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:
On December 5th, 2013, The EnHANTs demo was presented by Earvin Caceres and Robert Margolies to 13 high school students as part of a tour of Columbia’s facilities through Harlem Educational Activities Fund's College Quest Program. the goal of the visit was to excite students about the field of physics by exposing them to the equipment used in research facilities.
Robert Margolies and Earvin Caceres presenting the EnHANTs demo to local Harlem high school students
Four different publications and presentations have been recently contributed by different members of the EnHANTs project:
- Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing: A paper co-authored by Xiaodong Wang titled " was recently present at the Allerton Conference on Communication, Control, and Computing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- IEEE GlobalSIP 2013: A paper authored by John Sarik, Kanghwan Kim, Maria Gorlatova, John Kymissis, and Gil Zussman titled "More than Meets the Eye - A Portable Measurement Unit for Characterizing Light Energy Availability" was recently present at the GlobalSIP 2013 Symposium on Energy Harvesting and Green Wireless Communications in Austin, Texas.
- IEEE GlobalSIP 2013: Professor Gil Zussman gave a keynote talk at IEEE GlobalSIP 2013 Symposium on Energy Harvesting and Green Wireless Communications titled “Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs) — Measurements, Algorithms, and Prototyping”.
- Columbia University: Maria Gorlatova gave an invited talk titled "Characterizing New Environmental Energy Sources for the Internet of Things" at an undergraduate computer science and statistics STATW100 seminar at Columbia. The talk was focused on light and motion energy measurement studies and characterizations.
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.
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 ]