Yale Electrical Engineering Seminar Series
Joshua R. Smith, University of Washington
Title: Perpetual Computing: Technologies for Banishing Batteries
Host: Prof. Tassiulas Leandros, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Yale University
The energy efficiency of computing has improved by a factor of about one trillion since the electronic computer was invented. This astounding energy efficiency scaling is creating the opportunity for battery-free sensing and computing systems that are powered by radio waves and other ambient energy sources. Such devices can be implanted inside the body, permanently built into structures, or deployed at scales where batteries and wires are infeasible. My group’s work aims to enable battery-free, perpetual computing. I will describe our work on RF energy harvesting, wireless power transfer, and ambient backscatter communication, as well as sensor systems built using these building blocks. I will also describe research challenges in areas from solid-state devices to networking that could help make perpetual computing systems a reality.
Joshua R. Smith is an Associate Professor in the departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he leads the Sensor Systems research group. He was named an Allen Distinguished Investigator by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and he is the thrust leader for Communications and Interface in the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.
In recent years his research has focused on wirelessly powering and communicating with sensor systems in applications such implanted biomedical electronics, ubiquitous computing, and robotics. Previously, he co-invented an electric field sensing system for suppressing unsafe airbag firing that is included in every Honda car. He received B.A. degrees in computer science and philosophy from Williams College, the M.A. degree in physics from Cambridge University, and the Ph.D. and S.M. degrees from the MIT Media Lab’s Physics and Media group.