EU Guardian Angel Project

Guardian Angels for a Smarter Planet has gotten €1.5 million ($2.1 million) for 2011-2012, and late 2012 it could be one of two (out of six) projects that could be selected as flagships, to be funded at about €1 billion each over a decade.

Providing Information and Communication Technologies to assist people in all sorts of complex situations is the long term goal of the Flagship Initiative, Guardian Angels. These Guardian Angels will be like personal assistants and are envisioned as intelligent (thinking), autonomous systems (or even systems-of-systems) featuring sensing, computation, and communication, and delivering features and characteristics that go well beyond human capabilities. It is intended that these will provide assistance from infancy right through to old age. A key feature of these Guardian Angels will be their zero power requirements as they will scavenge for energy. Foreseen are individual health support tools, local monitoring of ambient conditions for dangers, and emotional applications. Research will address scientific challenges such as energy-efficient computing and communication; low-power sensing, bio-inspired energy scavenging, and zero-power human-machine interfaces.

Prof. Adrian Ionescu

Guardian angel project site

Researchers envision miniature sensors that power themselves with any available source of energy, such as light or movement.

It will be a network of body sensors, monitoring a diversity of things: blood sugar levels, heart rates, activity levels—with accelerometers and gyroscopes. A watch or mobile phone could serve as a central interface. At a more advanced stage, such sensors could alert the wearer to gas, or to pollen or other allergens in the environment. Further in the future, the sensors could interact via emotions, says Ionescu.

October 4th, 2011, SF TV & Radio studios, Zurich, Switzerland

The Tedx events bring together TED’s renowned format along with the best speakers on topical issues. Zurich will be hosting their second Tedx conference and themes range from geopolitics, economics and psychology to physics and nanotechnology. Christofer Hierold, Professor of Micro and Nano Systems at ETH Zurich will be explaining why micro sensors are the future’s guardian angels.

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