Sensor Systems Laboratory

Inventing new technology for sensing, robotics, wireless power, and medical devices

Joshua R. Smith, Ph. D.
Milton and Delia Zeutschel Professor
Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Washington

WARP (Wireless Ambient Radio Power)

WARP Researchers

Joshua R. Smith, Principal Investigator

Alanson Sample, Postdoc, UW CSE

Aaron Parks, MS Student, UW EE


RF signals such as TV broadcasts that used to be considered information-only can now be treated as a power source, thanks to the continual improvements in the energy efficiency of microelectronics, a consequence of Moore's law. The image on the left above shows a kitchen thermometer, with LCD display, being powered by RF signals from a TV tower 4km away. On the right is a newer WARP sensor node that measures light level and received power, and transmits the data on a short range (Zigbee-like) radio.

WARP Publications

A Wireless Sensing Platform Utilizing Ambient RF Energy, Aaron Parks, Alanson Sample, Yi Zhao, Joshua R. Smith, to appear in 2013 IEEE Topical Conference on Wireless Sensors and Sensor Networks (RWW 2013).

Experimental Results with two Wireless Power Transfer Systems, Alanson Sample, Joshua R. Smith, 2009 IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium (RAWCON 2009).

WARP Press and News

WARP research discussed by Stanford Prof. Jonathan Koomey on Slashdot

Bye-Bye Batteries: Radio Waves as a Low-Power Source, The New York Times, June 18, 2010.

Power From Thin Air, The Economist, June 10, 2010.

Smart Dust? Not Quite, But We're Getting There, New York Times, Jan 30, 2010.