Wireless Applications

MachineTalker and Theseus Develop Low-Power Wireless Sensors

August 24, 2006

The companies have completed the proof of concept phase by deploying a remote mesh network of biometric sensors.


SANTA BARBARA, CA, and MAITLAND, FL -- /MARKET WIRE/ -- MachineTalker Inc., a developer of smart wireless security networks, and Theseus Logic Inc., a developer of high-capability, low-power, mixed-signal ASICs, have successfully demonstrated the first phase of a NASA-sponsored sensor system that will merge the wireless intelligent sensor technology from MachineTalker with an extremely low-power wireless-enabled microcontroller designed by Theseus Logic.

Phase I of the NASA Small Business Innovation Research funded contract, successfully completed by MachineTalker and Theseus Logic, consisted of a MachineTalker wireless sensor network with remote fingerprint authentication; intrusion detection; and light, temperature, and vibration sensors all actively delivering information over satellite communication links using capabilities provided by Theseus Logic's miniaturized wireless sensor node. These successful trials were able to send information from the various sensor units and execute commands to make necessary adjustments to the status of the system. The demonstration included all the key features of ad hoc wireless sensor systems required for unattended operation in remote locations.

In Phase II of the contract, Theseus Logic will incorporate its low-power processor, a new IEEE 802.15.4 radio chip, and the MachineTalker networking technology to significantly reduce power consumption relative to existing products. Low power consumption is critical for operational longevity in battery-powered remote sensors, data acquisition, and control systems.

The project will develop cost-effective and highly efficient remote monitoring and broadcast mesh networks for use by governments and other organizations needing to maintain status checks on equipment and personnel in harsh and difficult to reach environments. For example, the networks can extend the tactical utility of ground sensors to generate information dominance over the battlefield and eliminate the deployment of human assets for gathering intelligence, and can provide persistent surveillance in denied areas.

According to David Lamb, president of Theseus Logic, "The integrated circuit we are developing with MachineTalker for NASA will be an ultra-low-power product that incorporates the intelligence of MachineTalker mesh networking nodes with our unique energy-saving hardware and software, to provide for long-lived applications in remote, unattended security and monitoring systems.

"The large-scale deployment of such networks only becomes economically feasible when both the cost and the size of the nodes become very small. Also, for flexible deployment, most nodes must be untethered and have their own energy source provided by either a battery or by energy scavenging."

Roland F. Bryan, MachineTalker's CEO said, "Biometrics or other verification technology is very power consumptive, so our ability to more than double the life of our sensor networks is a huge technological accomplishment for MachineTalker and Theseus Logic, and makes the concept of remote intelligent security networks attractive for many applications."

By combining their proprietary enabling technologies, Theseus Logic and MachineTalker can provide the user with a complete sensor system, customized for their specific application. The two companies are currently developing rapidly deployable, intelligent, ad hoc wireless sensor systems with long battery life that are easy to use in applications such as enhanced shipping container security, system health monitoring, and perimeter surveillance.

About MachineTalker
MachineTalker Inc., founded in 2002, has developed a breakthrough technology—smart security networks that allow governments, businesses, and individuals to rapidly deploy wireless security and tracking systems to protect people, places, and things. The company's proprietary technology embodies innovative features in the networking of intelligent devices that form communities for shared processing and reporting of data in remote security and control applications. Contact info@machinetalker.com or go to the company's Web site.


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