Is Energy Wearable? Exploring Wearable Energy Harvesting for Smart Sensing

Content of the lecture:

Wearable technology is on the cusp of revolutionizing personal objects by imbuing them with computational, sensing, and communication capabilities to enhance our lives. However, the major bottleneck in these systems is power consumption. Energy harvesting emerges as a promising solution to this challenge. The critical question for wearables is how to supply sufficient energy to sensors and electronics over an extended period without increasing the device’s size.

This presentation delves into the comprehensive aspects of energy harvesting for wearable devices, including production technologies and architectures, energy conversion and management, system design, and integration. It highlights special emphasis on solar, thermoelectric, and kinetic energy harvesting systems. Additionally, it introduces the trend towards adopting emerging flexible technologies that facilitate wearable applications on the body.

The talk aims to provide a deep understanding of the fundamental principles, potential, and current applications of energy harvesting systems. It will showcase two practical examples and prototypes of self-sustaining intelligent wearable devices equipped with sensors.

Moreover, I will present a wearable smart patch featuring localization capabilities and event-based sensing to enhance energy efficiency. Moreover I would further expand the talk with a step towards ‘energy-positive’ wearables, with kinetic sensors that generate more energy than they consume, paving the way for truly autonomous wearable technology.

Teacher: Dr. Michele Magno

Michele Magno (Senior member, IEEE). He is a Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich, Switzerland and Head of the Project-Based Learning Center at ETH Zurich. received his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in electronic engineering from the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2004 and 2010 respectively, After 2 years of postdoc at Tyndall Institute Ireland, and University College Cork in Ireland, he joined ETH Zurich in 2013. The most important themes of his research are on wireless sensor networks, wearable devices, machine Learning at the edge, energy harvesting, low power management techniques and extension of lifetime of batteries-operating devices. He has collaborated with several universities and research centers, such as Mid University Sweden, where is currently visiting full professor at the department of electrical engineering and the research center Sensible Things that Communicate. He has published more than 300 papers in international journals and conferences, in which he got bast paper or best poster awards several times.