A ‘Battery-Free Computer’ Powered by Radio Waves #RFID
Engineered with the 16-bit MSP430 microcontroller, the ‘WISP’ (Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform) is a battery-less circuit that is powered by converting harvested radio waves into electricity. A project of the Sensor Systems Laboratory at the University of Washington, you can find documentation and publications about WISP here at the UW website.
But what if you could leave the battery out of the equation entirely? That’s just what the University of Washington’s Sensor Lab has done. Researchers there created the WISP, or Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform: a combination sensor and computing chip that doesn’t need a battery or a wired power source to operate. Instead, it sucks in radio waves emitted from a standard, off-the-shelf RFID reader—the same technology that retail shops use to deter shoplifters—and converts them into electricity.