Electronic Design

Wireless Sensors Chat Together

Wireless technology is appearing everywhere, including sensor networks. The MiniTalker technology from MachineTalker Inc. can be used to establish a multinode, wireless, ad hoc mesh network. Each MiniTalker device carries its own sensors for temperature and vibration and can share that information with other members of its "community" for collective processing and evaluation. Each MiniTalker is a modular arrangement of a microprocessor, miniature radio, and power supply. Together, they act as an intelligent proxy for any entity, device, or sensor. They are powered by the Simple Machine Manage-ment Protocol (SMMP) operating system, which permits the formation of communities where wireless participants can come and go. The devices come in several models, from simple TagTalkers to complex versions with high-performance processing power. So far, the MiniTalkers have been used to gather vibration data in sections of airframes during flight and landing. They have a distinct advantage over other sensor networks, as they can be affixed and relocated without wiring. For more information, see www.machinetalker.com.

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