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Undergraduate and postgraduate students at the HSE Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM) recently presented their innovations at the All-Russia Science Festival (NAUKA+). Among them were ‘intelligent electric outlets’, which eliminate worries about irons being left plugged in, and a device for measuring eye fatigue.
This system allows for comprehensive recording of energy consumption in the home and workplace. Operation of the entire system can be carried out on three levels. Basic functionality allows statistics to be gathered on the individual power consumption of devices connected to the power grid. At the second level, users can choose between schemes to optimize overall power consumption by distributing usage to times when rates are less expensive. At the third level, the system controls the entire network based on the selected scheme, connecting only authorized devices. The entire system is controlled via a wireless sensor network or the internet.
‘Intelligent electric outlets’
This system has several prototypes. First, there are the ‘intelligent electric outlets’ that allow users to control access to power wirelessly (WiFi, 2G, and so on). For example, a person may leave his or her home and cannot remember whether the iron is unplugged. Intelligent electric outlets can be controlled, as well as turned on or off remotely. All intelligent outlets are equipped with fuses to protect against fire. Smart outlets can come in different types – extensions and single outlets – and they can be mounted on the wall or act as switches. The adapter on the socket allows users to determine which devices are included in the network and how much electricity they consume; it also offers advice on energy savings. Accordingly, users have the opportunity to exercise control over their own rate plan and manage energy use in their homes. For example, if a user wants to turn on a washing machine during a time with higher electricity rates, the system will ask whether to continue.
Second, the ‘Smart meter’ allows for overall energy consumption to be monitored and devices connected to the power grid to be identified.
As part of the ‘Smart energy’ complex, modules were also developed to display information on mobile devices, tablets and Smart TV, as well as a WPAN2GSM gateway for interaction between local sensor networks and the global network (internet, GSM).
BodyCom is a wireless communication technology that uses the ability to transfer data on the human body. Both a software and hardware system, it is designed to protect premises from unauthorized access.
Small tracking indicators are placed in the pocket of a person who comes to the door and places his or her finger on the ‘smart lock’, which opens automatically (i.e., without a key). Unlike classical biometric systems that identify a person through fingerprints or retinal patterns, this system determines a person’s body resistance and transmits a digital signal from the tracking indicator through the body to the lock. The advantages of BodyCom technology are the low power consumption of its components, the system’s rapid response, a relatively stable and reliable connection, a restricted field (a few centimetres) to identify the touch of the person wearing the mobile unit, as well as its low cost and ease of use.
Glasses with a smartphone for virtual reality
A 3D-printer is used to print glasses (the 3D-glasses are developed), insert the lens and the smartphone (a smartphone holder is provided with the glasses), and then a special free application is downloaded to connect to the phone joystick and plunge into virtual reality. This system is actually an analogue of Google Glass, only much less expensive.
Circuit cards and diodes of the ‘Smart light’ system
A lighting controller is a single-chip microcomputer that allows a person to control any light source using light emitting diodes (LED lamps, strips, etc.). The idea is that several of these devices can be collected to create an entire intelligent system. For example, if a person enters a house, the sensors will detect movement and the ‘smart light’ system will turn on lighting in the entryway. The system comprises approximately 65,535 light modes (shades). A user can select a programme, for example, based on the time of day, mood and so on.
Unlike most robotics machines that are controlled remotely, the robot tank ‘lives by its own brains’. In other words, it can autonomously (automatically) find a way out of a maze, navigate around obstacles, and pull back (in case an object is falling in front of it). If one imbeds a search algorithm in this robot, to discover minerals for example, it will search for them.
Process to measure eye fatigue
The device allows for assessment of human eye fatigue from any screen (e.g., when working at a computer, watching television, etc.). Eye testing is automatic (stimulating agents are used precisely of those parts of the spectrum that are perceived by the cones of the visual apparatus). Upon completion of the test the device displays numbers: below 35 is very bad (the eye perceives almost no information); 40 to 55 is a good indicator.
Maria Pavlova, Master’s student in the Electronics Engineering programme and developer of the portable cardiograph
The device allows users to take a cardiogram for several minutes at home. It then analyzes the data and in the event there are any deviations, it makes recommendations. For ease of use, the device has only three buttons (‘On/Off’, ‘Memory’ and ‘Make Diagnosis’). The resulting cardiogram can easily be printed or saved on a flash drive and sent by email to a doctor.
* Hereinafter — developments of Alexey Rolich, lead engineer at the 3D Visualization and Computer Graphics Laboratory, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Department of Computer Engineering at MIEM HSE
** Hereinafter — developments of Konstantin Bogachyov, Senior Lecturer at the HSE Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics (MIEM), and students of Department of Electronic Engineering at MIEM HSE