless chicken study

A one-page paper announcing that wireless technology is for the birds. Or at least the chickens. Michigan State University has plucked a $375,000 federal grant to study the habits of commercial egg-laying hens by using wireless sensors to track “activity profiles.” That’s academic speak for how the hens pass the time when not laying eggs, cackling or playing coy with roosters.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is paying researchers to hook up chickens with a “hen-mountable wireless system” to study how they interact with other birds. The work will help the farmers know how much space hens need and what types of “non-cage housing systems” will provide the “best possible welfare for the animals,” according to MSU.

“Ultimately, the sensors will tell us what behavior a hen is performing. Is she laying an egg? Eating? Or roosting on a perch? Does she fly or walk to move around?” Janice Siegford, a professor of animal science at MSU, said in a statement.

More info here.

Submit your Sensors

Two former founders of MaxStream Inc, the leading embedded wireless networking company acquired by Digi International in 2006, are taking a unique approach to bringing wireless sensor products to market. Brad Walters and Nick Mecham have partnered at Monnit Corporation, to invite engineers desiring to introduce wireless sensors to collaborate with them through a web-based program called “Submit your Sensors.”

This initiative provides deep marketing resources to engineers who have viable low-cost sensor technology ready for introduction to the market.

“During our time at MaxStream, we were approached by many of our wireless customers requesting sensor technology – but that wasn’t our business at the time,” said Brad Walters, Monnit’s CEO.  “While selling our wireless technology, we met with many creators of custom sensors that had never considered expanding their offering beyond their niche market focus. As we launch Monnit, our intent with ‘Submit Your Sensors’ is to do just that – invite engineers who have developed unique sensor technology to allow us to review and potentially sell their wireless sensor technology to a larger audience through us and our growing networks.”

The “Submit Your Sensors” website is a portal for design engineers to present their sensors for review by answering a few questions.  If the wireless sensor technology seems to fit the Monnit plan, they will be contacted to further discuss working together towards an agreement.

The website is accessible here.

World's Smallest Solar Powered Sensor

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a tiny solar powered sensor – 1,000 times smaller than comparable commercial counterparts.

The system’s processor, solar cells, and battery are all contained in a frame measuring 2.5 x  3.5 x 1mm.  The system contains the ARM Cortex-M3 processor,  which uses about 2,000 times less power in sleep mode than its most energy-efficient counterpart on the market today.

According to electrical and computer engineering professor David Blaauw, the system can run nearly perpetually if periodically exposed to reasonable lighting conditions, even indoors and the only limiting factor is the life of the battery.

More info here.

WSN Programming Tutorial at CPSWEEK 2010

Another edition of the WSN Programming Tutorial will be presented in Stockholm as part of the CPS Week on April 12-16, 2010. This gathering will bring together five leading conferences and interrelated scientific communities, check the following links for the specific events HSCC, ICCPS, IPSN, LCTES, and RTAS.

More info here

SenSys Comes to Europe

SenSys, the flagship conference of sensor networks, is coming to Europe for the first time. Zurich is an amazing city to visit (and the beautiful campus of ETH Zurich is not so far from the lively city life). Try submitting your best works to SenSys this year!

The call for papers can be found here and is also appended below.
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'Crowdsourcing' Chem Detection

Cell phones connect you to the Internet, take and transmit your pictures, help you navigate, take your messages and play movies, music and games – and make phone calls. Soon, they may also serve as nodes in a vast network of chemical weapon sensors.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and NASA are developing cell phones that contain tiny sensors able to detect the presence of harmful chemicals, such as those used in chemical weapon attacks and those released in industrial accidents. When the chemicals are detected, the phones would alert the user and automatically report to government authorities.

The idea, called Cell-All, is a leap ahead from current chemical sensor deployments, which typically involve handful of sensors installed more or less permanently in a relatively few key locations in major cities and around critical installations.

More info here.