Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nano sensors to track objects

New CSIRO nanotechnology will let you ask a computer to find lost objects

TEARING your hair out looking for that elusive missing stapler at work may soon be a thing of the past.

CSIRO researchers are developing tiny sensors to help keep track of objects from coffee cups to pens that have a habit of disappearing from office workers' desks.

The answer lies in the use of microscopic nano-technology embedded in each item.

The nano particles emit low-level radio waves that communicate over a wireless computer network linked to a central database, which keeps track of the object's location.

Can't find that AWOL stapler? Type "where is my stapler" into a drop-down tab on the computer and wait for the answer.

University students Blake Newman and David Kooymans spent their summer holidays working on the system, dubbed FLECK Nano, as part of the CSIRO vacation scholarship scheme.

CSIRO ICT Centre spokesman Philip Valencia said the nano system was a miniature version of the highly successful FLECK sensor nodes that independently record and report environmental conditions in the outdoors.

He said bringing the system inside meant factors such as temperature and power use could be monitored at a micro level, allowing small objects to be tracked unobtrusively.



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