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Matt Reynolds

  • Associate Professor
  • Associate Chair for Research and Entrepreneurship

Appointments

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering
Associate Chair for Research and Entrepreneurship, Electrical Engineering
Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering
CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellow

Biography

Matt Reynolds has a joint appointment as an associate professor in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. He was previously the Nortel Networks Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. He is also co-founder of the RFID systems firm ThingMagic Inc (acquired by Trimble Navigation), the energy conservation firm Zensi (acquired by Belkin) and the home sensing company SNUPI Inc (acquired by Sears).

Reynolds’ research interests include RFID, energy efficiency at the physical layer of wireless communication and the physics of sensing and actuation. Matt received his Ph.D. from the MIT Media Lab in 2003, where he was a Motorola Fellow, as well as S.B. and M.Eng. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, has received five Best Paper awards and has 32 issued and over 45 pending patents.

Research Interests

RFID, ultra-low power sensing and computation, energy harvesting, wireless power transfer (WPT) and smart materials, surfaces and spaces.

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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_11453" align="alignleft" width="371"] UW President Ana Mari Cauce speaks at the GIX launch.[/caption]

The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) is the first of its kind, marking the first time a Chinese research university has built a physical presence in the United States.

The University of Washington and Tsinghua University joined forces to establish the graduate institute in Bellevue, Washington. The space, which was funded through a $40 million donation from Microsoft, prototypes new technologies as one of the largest and most advanced maker spaces in the region.

GIX was founded as a catalyst for new innovation. The well-stocked maker space provides new students with the tools needed to conduct high-impact research. The vision of GIX is to support students as they tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems – from health to the environment.

“We intend to teach students enough in each area – design thinking, technology development and entrepreneurship – to build their confidence in pursuing their own innovations in high-impact fields such as health and sustainability, and improving standards of living both locally and globally,” UW Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering and GIX CTO Shwetak Patel said on the institute’s website.

After only two years, the institute’s vision came into being; a physical space was located and assembled, and a program was identified and developed. The quick turnaround reflects a passion for innovation from university educators. Professors of UW Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Joshua Smith and Matt Reynolds were members of the original curriculum committee for GIX. They have continued these efforts on the Interdisciplinary Faculty Group (IFG), which governs the academic degree program at GIX.

[caption id="attachment_11452" align="alignright" width="393"] The GIX building was named the Steve Balmer Building after Steve Balmer, the former CEO of Microsoft.[/caption]

When selecting students for the new program, Co-CEO at the institute and UW Vice-President for Innovation Strategy Vikram Jandhyala wanted to ensure the students at GIX had an entrepreneurial spirit.

“It was very hands-on,” Jandhyala said in a recent article. “We wanted to make sure they were self-starters in terms of being entrepreneurs, and they could do things not just measured by GPA or scores from their undergraduate years.”

In addition to Tsinghua, eight other universities and five other companies from around the world are partnering on GIX.

“Literally, we are bringing the world together,” said one of the key architects of the GIX vision and Microsoft President Brad Smith in a recent article.

This fall, GIX will open its doors to 43 students from China and the United States. In ten years, it is estimated that GIX will educate about 3,000 students. At this point, the 43 students are all a part of the master’s degree program. However, the institute’s leadership envision that GIX will grow to support a wide-range of programs, including refresher courses, virtual reality and remote learning.

"I'm very proud that EE and CSE faculty have been a part of the core group in the establishment of GIX," UW Electrical Engineering Professor and Chair Radha Poovendran said.

[caption id="attachment_11454" align="alignleft" width="200"] Microsoft President Brad Smith[/caption]

A grand opening for the institute was held on September 14. Leaders from both China and the Pacific Northwest attended. UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Governor Jay Inslee, and previous Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire were in attendance. Additionally, top executives from Microsoft, including Smith, CEO Satya Nadella and former CEO Steve Ballmer, and many Chinese officials, including the consul general from San Francisco and Tsinghua’s President Qiu Yong, attended the event.
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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_11384" align="alignleft" width="360"] From left: Gregory Abowd, Julie Kientz, Shwetak Patel, and Award Chair Judy Kay.[/caption]

UW professors have been awarded the 10-Year Impact Award at Ubicomp 2017 for their paper "At the Flick of a Switch: Detecting and Classifying Unique Electrical Events on the Residential Power Line."

