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

Archive for February, 2010

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.

Openings at ETH Zurich

The research group on Computer Engineering at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) has an opening for a post-doctoral fellow and PhD students in the field of sensor networks. These positions are in conjunction with the PermaSense project and two new projects in nano-tera.ch where we focus on real sensor networks deployed for environmental monitoring purposes.

Details are available here.

New italian book: "IndossaME: design and the wearable electronics"

Body Sensor Networks, wearable electronics and smart tissues are just few of the interesting new technologies which are now facing the market, or that are already commercialized. But, which is the role of the designers willing to approach these new technologies, which are the opportunities and challenges? Generally speaking designers are asked to think about new innovative products and services or novel interaction with objects, therefore the question for a designer is always “what these new technologies will allow me to do? What are them already allowing and to which extent?”

Design with wearable electronics requires competences usually falling outside the usual knowledge area of a designer: not only the body ergonomic, but also biomedical and electronics as well as the psychological aspects impose urgent limits to the design process. These limits must be considered by the designer.
This book is specifically meant for designers and extensively analyzes these problems. Thanks to the contribution of different matter experts the book tries to address the specific areas involved, presenting the biomedical, electronics and psychological states of art, trying to answer to the most important questions. It addresses therefore the essentials elements to understand the wearable systems design. All these information are tied together into a novel specific design methodology, which has been applied, into the second part of the book, to several projects which involved the authors and some students.

More info here.

Smart Dust? Not Quite, but We’re Getting There

From the New York Times:

In computing, the vision always precedes the reality by a decade or more. The pattern has held true from the personal computer to the Internet, as it takes time, brainpower and investment to conquer the scientific and economic obstacles to nudging a game-changing technology toward the mainstream.

The same pattern, according to scientists in universities and corporate laboratories, is unfolding in the field of sensor-based computing. Years ago, enthusiasts predicted the coming of “smart dust” — tiny digital sensors, strewn around the globe, gathering all sorts of information and communicating with powerful computer networks to monitor, measure and understand the physical world in new ways. But this intriguing vision seemed plucked from the realm of science fiction.

The complete article is available here.

Wireless Sensors That Live Forever

From IEEE Spectrum:

Soon enough, say some engineers, miniature wireless sensors will be located in spots where it would be inconvenient, to say the least, to change their batteries—inside your body, within the steel and concrete of buildings, in the dangerous innards of chemical plants. But today, even the most robust nodes can be counted on to last only a few years. Ideally, engineers need a sensor that can last forever without external power sources or battery changes. According to research presented in December at the International Electron Devices Meeting, in Baltimore, that dream is within reach.

Two research teams tackled the problem of sensor longevity in two very different ways. Both methods rely on piezoelectric power generation, in which a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) cantilever converts mechanical motions into electrical power. However, the cantilever’s movements are propelled by very different mechanisms—one by a radioisotope and the other by vibrations harvested from the environment. In a big step forward, both methods fully powered autonomous wireless systems.

The complete article is available here.