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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