UW faculty include Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Professors Shwetak Patel and Matt Reynolds and Human Centered Design & Engineering Professor Julie Kentz. Additional authors include Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) Professor Gregory Bowd and research scientist Thomas Robertson.

The 10-Year Impact Award recognizes research that has made a lasting impact in the field. In 2007, the authors' published work received the Best Paper Award and Best Presentation Award at Ubicomp.

The paper illustrates a novel approach for detecting energy activity within the home using a single plug-in sensor. The authors apply machine learning techniques to enable the system to accurately differentiate between different electrical events, such as turning on a specific light switch or operating certain appliances.

[caption id="attachment_2292" align="alignright" width="179"] Professor Matt Reynolds[/caption]

This work has been instrumental in the development of a new field of research in high-frequency energy disaggregation and infrastructure mediated sensing. It has also led to the creation of Zensi, a startup spun out of Georgia Tech and UW that was acquired by Belkin in 2010. Home energy monitoring and automation have become an industry focus based on the techniques first described in this paper.

When the paper was written, Patel and Kientz were Ph.D. students, and Reynolds was a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech. Ten years later, their work has not only influenced their current research, but it offers a touchstone for other researchers around the world.
                    [post_title] => Faculty receive Ubicomp's 10-Year Impact Award
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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_10784" align="alignleft" width="585"] From left to right: Jose Tomas Arenas, James Rosenthal, Eleftherios Kampianakis, Apoorva Sharma and Professor Matt Reynolds.[/caption]

By: Tommy Merth

At the 11th annual IEEE International Conference on RFID (IEEE RFID), four graduate students in Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering Matt Reynolds’ Lab were honored with the 2017 Best Poster Award. The team, composed of Jose Tomas Arenas, James Rosenthal, Eleftherios Kampianakis and Apoorva Sharma, investigates wireless neural recording and stimulation devices for neuroprosthetics applications. 

Their award winning work, titled “A Dual-Band Wireless Power Transfer and Backscatter Communication Approach for Implantable Neuroprosthetic Devices,” describes their approach to high data transfer rates while reducing power consumption by a factor of 100 over conventional Wi-Fi.

The IEEE RFID conference is the premier conference for exchanging technical research in RFID and allows researchers to share, discuss and witness research results in all areas of RFID technologies and their applications, including energy harvesting, Internet of Things (IoT), localization, and security.

Congratulations to the team!
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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_9869" align="aligncenter" width="854"]170131-iv-pano This panoramic image captures the beamed-power setup. Associate Professor Matt Reynolds (far left) stands with Intellectual Ventures’ Wayt Gibbs, Rita Rogers and Russell Hannigan (left to right). Credit: GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle[/caption]

In the early 1900s, Nikola Tesla envisioned a structure that could deliver power through air, without connectors. The Wardenclyffe Tower, also known as the Tesla Tower, became a lost dream when its investment dwindled. Associate Professor Matt Reynolds and his team at Intellectual Ventures are developing novel approaches to wireless power transmissions that make this power possible and profitable.

The novel approach involves metamaterials. This technology has gained attention by offering real-world legitimacy to Harry Potter’s “invisibility cloak.” Simply, metamaterials are a class of material engineered to produce properties that don’t occur naturally. For wizard enthusiasts, some metamaterials can bend electromagnetic radiation (e.g. light) around an object, giving the appearance that it isn’t there at all.

For Reynolds and his team, these materials allow about 8 watts’ worth of microwaves to be beamed across a lab space, lighting up an array of LED lights by shooting microwaves at a metamaterials-based reflective array. This array is about the size of a chalkboard, allowing the microwaves to focus on their intended target.

The researchers expect to scale up the system to power devices at distances of 160 feet (the width of a football field) or more. By increasing the range, they will be able to apply the technology to drone flight. On average, free-flying drones are limited to 20 minutes of flight time. If you could beam enough power to keep them in the air, they could hover indefinitely. This proves a useful feature for individuals who use drones to monitor security perimeters, inspect infrastructure ranging from railways to cellphone towers or produce aerial video footage.

This past fall, Reynolds and collaborators released new research on the development of a wireless charging hub. The new system involving metamaterials could be adapted to create wall panels capable for home charging. Reynolds said today’s wireless charging systems tend to take advantage of electromagnetic induction, which only works over a short range. An example of this would be an electric toothbrush. The toothbrush sits on a charging stand, which produces a proximal interaction.

