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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tracking Plastics Use without Batteries

We looked at the problem of how pharmaceuticals were being used.   This would have solved one of the problems we examined.

3D-printed plastic objects can track their own use without any electronics  in TechnologyReview.

Objects such as pill bottles or prosthetics can now send information on how they are being used without the need for batteries.

How does it work? The researchers embed antennas in the objects in such a way that that are activated when the object is moved in a specific way—such as when a pill bottle opens or closes. The changes in how the two antennae backscattered signals that were transmitted to it created a tell-tale pattern that carried information about how and when it was being used.

Potential applications? The team at the University of Washington believes its devices could be perfect for assistive technology like prosthetics, “smart” pill bottles that remind patients to take their daily medications, and insulin pens. It would let you monitor exactly how people are using these devices, and it wouldn’t matter if they got wet, lost a Wi-Fi signal or ran out of battery.  ... " 

And more on this directly from the U of Washington. ...

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