New tech makes factories smarter and devices last longer, all without wires!

Credit: Associate Professor Dong-Wook Seo from Korea Maritime and Ocean University.

Imagine a factory where all the machines, sensors, and controllers talk to each other without wires and stay charged without needing to be plugged in.

A team of scientists from South Korea has made a big leap in making this a reality.

They’ve found a way to send both power and information through the air to devices, making the whole system work better and last longer.

What’s the Big Idea?

The big idea here is about two things working together:

Wireless Power: The first is sending power wirelessly to small devices like sensors that don’t need a lot of energy. This is done using radio signals.

Smart Data Sharing: The second is about sending data to many devices at the same time in a smart way, without confusing the messages.

When you combine these two, you get what’s called SWIPT-NOMA. This tech can send data and power at the same time through the air.

It’s great for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoTs), a fancy term that means making factories and other industries smarter by using wireless tech.

But there was one problem. The farther the device is from the main controller sending the signals, the worse the system worked.

The Solution

So, what did the South Korean scientists do? They added another layer of smartness to it. They introduced something called a Distributed Antenna System (DAS). Imagine DAS like mini signal boosters placed closer to the devices that need power and data. This made the whole system much more efficient.

Dr. Dong-Wook Seo, the scientist leading the team, explained that by using these mini-boosters, they were able to make the system work better over longer distances. They also created a smart algorithm, a set of rules, to manage the energy and data flow in the best way possible.

Does It Really Work?

Yes, it does! They ran many computer tests to make sure.

They found that their new system (let’s call it SWIPT-NOMA-DAS for short) was five times more energy-efficient than just SWIPT-NOMA. It was also 10% better than another system called SWIPT-OMA-DAS.

This is big news for everyone, not just factories. This tech can help make all kinds of devices like smartphones, laptops, and even electric cars more efficient. It could mean you have to charge them less often, saving both time and energy.

Dr. Seo says this system is really good at sharing resources and can wirelessly charge and send information in a very smart way. The work was so impactful that it got published in a well-known scientific journal.

So, the next time you think about a “smart factory” or a “smart home,” remember that it might just get a whole lot smarter and more efficient thanks to this new technology.

The study was published in IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics.

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Source: Korea Maritime and Ocean University