Tesla’s Dream and an Array of Inspiring Possibilities: From Internet of Things to Smart Cars

报告人:Thomas Thundat

Professor and Canada Excellence Research Chair

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2V4, Canada





Over the last twenty years we have developed a wide range of integrated nanomechanical sensors for the selective and sensitive detection of physical, chemical, and biological analytes. These MEMS-based sensors can be easily adopted for a plethora of applications in automotive industry. Today, an average vehicle in North America uses around 70 sensors and the market for miniature automotive sensors is expected to exceed 30 billion dollars by 2022. Increasing the number of sensors to simultaneously detect multiple vehicle parameters and road/weather conditions could result in enhanced engine performance, reduced environmental footprint, better passenger comfort, and increased safety. However, locally powering these sensors and devices in a low maintenance, low cost, and energy efficient fashion for the integration into the Internet of Things and smart cities poses a formidable challenge.  Over a century ago, Nikola Tesla proposed a different mode of electricity transmission using only a single wire without a return conductor. We have demonstrated a similar concept for delivering electrical power to all kinds of devices using single wire electrical standing waves with efficiency over 98%. The system can operate with a single connection to the power supply where the return path is completed through the stray capacitance. This allows objects to act as part of the “wire” allowing transmission over the surface and through dynamic joints in a safe and energy efficient fashion. Our new quasi‑wireless capacitive (q-WiC) transfer concept is perfectly suited for applications in vehicles, robotics, factories, smart homes, wearables, and power suits. I will discuss these possibilities and touch on how such q-WiC methods could be incorporated into micro and nano manufacturing. Together these advances will enable smart city concepts through the development of sensors, devices, and smart roads that seamlessly integrate with the multi-scale infrastructure of our world.


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