“In order to get longer-range wireless power, you need to use fundamentally different physics,” Reynolds said in a recent article.

This fundamentally different physics, ushered in through metamaterials, has distinct advantages over similar wireless power systems, such as laser-beamed power systems or induction stations. The microwave beam can be focused and redirected with relatively high efficiency and with no moving parts.

Currently, the team is looking at high-end and large-scale applications. However, if researchers can operate the system at higher frequencies in the future, that could encourage the development of smaller devices that cost less and are capable of beaming out more power.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0AGs7ZyeWM

Additional News:

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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_7852" align="alignleft" width="370"]EE Associate Professor Matt Reynolds is co-author on the paper.  EE Associate Professor Matt Reynolds is co-author on the paper.[/caption]

A flat-screen panel that resembles a TV on your living room wall could one day remotely charge any device within its line of sight, according to new research.

In a paper published Oct. 23, 2016, on the arXiv pre-print repository, engineers at the University of Washington, Duke University and Intellectual Ventures’ Invention Science Fund (ISF) show that the technology already exists to build such a system — it’s only a matter of taking the time to design it.

"There is an enormous demand for alternatives to today's clunky charging pads and cumbersome cables, which restrict the mobility of a smart phone or a tablet. Our proposed approach takes advantage of widely used LCD technology to seamlessly deliver wireless power to all kinds of smart devices,” said co-author Matt Reynolds, UW associate professor of electrical engineering and of computer science and engineering.

"The ability to safely direct focused beams of microwave energy to charge specific devices, while avoiding unwanted exposure to people, pets and other objects, is a game-changer for wireless power. And we’re looking into alternatives to liquid crystals that could allow energy transfer at much higher power levels over greater distances," Reynolds said.

Some wireless charging systems already exist to help power speakers, cell phones and tablets. These technologies rely on platforms that require their own wires, however, and the devices must be placed in the immediate vicinity of the charging station.

This is because existing chargers use the resonant magnetic near-field to transmit energy. The magnetic field produced by current flowing in a coil of wire can be quite large close to the coil and can be used to induce a similar current in a neighboring coil. Magnetic fields also have the added bonus of being considered safe for human exposure, making them a convenient choice for wireless power transfer.

The magnetic near-field approach is not an option for power transfer over larger distances. This is because the coupling between source and receiver — and thus the power transfer efficiency — drops rapidly with distance. The wireless power transfer system proposed in the new paper operates at much higher microwave frequencies, where the power transfer distance can extend well beyond the confines of a room.

To maintain reasonable levels of power transfer efficiency, the key to the system is to operate in the Fresnel zone — a region of an electromagnetic field that can be focused, allowing power density to reach levels sufficient to charge many devices with high efficiency.

"As long as you’re within a certain distance, you can build antennas that gather electromagnetic energy and focus it, much like a lens can focus a beam of light," said lead author David Smith, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke. "Our proposed system would be able to automatically and continuously charge any device anywhere within a room, making dead batteries a thing of the past."

The problem to date has been that the antennas in a wireless power transfer system would need to be able to focus on any device within a room. This could be done, for example, with a movable antenna dish, but that would take up too much space, and nobody wants a big, moving satellite dish on their mantel.

Another solution is a phased array — an antenna with a lot of tiny antennas grouped together, each of which can be independently adjusted and tuned. That technology also exists, but would cost too much and consume too much energy for household use.

The solution proposed in the new paper instead relies on metamaterials — a synthetic material composed of many individual, engineered cells that together produce properties not found in nature.

"Imagine you have an electromagnetic wave front moving through a flat surface made of thousands of tiny electrical cells," said Smith. "If you can tune each cell to manipulate the wave in a specific way, you can dictate exactly what the field looks like when it comes out on the other side."

Smith and his laboratory used this same principle to create the world’s first cloaking device that bends electromagnetic waves around an object held within. Several years ago, Nathan Kundtz, a former graduate student and postdoc from Smith’s group, led an ISF team that developed the metamaterials technology for satellite communications. The team founded Kymeta, which builds powerful, flat antennas that could soon replace the gigantic revolving satellite dishes often seen atop large boats. Three other companies, Evolv, Echodyne and Pivotal have also been founded using different versions of the metamaterials for imaging, radar and wireless communications, respectively.

