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Slideshow: Making Sense of Connected Sensors
11/26/2012

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'Smart agriculture' was a hot topic at the Embedded Technology show. Sensors installed in rice fields can detect water temperature and sense pH scale, for example. Power remains an issue, however. Fujitsu Semiconductor said it has developed an ultra-low-power step-down DC/DC converter for piezoelectric power sources and small solar cells. Farmers can then use solar panels, water mills, or vibration equipment built near rice fields to generate power.
"Smart agriculture" was a hot topic at the Embedded Technology show. Sensors installed in rice fields can detect water temperature and sense pH scale, for example. Power remains an issue, however. Fujitsu Semiconductor said it has developed an ultra-low-power step-down DC/DC converter for piezoelectric power sources and small solar cells. Farmers can then use solar panels, water mills, or vibration equipment built near rice fields to generate power.

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Rob Spiegel
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Fascinating slide show
Rob Spiegel   11/26/2012 10:49:57 AM
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Nice slide show, Junko. It offers a peek into the future. On the plant level, companies are using sensor technology for safety and optimization. Quite amazing what's going on with sensors.

mrdon
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Re: Fascinating slide show
mrdon   11/26/2012 11:25:35 AM
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Rob, I agree. These slides were quite interesting regarding the seamless applications sensors are being used in. I was quite intrigued with Renesas Electronics analog front end system to tune sensors aided by a microcontroller. I was trying to determine how the robotic mobile platform demonstrated this unique sensor tuning feature.

NadineJ
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Re: Fascinating slide show
NadineJ   11/26/2012 11:55:32 AM
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I agree it is a nice slide show. 

Although the technology isn't new, it's great to see modern abd creative uses in on place.  I love the LED bicycle.  With a strong bike-culture and longer nights coming, I wish those were on the roads here in San Francisco.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Fascinating slide show
Rob Spiegel   11/26/2012 2:37:19 PM
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I agree Nadine. Networked sensors have been deployed in plants for years. They're getting more and more intelligent. Younger plant engineers are turning to the sensors to read the health of the plant. The older boomer engineers still depend on listening to the hiss and pops of the plant.

Charles Murray
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Re: Fascinating slide show
Charles Murray   11/26/2012 6:21:38 PM
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I agree, Rob. Great slide show. I really want to see the LED bike in action. Does it actually display video on the rotating wheels?

naperlou
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Sensor Fusion
naperlou   11/26/2012 10:56:30 AM
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Junko, in the aersospace world this is called multi-sensor fusion, and has been dealt with for decades. 

The slide show has some interesting applications.  It is interesting that Japan is planning its own GPS type system.  A country with that much debt might want to limit such projects. 

NadineJ
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Platinum
Re: Sensor Fusion
NadineJ   11/26/2012 11:50:31 AM
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I disagree with that perspective.  If Toyota didn't take a chance with hybrid development while Japan was in crisis in the 90's, we wouldn't have a viable alternative vehicle market today.

Historically, Japan has spent money on projects to improve quality of life.  As an island nation, they're impacted by non-sustainable practices very quickly.  Solar power usage there has expanded greatly over the last two decades.  It's a loss leader but will positively impact future generations.

I think all countries with that muc debt should look at the future in the same way.

Greg M. Jung
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Interactive Digital Signage
Greg M. Jung   11/26/2012 12:31:27 PM
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I really appreciated the interactive digital signage.  I can see where signage technology will become more and more interactive and use sensors to further identify the viewer in order to provide more target marketing ads to each individual.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Scoliosis sensor
Charles Murray   11/26/2012 6:27:52 PM
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Am I understanding the scoliosis sensor correctly -- does it replace an x-ray machine or an MRI with an at-home solution?

Jack Rupert, PE
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Re: Scoliosis sensor
Jack Rupert, PE   11/27/2012 4:51:32 PM
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Charles, I'm thinking that it is more of a screening tool.  Back in my grade school years they used to do the screening in school by using an overhead project to put a grid on the persons back and then send them to the doctor if they thought anything was out of the ordinary.  I was thinking that this was a more high-tech version of that.

Charles Murray
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Re: Scoliosis sensor
Charles Murray   11/27/2012 6:31:53 PM
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That makes sense, Jack. What a great way to eliminate costly MRIs or x-rays for people who might not really need them.

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