Self Sustaining Sensors…smart enough to connect anywhere and charge without human intervention…

I was reading about the concept of a cyber array or mesh infrastructure yesterday. Yes, I do occasionally read for fun, but I often think things like that are fun. It has to do not only with the consumption but the expansion of data created by IoT devices.

for me the most telling short term issue with the CPS definition (Cyber Physical Systems) is the reliance on batteries. The transition to self sustaining systems is a critical component of the automation. The other side of CPS solutions is the robotic intervention. Where a set of robots are programmed to handle the variables within a system. MIT has a garden run by robots that grows tomatoes. There is a variable (where the tomato is on the plant) as well as the various other variables that have to be dealt with. The robotic system has to be able to learn new behaviors.

Effectively this is the future value of 3d mapping and VR. Sending in a robot capable of withstanding bumps and collisions to map a space allows the other robotic systems to enter and know how to navigate. It allows organizations to have virtual meeting rooms where people can connect to the non-physical room. The concept of work from home becomes even more effective. The virtual meeting room makes the remote worker as effective (and potentially more without having to commute) than the on premise worker. VR expands the reality of what an office is.

3d mapping would also be an expensive way to find lost items but it would work. A map of a space, would when remapped show any variables. IE the item you can’t find. Thus forever ending the stupid old joke (it was in the last place I looked) and replacing that with the new it is was in the only place I looked.

The last part of the CPS infrastructure is security. It still scare me that it isn’t hard to overwhelm a fully connected home Including security system) to break into the home without the alarm being able to sound. A flooded network will respond, it just takes a long time.

I lived through the IT growing pains of networks. Moving from 4 megabyte to 16 megabyte Token Rings. And then to the newer faster 10 megabyte Ethernet. I know what a saturated network looks like. It isn’t pretty in the end. The standards and reference architecture for CPS will have to consider both data sources and data intent.

Add to that functional utilization and data movement and you have a very interesting architecture. What will the data be used for. Where will he data be used. How will the data be used. Where the timeliness of information (security system) becomes critical. It may behoove security companies to include a separate and isolated Wi-Fi router for home owners. Security devices would sit on that network. Of course it remains easy to saturate that single network.

I think today I’ve talked myself into a corner. I keep hearing the phrase uttered by Arnold Korshak of Welcome Back Kotter. “What will be was. What was will be again.” As we move towards the path of automation it may be time to fix some of the dumb problems we have. No more batteries. Or if we have batteries its time for self-charging systems that leverage solar and other energy sources. It is also time for cable companies and telephone companies to stop capping data. The storm that is coming for business’s (less) and homes (a whole lot more) is the availability of bandwidth. When you move online, you have to be able to get online!


Wandering the halls of CPS…