In the paper, the research team works through calculations to illustrate what a metamaterials-based wireless power system would be capable of. According to the results, a flat metamaterial device no bigger than a typical flat-screen television could focus beams of microwave energy down to a spot about the size of a cell phone within a distance of up to ten meters. It should also be capable of powering more than one device at the same time.

There are, of course, challenges to engineering such a wireless power transfer system. A powerful, low-cost, and highly efficient electromagnetic energy source would need to be developed. The system would have to automatically shut off if a person or a pet were to walk into the focused electromagnetic beam. And the software and controls for the metamaterial lens would have to be optimized to focus powerful beams while suppressing any unwanted secondary "ghost" beams.

But the technology is there, the researchers say.

"All of these issues are possible to overcome — they aren’t roadblocks," said Smith. "I think building a system like this, which could be embedded in the ceiling and wirelessly charge everything in a room, is a very feasible scheme."

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Rajesh Rao Chet Moritz Howard Chizeck Matt Reynolds Smith_Joshua__1457646140_128.95.215.177 Blake Hannaford Chris Rudell Visvesh Sathe
Rajesh Rao Chet Moritz Howard Chizeck Matt Reynolds Joshua Smith Blake Hannaford Chris Rudell Visvesh Sathe
To support the development of implantable devices that can restore movement, and improve the overall quality of life, for people with spinal cord injury or stroke, UW’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) has received $16 million in funding from the National Science Foundation. The funding, dispersed during the next four years, will allow researchers to continue their cutting-edge work, with the goal of having proof-of-concept demonstrations in humans within the next five years. Based at the UW, the CSNE is directed by EE Adjunct Faculty member Rajesh Rao, who is a UW professor of computer science and engineering. Founded in 2011, the CSNE is one of 17 Engineering Research Centers funded by the National Science Foundation. Core partners are located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and San Diego State University. A prime example of cross-campus collaboration, research is being undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team including several UW EE faculty members: Howard Chizeck, Blake Hannaford, Matt Reynolds, Chris Rudell, Visvesh Sathe and Joshua Smith. “UW is extremely fortunate to have visionary leaders in Director Rajesh Rao and Deputy Director Chet Moritz, who are spearheading the cutting edge research at CSNE,” said EE Chair Radha Poovendran. “Under their leadership, the CSNE is growing to be a place where fundamental and translation research for the benefit of society are fostered.” To restore sensorimotor function and neurorehabilitation, CSNE researchers are working to build closed-loop co-adaptive bi-directional brain-computer interfaces that can both record from and stimulate the central nervous system. The devices essentially form a bridge between lost brain connections, achieved by decoding brain signals produced when a person decides they would like to move their arm and grasp a cup. Specific parts of the spinal cord are then stimulated to achieve the desired action. By wirelessly transmitting information, damaged areas of the brain are avoided. Researchers are also working to improve current devices on the market, such as deep brain stimulators that are used to treat Parkinson’s disease. A challenge with current systems is that they are constantly “on” and may provide stimulation to patients when not needed, resulting in unintended side effects as well as reduced battery life. CSNE researchers are working to make these systems "closed-loop," turning them on only when the patient intends to move. 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2017-09-22 18:49:32 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_11453" align="alignleft" width="371"] UW President Ana Mari Cauce speaks at the GIX launch.[/caption] The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) is the first of its kind, marking the first time a Chinese research university has built a physical presence in the United States. The University of Washington and Tsinghua University joined forces to establish the graduate institute in Bellevue, Washington. The space, which was funded through a $40 million donation from Microsoft, prototypes new technologies as one of the largest and most advanced maker spaces in the region. GIX was founded as a catalyst for new innovation. The well-stocked maker space provides new students with the tools needed to conduct high-impact research. The vision of GIX is to support students as they tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems – from health to the environment. “We intend to teach students enough in each area – design thinking, technology development and entrepreneurship – to build their confidence in pursuing their own innovations in high-impact fields such as health and sustainability, and improving standards of living both locally and globally,” UW Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering and GIX CTO Shwetak Patel said on the institute’s website. After only two years, the institute’s vision came into being; a physical space was located and assembled, and a program was identified and developed. The quick turnaround reflects a passion for innovation from university educators. Professors of UW Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Joshua Smith and Matt Reynolds were members of the original curriculum committee for GIX. They have continued these efforts on the Interdisciplinary Faculty Group (IFG), which governs the academic degree program at GIX. [caption id="attachment_11452" align="alignright" width="393"] The GIX building was named the Steve Balmer Building after Steve Balmer, the former CEO of Microsoft.