Intel & MIT promise wireless device recharging

Saturday, August 23, 2008

An intriguing technology morsel has been offered up by chipmaker Intel Corporation today after it revealed an innovative recharging method that could potentially provide operational power for portable electronic devices without requiring a wired connection.
Speaking at this week’s Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel CTO Justin Rattner unveiled “Wireless Resonant Energy Link (WREL)” technology, which relies on strongly coupled resonators to wirelessly deliver energy and is built on a similar principle to that of a trained singer who can shatter glass with their voice.

“At the receiving resonator’s natural frequency, energy is absorbed efficiently, just as a glass absorbs acoustic energy at its natural frequency,” explains Intel. “With this technology enabled in a laptop, for example, batteries could be recharged when the laptop gets within several feet of the transmit resonator.”

Evolving from principles proposed by MIT physicists, WREL promises safe and efficient power and is considerably closer to reality than you might think.

For example, during his keynote speech, Rattner demonstrated the possibilities of WREL by wirelessly powering a 60-watt light bulb -- which is noteworthy insofar is it equates to more operational juice than would be required to power a typical laptop computer.

Intel sees the technology eventually being utilised through airports and other public hotspot venues, where device owners would actually receive a local charge boost to their portable equipment rather than suffer a decrease in operational longevity.

Despite WREL’s obvious application potential, Intel has said the technology is still in development but its researchers are looking for a way to “cut the last cord in mobile devices” and hope to someday enable Intel customers to enjoy the advantages associated with wireless power.

Other futuristic technology revealed by Rattner included programmable matter called “catoms,” which consist of millions of micro-robots that could be used to build shape-shifting materials.

While described by Rattner as part of Intel’s "difficult exploratory research agenda," if utilised through a computer’s case, display and keyboard, catoms could make it possible for devices to physically change their shape depending on how they are actually used.

Intel explains that a mobile computer, for example, could be tiny when in a pocket, change to the shape of an earpiece when used as a mobile phone, and be large and flat with a keyboard for browsing the Internet or watching a movie.

And, pushing the evolution of modern robotics, Rattner also outlined Intel’s drive to bring industrial robot technology into the home by imbuing robots with cognisant attributes that will render them aware of their surroundings in order to navigate through and manipulate objects in cluttered and dynamic human environments.

“The industry has taken much greater strides than anyone ever imagined 40 years ago,” said Rattner. “There is speculation that we may be approaching an inflection point where the rate of technology advancements is accelerating at an exponential rate, and machines could even overtake humans in their ability to reason, in the not so distant future.”

To show this principle in action, Rattner demonstrated two working personal robot prototypes developed by Intel’s research lab facilities.

One demo showcased electric field pre-touch technology built into a robotic hand, a sensing modality applied by fish (but not humans), which allows them to “feel” objects before physically touching them.

The other demo revealed a complete autonomous mobile manipulation robot capable of recognising faces and also interpreting and executing basic commands such as “please clean this mess” by using cutting-edge motion planning, manipulation, perception and artificial intelligence.

Source : The Tech Herald



This is great ...
But really ..will my frequency match
so that it can be recharged!


K9 said...
August 24, 2008 at 8:06 PM  

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