New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Session Topics: . Best practices in graduate engineering and technology education; Potpourri; other related Graduate Studies topics;
Wearable technology has rapidly become ubiquitous in modern society thanks to the ever-decreasing size and cost of embedded systems. The consumer market is flooded with smart watches and fitness bands, the medical industry is increasingly transitioning toward wearable and portable diagnostic equipment, and military use has skyrocketed as today’s soldiers are ever more “connected”. This increase in usage and complexity has led to power requirements which often outpace the capability of current battery technology. As a result, new approaches to supplying power for these technologies must be examined to keep up with increasing energy demands. One promising option is the field of harvested energy – energy that is able to be collected externally from solar, thermal, wind, kinetic, and other sources, and leveraged for use in a particular application.
In this paper, we report on the design of a wearable sensor platform powered by harvested energy that was conducted as part of a graduate project. Graduate projects are an excellent platform for students to learn about new technologies and develop skills that will help them with their careers. In this project, an ultra-low power sensor platform powered by harvested body heat and ambient light was developed. Solar cell and thermoelectric generator output is managed by a boost converter IC which provides stable power to the system and maintains charge on a storage capacitor. Skin temperature, accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope, and barometer data are collected and periodically transmitted to a base station via the IEEE 802.15.4 wireless protocol. Data collection, processing, and transmission is handled by the MSP-430 microcontroller running the TI-RTOS real-time operating system. Special care is taken in component selection and programming technique to minimize the power consumption of the system. Lessons learned during development, suggestions for future improvement, and potential end products leveraging the technology are discussed.
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015