[/caption] When selecting students for the new program, Co-CEO at the institute and UW Vice-President for Innovation Strategy Vikram Jandhyala wanted to ensure the students at GIX had an entrepreneurial spirit. “It was very hands-on,” Jandhyala said in a recent article. “We wanted to make sure they were self-starters in terms of being entrepreneurs, and they could do things not just measured by GPA or scores from their undergraduate years.” In addition to Tsinghua, eight other universities and five other companies from around the world are partnering on GIX. “Literally, we are bringing the world together,” said one of the key architects of the GIX vision and Microsoft President Brad Smith in a recent article. This fall, GIX will open its doors to 43 students from China and the United States. In ten years, it is estimated that GIX will educate about 3,000 students. At this point, the 43 students are all a part of the master’s degree program. However, the institute’s leadership envision that GIX will grow to support a wide-range of programs, including refresher courses, virtual reality and remote learning. "I'm very proud that EE and CSE faculty have been a part of the core group in the establishment of GIX," UW Electrical Engineering Professor and Chair Radha Poovendran said. [caption id="attachment_11454" align="alignleft" width="200"] Microsoft President Brad Smith[/caption] A grand opening for the institute was held on September 14. Leaders from both China and the Pacific Northwest attended. UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Governor Jay Inslee, and previous Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire were in attendance. Additionally, top executives from Microsoft, including Smith, CEO Satya Nadella and former CEO Steve Ballmer, and many Chinese officials, including the consul general from San Francisco and Tsinghua’s President Qiu Yong, attended the event. [post_title] => UW and China’s Tsinghua University launch groundbreaking Global Innovation Exchange [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => uw-and-chinas-tsinghua-university-launch-groundbreaking-global-innovation-exchange [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-22 11:54:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-22 18:54:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=11449 [menu_order] => 10 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11378 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-09-18 11:42:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-18 18:42:41 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_11384" align="alignleft" width="360"] From left: Gregory Abowd, Julie Kientz, Shwetak Patel, and Award Chair Judy Kay.[/caption] UW professors have been awarded the 10-Year Impact Award at Ubicomp 2017 for their paper "At the Flick of a Switch: Detecting and Classifying Unique Electrical Events on the Residential Power Line." UW faculty include Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Professors Shwetak Patel and Matt Reynolds and Human Centered Design & Engineering Professor Julie Kentz. Additional authors include Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) Professor Gregory Bowd and research scientist Thomas Robertson. The 10-Year Impact Award recognizes research that has made a lasting impact in the field. In 2007, the authors' published work received the Best Paper Award and Best Presentation Award at Ubicomp. The paper illustrates a novel approach for detecting energy activity within the home using a single plug-in sensor. The authors apply machine learning techniques to enable the system to accurately differentiate between different electrical events, such as turning on a specific light switch or operating certain appliances. [caption id="attachment_2292" align="alignright" width="179"] Professor Matt Reynolds[/caption] This work has been instrumental in the development of a new field of research in high-frequency energy disaggregation and infrastructure mediated sensing. It has also led to the creation of Zensi, a startup spun out of Georgia Tech and UW that was acquired by Belkin in 2010. Home energy monitoring and automation have become an industry focus based on the techniques first described in this paper. When the paper was written, Patel and Kientz were Ph.D. students, and Reynolds was a senior research scientist at Georgia Tech. Ten years later, their work has not only influenced their current research, but it offers a touchstone for other researchers around the world. [post_title] => Faculty receive Ubicomp's 10-Year Impact Award [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => faculty-receive-ubicomps-10-year-impact-award [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-18 11:42:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-18 18:42:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=11378 [menu_order] => 11 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 10773 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2017-06-11 14:29:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-11 21:29:27 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_10784" align="alignleft" width="585"] From left to right: Jose Tomas Arenas, James Rosenthal, Eleftherios Kampianakis, Apoorva Sharma and Professor Matt Reynolds.