Fully compliant aqua sensory system tagged on marine species for marine environment monitoring

Current marine research primarily depends on weighty sensory equipment and telemetric networks to understand the marine environment, including the diverse fauna it contains, as a function of animal behavior and size, as well as equipment longevity. This approach has unwelcome effects of bulk-size, invasiveness and rigidity of systems which cause discomfort and stress for the tagged individuals. The need for enhanced animal comfort, while maintaining validity of data and performance of equipment, requires innovation to transform physically rigid and conventional electronics into a form capable of matching animal morphology, activity and minimizing interactions with the surrounding environment. Here we show, a physically flexible and stretchable skin-like waterproof autonomous multifunctional system integrating Bluetooth, memory chip and high performance physical sensors. The sensory tag is mounted on a swimming crab (Portunus pelagicus) and is capable of continuous logging of depth, temperature and salinity within the harsh ocean environment. The fully packaged, ultra-light weight (< 2.4 g in water) and compliant “Marine Skin” system does not have any wired connection enabling safe and weightless cutting-edge approach to monitor and assess marine life and the ecosystem’s health to support conservation and management of marine ecosystems.

Pending US Patent (2017)

Fully compliant plant wearable for micro-climate monitoring

Micro-climate surrounding plants has major effect on its health and photosynthesis process, where certain plants struggle in sub-optimal environmental conditions and unbalanced combinations between air humidity and temperature. Therefore, it’s important to monitor characteristics of the localized environment surrounding plants and study the effect of those conditions on plant growth. We show a widely deployed, autonomous, and compliant standalone sensory system which can remotely and continuously monitor the micro-climate surrounding the plant and its impact on their growth. Flexible, lightweight and biocompatible temperature, humidity, and strain sensors are intimately deployed on the soft surface of the plant in order to continuously evaluate optimal growth settings. Using these systems, we studied the quantitative growth rate and elongation of “Barley” and “Lucky Bamboo” plants. Finally, we discuss design rules and demonstrate a nature-inspired origami assembled 3D printed “PlantCopter” as a launching platform for our plant sensors for microclimate monitoring in large fields.

Pending US Patent (2017)