Researchers Created 3D Printed Objects That Can Track How People Use Them

Researchers Created 3D Printed Objects That Can Track How People Use Them

Researchers has developed new 3D printed objects that may transmit data without using batteries or electronics. The researchers are from the University of Washington, department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. They realized a mission (the devices can take measurements of wind speed and liquid flow, and then transmit information through an antenna that reflects ambient WiFi signals). And now they are starting new technique to assistive technology.

“We’re interested in making accessible assistive technology with 3D printing, but we have no easy way to know how people are using it,” Jennifer Mankoff, a professor with the university’s School of Computer Science & Engineering and a researcher on the project, said in a statement. “Could we come up with a circuitless solution that could be printed on consumer-grade, off-the-shelf printers and allow the device itself to collect information?”

The team has claimed that if they want to convert this 3D printed objects into smart devices, they needed the ability to monitor complex actions and store data.

As for storing information, the team used the example of an insulin pen. “You can still take insulin even if you don’t have a WiFi connection,” said Shyam Gollakota, another scientist involved with the work. “So we needed a mechanism that stores how many times you used it. Once you’re back in the range, you can upload that stored data into the cloud.”

Scientists incorporated two antennas into their objects, which can signal movement in two directions [a method that can be applied to both smart pill bottles as well as prosthetics].

You may watch the video below!

According to “Researchers put a spring inside of a ratchet, and every time a button is pushed, that spring gets tighter. When the user is back in the range of WiFi, they can release the ratchet and the spring will unwind, triggering a switch to touch an embedded antenna. Each button press will then be translated into an antenna contact, allowing frequency of use data to be transmitted”.