[/caption] By: Tommy Merth At the 11th annual IEEE International Conference on RFID (IEEE RFID), four graduate students in Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering Matt Reynolds’ Lab were honored with the 2017 Best Poster Award. The team, composed of Jose Tomas Arenas, James Rosenthal, Eleftherios Kampianakis and Apoorva Sharma, investigates wireless neural recording and stimulation devices for neuroprosthetics applications. Their award winning work, titled “A Dual-Band Wireless Power Transfer and Backscatter Communication Approach for Implantable Neuroprosthetic Devices,” describes their approach to high data transfer rates while reducing power consumption by a factor of 100 over conventional Wi-Fi. The IEEE RFID conference is the premier conference for exchanging technical research in RFID and allows researchers to share, discuss and witness research results in all areas of RFID technologies and their applications, including energy harvesting, Internet of Things (IoT), localization, and security. Congratulations to the team! [post_title] => Graduate student team wins best poster award at IEEE conference [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => graduate-student-team-wins-best-poster-award-at-ieee-conference [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-13 14:33:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-13 21:33:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=10773 [menu_order] => 47 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 9867 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-02-09 14:38:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-09 22:38:30 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_9869" align="aligncenter" width="854"]170131-iv-pano This panoramic image captures the beamed-power setup. Associate Professor Matt Reynolds (far left) stands with Intellectual Ventures’ Wayt Gibbs, Rita Rogers and Russell Hannigan (left to right). Credit: GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle[/caption] In the early 1900s, Nikola Tesla envisioned a structure that could deliver power through air, without connectors. The Wardenclyffe Tower, also known as the Tesla Tower, became a lost dream when its investment dwindled. Associate Professor Matt Reynolds and his team at Intellectual Ventures are developing novel approaches to wireless power transmissions that make this power possible and profitable. The novel approach involves metamaterials. This technology has gained attention by offering real-world legitimacy to Harry Potter’s “invisibility cloak.” Simply, metamaterials are a class of material engineered to produce properties that don’t occur naturally. For wizard enthusiasts, some metamaterials can bend electromagnetic radiation (e.g. light) around an object, giving the appearance that it isn’t there at all. For Reynolds and his team, these materials allow about 8 watts’ worth of microwaves to be beamed across a lab space, lighting up an array of LED lights by shooting microwaves at a metamaterials-based reflective array. This array is about the size of a chalkboard, allowing the microwaves to focus on their intended target. The researchers expect to scale up the system to power devices at distances of 160 feet (the width of a football field) or more. By increasing the range, they will be able to apply the technology to drone flight. On average, free-flying drones are limited to 20 minutes of flight time. If you could beam enough power to keep them in the air, they could hover indefinitely. This proves a useful feature for individuals who use drones to monitor security perimeters, inspect infrastructure ranging from railways to cellphone towers or produce aerial video footage. This past fall, Reynolds and collaborators released new research on the development of a wireless charging hub. The new system involving metamaterials could be adapted to create wall panels capable for home charging. Reynolds said today’s wireless charging systems tend to take advantage of electromagnetic induction, which only works over a short range. An example of this would be an electric toothbrush. The toothbrush sits on a charging stand, which produces a proximal interaction. “In order to get longer-range wireless power, you need to use fundamentally different physics,” Reynolds said in a recent article. This fundamentally different physics, ushered in through metamaterials, has distinct advantages over similar wireless power systems, such as laser-beamed power systems or induction stations. The microwave beam can be focused and redirected with relatively high efficiency and with no moving parts. Currently, the team is looking at high-end and large-scale applications. However, if researchers can operate the system at higher frequencies in the future, that could encourage the development of smaller devices that cost less and are capable of beaming out more power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0AGs7ZyeWM Additional News: [post_title] => Professor Matt Reynolds Works with Intellectual Ventures to Power Drones Wirelessly [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => associate-professor-matt-reynolds-works-with-intellectual-ventures-to-power-drones-wirelessly [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-20 21:02:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-21 05:02:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=9867 [menu_order] => 87 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7850 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2016-10-24 10:16:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-24 17:16:08 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_7852" align="alignleft" width="370"]EE Associate Professor Matt Reynolds is co-author on the paper. EE Associate Professor Matt Reynolds is co-author on the paper.[/caption]

