Eco Wireless Sensor Node
Background: Many wearable wireless sensor systems have similar looking architectures. To reduce unnecessary redundant design effort, modular, expandable platforms have been proposed. They include features such as snap-on connectors to make the interface pins accessible. End users can then customize the platform by simply swapping in another board with a different sensing device or system performance. Unfortunately, expandable platforms today are still relatively bulky for many body-area network applications. Technology: University researchers have developed a very small, wireless, MEMS-based sensor that consists of minute Eco nodes that measure three-axial acceleration, and measure resistance value as voltage. Now in its third iteration, the sensor utilizes a chip antenna and rechargeable batteries. It also has an expansion interface that allows it to be connected to external sensors.
The sensor collects data from the on-board accelerometer, light sensor, temperature sensor, or other devices connected to its expansion interface, which transmits the data over a 2.4 GHz radio interface to a computer. It can also receive commands and other data from the host computer. The host computer requires a base station that converts serial interface to the compatible 2.4 GHz signal to work with the Eco nodes. Application: Potential applications of the sensors include motion sensing of humans (e.g. pre-term infants, hyperactive children, elderly), and animals. Other potential applications include placement in devices to detect soil movement, and placement into consumer products to collect buying patterns for market researchers.
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