Welcome to the EnHANTs Project!
In this project we are developing Energy-Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs). EnHANTs are small, flexible, and energetically self-reliant devices that can be attached to objects that are traditionally not networked (e.g., books, furniture, walls, doors, toys, keys, clothing, and produce), thereby providing the infrastructure for various novel tracking applications. Examples of these applications include locating misplaced items, continuous monitoring of objects (items in a store, boxes in transit), and determining locations of disaster survivors.
Recent advances in ultra-low-power wireless communications, ultra-wideband (UWB) circuit design, and organic electronic harvesting techniques will enable the realization of EnHANTs in the near future. In order for EnHANTs to rely on harvested energy, they have to spend significantly less energy than Bluetooth, Zigbee, and IEEE 802.15.4a devices. Moreover, the harvesting components and the ultra-low-power physical layer have special characteristics whose implications on the higher layers have yet to be studied (e.g., when using ultra-low-power circuits, the energy required to receive a bit is significantly higher than the energy required to transmit a bit).
The objective of the project is to design hardware, algorithms, and software to enable the realization of EnHANTs. This interdisciplinary project includes 5 PIs in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Columbia University with expertise in energy-harvesting devices and techniques, ultra-low power integrated circuits, and energy efficient communications and networking protocols.
The project is supported in part by:
EnHants project contributors Maria Gorlatova and Jiasi Chen were among the top 40 female graduate students and postdoctoral scholars invited to participate in the 2013 MIT Rising Stars in EECS, the annual workshop that brings together top women in EECS for two days of scientific discussions and informal sessions aimed at navigating early stages of the academic career.
A poster and demo session to showcase the EnHANTs summer projects conducted by graduate and undergraduate students was held on August 28th, 2013. The workshop, coordinated by and Vanshil Shah from the wim.net research group, was attended by over 100 incoming graduate students in the Columbia University Department of Electrical Engineering.
Live Demo Session
Presented by Vanshil Shah and Robert Margolies from the wim.net research group.
The finding of a study of object and human motion energy conducted within the EnHANTs project were recently profiled in MIT Technology Review Physics ArXiv Blog and several online outlets.
This study, conducted by Ph.D. candidates Maria Gorlatova and John Sarik, by undergraduate student Mina Cong, and with contributions from Masters student Sonal Shetkar and undergraduate student Kanghwan Kim, focuses on motion energy availability and properties in commonplace Internet of Things scenarios. In this study we consider several commonplace object motions, and uniquely demonstrate unexpectedly low energy availability associated with some high-amplitude periodic object motions. We also examine properties of common human motions (walking, running, bicycling) using a 40-participant human motion dataset that was collected for activity recognition purposes and not considered from energy considerations before. Additionally, we examine kinetic energy availability associated with normal human routines. This examination is based on over 200 hours of acceleration information we collected as part of this study.
In March 2013, Mina Cong presented her contributions to this work in Columbia University Undergraduate Research Symposium. Out of 40 posters accepted to the symposium, Mina's work was one of only 4 chosen for an oral presentation.
- MIT Technology Review Physics ArXiv Blog article: Human Motion Will Power the Internet of Things, Say Energy Harvesting Engineers
- ExtremeTech article: Kinetic energy harvesting: Everyday human activity could power the internet of things
- Siemens corporate news: Human energy for the Internet of Things
- M.Gorlatova, J. Sarik, M. Cong, I. Kymissis, G. Zussman, "Movers and Shakers: Kinetic Energy Harvesting for the Internet of Things", arXiv:1307.0044, July 2013. [ Report PDF ]
Maria Gorlatova received the Jury Award, an award granted for outstanding achievement by a graduate student in the areas of system communication or signal processing. It was established in 1991 and is granted yearly by the Electrical Engineering department at Columbia University. It is the highest award granted to Ph.D. students in the department and is only given to one or two students each year.
Jury Award presented by Electrical Engineering Department Chair Professor Keren Bergman.
An EnHANTs demo titled An Adaptive Testbed of Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs) Prototypes was presented by Maria Gorlatova, Robert Margolies, and Gil Zussman in the demo session of IEEE INFOCOM 2013 on April 17th, 2013 in Turn, Italy. In this demo, we presented a small testbed of 4 EnHANTs prototypes. The prototypes communicated wirelessly using ultra-wide-band impulse radio (UWB-IR) transceivers. They formed a multihop network and adapted the topology and communication patterns to the light energy harvested by the solar cells. The testbed included a unique software-based light control system which enabled controlled experiments. This demonstration accompanied a paper titled Prototyping Energy Harvesting Active Networking Tags. We also acknowledge
for their significant contributions to the EnHANTs project in preparation for this demonstration.
-- EnHANTs INFOCOM 2013 Demo Abstract
-- Accompanying Poster
-- Related: Video of the EnHANTs demonstration filmed in December 2011 |