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EE Researchers First to Wirelessly Power
Devices with Existing Wi-Fi Hardware

A wireless world is getting even closer, thanks to a team of EE and CSE researchers who have harnessed energy from Wi-Fi signals to wirelessly power devices and recharge batteries. Unlike other similar systems that require new hardware, the new system, called power over Wi-Fi, was designed to work with traditional Wi-Fi routers. Led by EE & CSE Professor Josh Smith and CSE Professor and EE Adjunct Faculty Member Shyam Gollakota, the team includes EE Ph.D. students Vamsi Talla, Bryce Kellogg and Saman Naderiparizi, as well as CSE post-doc Benjamin Ransford.

In their research paper, Powering the Next Billion Devices with Wi-Fi, the team presents the first system that delivers power and works with existing Wi-Fi hardware. They also show that a Wi-Fi router can provide wireless power without affecting the network’s performance. The researchers prototyped a battery free temperature and camera sensor powered by Wi-Fi signals at distances of up to 20 feet and wirelessly recharged batteries at distances of up to 28 feet. To demonstrate that their prototype can successfully be powered wirelessly in a real-world setting, they tested their system in six homes. 

Congratulations to the research team!

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