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Archive for April, 2008

Successfully Tests RFID for High-Speed Sports Timing

Alien Technology, an industry leader in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) UHF products and services, and Hardcard Systems, a leading motorsports management and consulting firm, today announced the completion of the first rounds of field testing using RFID for motorsports timing and scoring.

In tests conducted at Buttonwillow Raceway in California in December 2007, Hardcard and Alien® used standard Gen 2 UHF RFID tags, antennas, readers and software to accurately track and time eight motorcycles at speeds exceeding 140mph. Competition-prepared motorcycles were successfully time-stamp recorded passing several read points around the racetrack, simulating realistic race situations where multiple racers pass reader checkpoints. Alien ALR-9900 readers and standard antennas were stationed at the checkpoints, providing accurate reads up to 10 meters away (over 30 feet) at race-like speeds. The professional racers’ machines were equipped with a total of two of Alien’s “M-Tags” each.

Hardcard Systems, utilizing RFID in motorsports applications, will reduce the cost and complexity of timing and scoring solutions for racing series, tracks and competitors. Race vehicles can be time-stamped using trackside antennas and readers with tags embedded within low-cost and disposable labels, reducing system complexity and eliminating the need for costly transponders.

More info here.

Post-Doc researcher vacancy at University College Dublin

A fixed-term 3-year position for a post-doctoral researcher in Network Level Power Management for Wireless Sensor Networks is now available in the School of Computer Science and Informatics, University College Dublin, Ireland. The studentships are part of a project to research and develop a novel network level power management system for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). A position for a post-doctoral researcher is now available in the School of Computer Science and Informatics, University College Dublin, Ireland. The studentships are part of a project to research and develop a novel network level power management system for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs).
For more information contact Dr. Chris Bleakley
email: chris.bleakley@ucd.ie

Sentilla at JavaOne

Sentilla will be exhibiting at the JavaOne Conference in San Francisco May 6-9.  If you are interested in Java for sensornets, stop by. Sentilla is exhibiting in the start-up kiosk area across from the Java Playground as well as in the Java Playground. 

RFID Everywhere

Some University of Washington students, faculty and staff are being tracked as they move about the computer-science building, with details of where they’ve been, and with whom, stored in a database.

The project is meant to explore both positive and negative aspects of a world saturated with technology that can monitor people and objects remotely.

The objects all have a tiny tag with a unique number that can be read from a distance. Many experts predict that the radio tags, as an enhanced replacement for bar codes, will soon become ubiquitous.

Leaders of the UW’s RFID Ecosystem project wanted to understand the implications of that shift before it happens. They’re conducting one of the largest experiments using wireless tags in a social setting.

More info here.

Intelligent Transportation Systems

From Crossbow’s blog:

Researchers at Newcastle University have been at the forefront of looking into the technology challenges of using these small, low-cost and smart wireless sensors in transport and the application areas where they could be employed. It is clear to the ITS community that the emergence of low cost sensors will open up new paradigms in how we can pervasively collect data from sensors, convey information along fixed and mobile low cost wireless networks (partly or fully formed or ad-hoc) and provide a ‘connected environment’ where individuals, vehicles and infrastructure can co-exist and cooperate, thus delivering more knowledge about the transport environment, the state of the network and who indeed is traveling or wishes to travel. This may offer benefits in terms of real-time management, optimization of transport systems, intelligent design and the use of such systems for innovative road charging and possibly carbon trading schemes as well as through the Cooperative Vehicle and Highway Systems for safety and control applications.

Crab-like robot

A researcher at the University of Bath in the UK has built a prototype of a crab-like robot with Lego Technic bricks to ensure simplicity. This robotic crab can work on land or under water. Even if this robot has been developed with technology used for toys, it could be used by the oil and gas industry, marine research or any companies that require independent underwater vehicles. The robotic crab was designed like a real one, with four pairs of legs divided in two halves.

The robot can also move about on land and further development is planned for fully amphibious operation below water.

The technology has potential in the oil and gas industry, marine research or any companies that require independent underwater vehicles.

The design of the robot is closely based on the anatomy of crabs, animals that can walk both on land and underwater.

More info here.

Cascade Middle School Students to Determine Olson Creek's Viability For a Salmon Habitat

The Qwest Foundation today announced a grant of $10,000 to Cascade Middle School teacher Scott Weide. The funds will allow Weide to purchase new technology so that his students will be able to determine Olson Creek’s viability for salmon habitat.

“In my vision, students are outside, scientifically observing their local community, recording observations digitally, formulating ideas and then sharing them through digital media,” said Weide. “These experiences will generate a passion for investigation that lasts a lifetime and a thirst for understanding beyond the classroom door.”

With the technology, students will study different aspects of the creek including temperature, stream flow, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity and nitrates. Teams will develop a specific investigation, record data, share what they learned and then develop a real-world research proposal that answers the question: “Can Olson Creek support a salmon habitat?”

More info here.

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