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Smart Life: The Intelligence of Electronics Improving Our lives, Part 3

Smart electronics systems play a role in our everyday life and is progressively growing in importance. In Smart Life: The Intelligence of Electronics Improving Our Lives, Part 1 and Smart Life: The Intelligence of Electronics Improving Our Lives, Part 2 of this blog series I described the first two sections of the list below:

  • SMART SENSING
  • SMART LIGHTING
  • SMART MOTOR CONTROL
  • SMART BRAIN
  • SMART POWER

Let’s see in this part the new electronic products that have been presented at the i-Sedex 2014 edition in Seoul, Korea belonging to the interesting sector of the smart motor control application segment.

SMART MOTOR CONTROL

Smart motor control is an application that holds a lot of potential especially in the field of 3D Printing, an activity of the RepRap open source project, whose importance is quickly growing, because it might realize the 3D Printing in a very effective way (see Figure 1).

Following this trend, the STMicroelectronics Company introduced new MEMS accelerometers , to realize this innovative printing technique:

“Piezoelectric materials have resonant frequencies in the megahertz range and when integrated within MEMS have high the potential to produce high accuracy RF resonant structures, large amplitude actuators as well as accurate low-power sensors of various types. The typical piezoelectric material used to date is the ferroelectric lead zirconate titanate PZT. …The technology potential applications for actuators such as inkjet printheads in 2D and 3D printing and can be used for piezoelectric based sensors and in fields such as energy harvesting. ” (source EE Times Europe)

Figure 1

The 3D Printer, its electronic part is based on the open source Arduino platform and it is able to produce the parts of the first prototype of the printer series. (source: RepRap project website)

The 3D Printer, its electronic part is based on the open source Arduino platform and it is able to produce the parts of the first prototype of the printer series. (source: RepRap project website)

The smart motor control is the basic idea of a very interesting new smart navigation system presented at the Saie Smart City Exhibition 2014: the Arianna system. The camera of the user reveals the presence of special labels inserted into the path inside a particular environment to guarantee a navigation system easy to use and, moreover, which can be integrated in a smart object like a smartphone. The user is advised of the presence of a reference point of the path by means of a vibration of its smartphone (see Figure 2). This drive can be realized by using the integrated ICs inserted in common smartphones that are present in the electronics market; hence it represents a really easy to implement, low cost and effective navigation system.

Figure 2

'The system combines sensors and interfaces present on commercial smartphones to guide the visually impaired in an effective way, even in unknown environments.
 Some special labels, such as QR codes, could also be deployed along the path for coding additional information detectable by the camera. A network infrastructure (3G, WiFi, etc.) can provide localization information, correlation between paths and points of interest, routing towards destination and to allow flexibility in the building topology and its deployed paths.' (source: Insight)

“The system combines sensors and interfaces present on commercial smartphones to guide the visually impaired in an effective way, even in unknown environments. Some special labels, such as QR codes, could also be deployed along the path for coding additional information detectable by the camera. A network infrastructure (3G, WiFi, etc.) can provide localization information, correlation between paths and points of interest, routing towards destination and to allow flexibility in the building topology and its deployed paths.” (source: Insight)

As an important example, the Arianna system might be used to indicate the path inside the house of an impaired person (see Figure 3).

Figure 3

An interesting application of the Arianna navigation system (source: Insight/Arianna)

An interesting application of the Arianna navigation system (source: Insight/Arianna)

Have you experienced the smart motor control approach? Do you think that the integration of smart electronics ICs into a smart system will lead to solutions that effectively will make our lives easier, like the Arianna system? What other fields of application do you think are compatible with smart motor control strategy, apart from the 3D Printing?

4 comments on “Smart Life: The Intelligence of Electronics Improving Our lives, Part 3

  1. etnapowers
    February 14, 2015

    The piezoelectric effect is the basic principle of the mode of MEMS systems, that offer the opportunity to integrate and to elaborate the data processed by a computing integrated unit. The high precision printing is one of the multiple potentialities of this type of IC

  2. etnapowers
    February 14, 2015

    The Arianna system is very interesting for all companies producing MEMS integrated , and smartphones and for software houses that release apps for the operating systems of the smartphone. I think it is a big commercial opportunity and at the same time in is a opportunity to improve the life of people, especially blind people.

  3. etnapowers
    February 16, 2015

    A smart navigation system integrated with a smartphone has a lot of potential, in an airport it may help to find quickly a departure gate or the baggage claim point or it might indicate a particular service point like the customs office etc…there a lot of potential here.

  4. etnapowers
    February 18, 2015

    The 3D printing technique is being applied also for medical purposes to give a correct indication of the status of a particular part of the human body of a patient. There's room for great improvement in this field.

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