It is said that by 2020 there will be nearly 50 billion Internet of Things devices connected to the Internet. But has anyone thought about how to power all of them? And, even better, how to do so in an environmentally-friendly way?
We are used to seeing, especially in some regions, an enormous number of bridges, streets and building. Every year they are growing in number and in age. Does anyone ever considered the consequence of this? Structural aging and external factor (e.g. earthquakes) can bring bridges and building to catastrophic damage causing dramatic consequences and enormous loss of money and, as news is used to reporting, (unfortunately) many dead. If promptly detected, all of these can be safely avoided.
The solution we are proposing is an innovative wireless sensor node, internet connected, which, while mounted on any structure (such as bridges, houses and building) can easily monitor the structural health of the construction (made of concrete, wood or metal).
While currently commercially available solutions are complex to install, expensive, and require long and costly wiring, the solution we are proposing is capable of significantly reducing system and installation costs (>100 times cheaper!) while being at the same time environmentally friendly.
The installation is made easy because the system is composed by a number of sensors all wirelessly connected. Moreover one of the key advantage of the solution is that the solution can work without requiring any power cabling nor any battery substitution.
The solution can power itself by harvesting energy from the environment.
Extensive research and development has been done in order to develop an extremely low power, energy efficient wireless sensor node which can run by a single small solar panel, while still allowing long range communication (~20 km). The outcome is a unique capability to work with zero-power even in extremely low light conditions, such as in shadows, cloudy days and poor indoor lighting.
All of this has been possible thanks to smart design and using state-of-the-arts COTS components.
This innovative technology and smart design are combined with proprietary analysis algorithms. Our algorithms can perform automatic evaluation of the structural health. By analyzing frequency modal behavior, and finite model variations, Agostino can discover in the structures cracks, stiffness, damages and possible weaknesses versus natural calamities.
We currently have working prototypes (as in the attached picture) and we are looking for a first round of investment to start a first extensive real-case experimentation and bring the solution to market faster.