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Robust internet-of-thing devices for digital agriculture, food, healthcare and smart infrastructure


Ali Shakouri

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Integrated circuits (ICs) have revolutionized computing and communication in the last couple of decades. There are many efforts to use similar principles to develop low-cost Internet of things (IoT) devices to help solve societal grand challenges in water, food and healthcare. Here, we present development of a low-cost printed sensor platform as well as its hybrid integration with ICs for electronics, communication and networking for field deployment. Most existing commercial chemical and gas sensors are expensive, work in well-controlled environment and require frequent calibrations. It is very challenging to achieve high sensitivity and selectivity and stable continuous operation in a harsh environment. Roll-to-roll manufacturing and printing can be used to make low-cost functional films and sensors. However, printed devices have inherently more variability than traditional vacuum processes for ICs. We show examples where in-line characterization and imaging during manufacturing enable reducing the device variability by up to 80%. We also present a novel design paradigm where sensor diversity and physics-guided machine learning and statistical techniques are used to make accurate measurements in noisy and harsh outside environment. We demonstrate continuous nitrate measurement with 3ppm sensitivity in an agricultural field with LoRa network over two weeks. Similar ideas for robust sensors for pharmaceutical manufacturing, marine environment, as well as point-of-care devices will be briefly mentioned. Roll-to-roll manufacturing of composite polymer films can also be used to make large-area physical sensors and actuators. We will describe flexible semi-transparent piezoelectric vibration monitor and loudspeakers. In some "drop and forget" applications, one can eliminate the readout electronics completely. We present novel battery-less chipless RFID sensors with drone read-out electronics for characterizing moisture and microbial activity in the soil. This can be fully biodegradable working for couple of weeks to months. Similar sensors can be used for food safety and freshness for supply-chain monitoring.



Join us, 77 other exhibitors, 68 speakers and over 600 participants in Berlin (17-18 OCT 2023) to RESHAPE the Future of Electronics, making it Additive, Sustainable, Hybrid, Wearable, and 3D. Explore the programme now https://www.techblick.com/electronicsreshaped


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