Posts belonging to Category Inventions Edison Would Love



Thomas Edison Likes the Internet of Things

Did you know there is an Intel microprocessor (chip module) named after Thomas Edison, known simply as the “Edison”. This powerful processor can be used for rapid prototyping by entrepreneurs, for wearable applications, and also for supporting the exciting and burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT); where addressable objects (equipment, appliances, and subsystems) may communicate via a programmed or self-assembling network.

Check out this YouTube video for the essential details of what this amazing piece of technology offers:

Suites of micro sensors and instrumentation linked together with powerful expert systems, neural networks and analysis packages would work in conjunction with the data and information gathered via IoT sources, and be capable of predicting potential problems and suggesting avenues to avoid trouble. Here is a very quick and by no means exhaustive listing of the industries where the IoT would be very useful:

  • Instrumentation of bridges and critical infrastructure to determine safety and stresses on aging equipment
  • Monitoring of air and water to detect intrusion of toxic, radiological and pollutant into the environment
  • Detection of weather movements and micro weather systems that could cause not only dangerous conditions but early warning for large area disturbances
  • Monitoring of geographically disperse electric utility systems to prepare for storms and to also minimize potential terrorist threats to these systems
  • Linking together of large wind systems to determine the dynamics of a wind farm and its response to changing electric loads
  • Monitoring seismic activity from a wide geographical area-making predictions of possible impacts and earth movement far away.

Utility companies have fully embraced the concept of the “smart utility”-where engineers can automatically monitor the status of critical equipment. The key emphasis being to maintain high service reliability to customers, anticipating and avoiding power interruptions; and minimizing and restoring outages as quickly as possible.

Utility Workers Busy Maintaining High Service Reliability for Customers

Utility Workers Busy Maintaining High Service Reliability for Customers

Edison would certainly be proud of this IoT movement, as a major tenet of his business philosophy was to continuously improve his products. To the legions of engineers and technicians today employed in the design, operation and maintenance of the nation’s critical infrastructures, he would extend his heartfelt gratitude. And thanks Intel for the Edison microprocessor and your related family of IoT products that truly link our critical infrastructures and world together.

Thomas Edison said, “If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves …”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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Thomas Edison Likes the Glass Battery

Like Thomas Edison, John Goodenough is a life-long learner, and also like Edison, Goodenough is seeking to improve what he has already made.

You see, John Goodenough is the fellow who long ago co-invented lithium-ion storage batteries, those little fellows that now power electric vehicles and many of our hand-held and other devices. Now at age 94, John has another idea to make his batteries even better; and people in the know are listening. He wants to create an electrolyte matrix of glass, doped with alkali metals, like lithium and sodium.

John Goodenough

John Goodenough

Edison cradling his nickel-iron storage battery—alleged to have involved over 10,000 experiments to perfect.

Edison cradling his nickel-iron storage battery—alleged to have involved over 10,000 experiments to perfect.

The lithium- or sodium-doped glass electrolyte offers a new medium for novel battery chemistry and physics. The lithium- or sodium-glass battery has three times the energy storage capacity of a comparable lithium-ion battery. But its electrolyte is neither flammable nor volatile, and it doesn’t appear prone to internally shorting out [spiky “dendrites”]; that have plagued lithium-ions as they charge and discharge repeatedly. This could prevent the battery fires we have seen recently with consumer appliances that run on lithium-ion batteries.

The solid glass electrolyte would act more like a super capacitor. And if sodium can be used in place of lithium, that means a more abundant and less expensive source of raw material. Hey … you Tesla lithium-ion battery folks … you listening to this?

Edison’s work with his legendary nickel-iron storage batteries at the turn of the last century began the story of alkali storage battery technology. These batteries became the gold standard for electric storage in a wide variety of industries, including electric vehicles. Manufacturers still make nickel-iron storage batteries today.

Thomas Edison said, “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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Intel-® Edison Awards for 2017

On March 24th, 2017, Intel and the Edison Innovation Foundation officially announced the winners of the 2017 “Tommy” award, named in honor of the great inventor, Thomas Edison. The winners are selected because they have used the Intel® Edison multi-function module in ways that epitomize the spirit and creativity of Edison. Here are the honorees.

Beacon Of Hope

Beacon Of Hope

America and Penelope Lopez are known as the “The CyberCode Twins”. As Latina twin sisters born and raised in East Los Angeles, Now, they are on a mission to make communities safer thru wearable tech and mobile apps. Using Intel Edison, they built a device called Beacon of Hope designed to help in the fight against human trafficking. [For more info: Beacon of Hope]

Openaps/900 Mhz Board

Openaps/900 Mhz Board

Dana Lewis, Scott Leibrand and Morgan Redfield for their work on the OpenAPS / 900 Mhz board. Keeping diabetic children alive at night. [For more info: WSJ Article – Tech Savvy Family Uses Home Built Diabetes]

Smart Underwater Artificially Intelligent Camera Technology

Smart Underwater Artificially Intelligent Camera Technology

Dr. Ryan Kastner and Antonella Wilby, researchers from the University of California, San Diego who built an artificially intelligent camera technology, powered by an Intel Edison module, that could lead to autonomous monitoring systems for tracking endangered species. [For more info: Smart Underwater Imaging Aims to Save Endangered Marine Species]

Congratulations to all!

The Intel® Edison multi-function module is a tiny, SD-card-sized powerhouse designed for building Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable computing products. The Edison module contains a high-speed, dual-core processing unit, integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, low energy, storage and memory, and a broad spectrum of input/output (I/O) options for interfacing with user systems. Because of its small footprint and low power consumption, the Edison module is an ideal choice for projects that need a lot of processing power without being connected to a power supply. All this can lower the barriers to entry for a range of inventors, entrepreneurs, and consumer product designers.

Thomas Edison said, “If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves …”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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