Professors Rubenstein, Kinget, Kymissis, Wang, and Zussman received a $1.2M grant from the Network Science and Engineering (NetSE) Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The team aims to develop Energy Harvesting Active Networked Tags (EnHANTs) which are thin and flexible tags of a few square centimeters that can be attached to everyday objects, such as clothing, furniture, walls, books, toys, and other household and office items. The tags will harvest energy available in the environment such as light or vibration energy. The tags would be able to communicate with each other over short distances to form wireless networks.
EnHANTs will enable networking virtually every object around us and will allow expanding the 'Internet of Things' to include everyday objects that are traditionally not networked. Novel applications, not available with today's technologies, include lost item recovery, object tracking, disaster recovery, and emergency alerts.
The project takes an interdisciplinary approach to address the severe energy constraints imposed by using harvested energy alone. In particular, the team combines expertise in networking, communications, low-power electronics, and organic energy-harvesting devices to make the efficiency improvements of several orders of magnitude that are required for the realization of EnHANTs. New flexible organic energy harvesting and storage devices will be combined with energy management electronics; ultra low power pulse-based wideband wireless communications will be combined with novel pulse communication techniques for ultra-low power wireless connectivity; and, novel networking paradigms will start from and energy-driven approach to provide ad-hoc networking and interfaces with traditional networks and computing devices. A test platform of networked tags will be deployed and tested demonstrating the energy harvesting, communication, and networking components developed using custom hardware.
For more details see http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0964497