A flat-screen panel that resembles a TV on your living room wall could one day remotely charge any device within its line of sight, according to new research.

In a paper published Oct. 23, 2016, on the arXiv pre-print repository, engineers at the University of Washington, Duke University and Intellectual Ventures’ Invention Science Fund (ISF) show that the technology already exists to build such a system — it’s only a matter of taking the time to design it.

"There is an enormous demand for alternatives to today's clunky charging pads and cumbersome cables, which restrict the mobility of a smart phone or a tablet. Our proposed approach takes advantage of widely used LCD technology to seamlessly deliver wireless power to all kinds of smart devices,” said co-author Matt Reynolds, UW associate professor of electrical engineering and of computer science and engineering.

"The ability to safely direct focused beams of microwave energy to charge specific devices, while avoiding unwanted exposure to people, pets and other objects, is a game-changer for wireless power. And we’re looking into alternatives to liquid crystals that could allow energy transfer at much higher power levels over greater distances," Reynolds said.

Some wireless charging systems already exist to help power speakers, cell phones and tablets. These technologies rely on platforms that require their own wires, however, and the devices must be placed in the immediate vicinity of the charging station.

This is because existing chargers use the resonant magnetic near-field to transmit energy. The magnetic field produced by current flowing in a coil of wire can be quite large close to the coil and can be used to induce a similar current in a neighboring coil. Magnetic fields also have the added bonus of being considered safe for human exposure, making them a convenient choice for wireless power transfer.

The magnetic near-field approach is not an option for power transfer over larger distances. This is because the coupling between source and receiver — and thus the power transfer efficiency — drops rapidly with distance. The wireless power transfer system proposed in the new paper operates at much higher microwave frequencies, where the power transfer distance can extend well beyond the confines of a room.

To maintain reasonable levels of power transfer efficiency, the key to the system is to operate in the Fresnel zone — a region of an electromagnetic field that can be focused, allowing power density to reach levels sufficient to charge many devices with high efficiency.

"As long as you’re within a certain distance, you can build antennas that gather electromagnetic energy and focus it, much like a lens can focus a beam of light," said lead author David Smith, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke. "Our proposed system would be able to automatically and continuously charge any device anywhere within a room, making dead batteries a thing of the past."

The problem to date has been that the antennas in a wireless power transfer system would need to be able to focus on any device within a room. This could be done, for example, with a movable antenna dish, but that would take up too much space, and nobody wants a big, moving satellite dish on their mantel.

Another solution is a phased array — an antenna with a lot of tiny antennas grouped together, each of which can be independently adjusted and tuned. That technology also exists, but would cost too much and consume too much energy for household use.

The solution proposed in the new paper instead relies on metamaterials — a synthetic material composed of many individual, engineered cells that together produce properties not found in nature.

"Imagine you have an electromagnetic wave front moving through a flat surface made of thousands of tiny electrical cells," said Smith. "If you can tune each cell to manipulate the wave in a specific way, you can dictate exactly what the field looks like when it comes out on the other side."

Smith and his laboratory used this same principle to create the world’s first cloaking device that bends electromagnetic waves around an object held within. Several years ago, Nathan Kundtz, a former graduate student and postdoc from Smith’s group, led an ISF team that developed the metamaterials technology for satellite communications. The team founded Kymeta, which builds powerful, flat antennas that could soon replace the gigantic revolving satellite dishes often seen atop large boats. Three other companies, Evolv, Echodyne and Pivotal have also been founded using different versions of the metamaterials for imaging, radar and wireless communications, respectively.

In the paper, the research team works through calculations to illustrate what a metamaterials-based wireless power system would be capable of. According to the results, a flat metamaterial device no bigger than a typical flat-screen television could focus beams of microwave energy down to a spot about the size of a cell phone within a distance of up to ten meters. It should also be capable of powering more than one device at the same time.

There are, of course, challenges to engineering such a wireless power transfer system. A powerful, low-cost, and highly efficient electromagnetic energy source would need to be developed. The system would have to automatically shut off if a person or a pet were to walk into the focused electromagnetic beam. And the software and controls for the metamaterial lens would have to be optimized to focus powerful beams while suppressing any unwanted secondary "ghost" beams.

But the technology is there, the researchers say.

"All of these issues are possible to overcome — they aren’t roadblocks," said Smith. "I think building a system like this, which could be embedded in the ceiling and wirelessly charge everything in a room, is a very feasible scheme."

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Rajesh Rao Chet Moritz Howard Chizeck Matt Reynolds Smith_Joshua__1457646140_128.95.215.177 Blake Hannaford Chris Rudell Visvesh Sathe
Rajesh Rao Chet Moritz Howard Chizeck Matt Reynolds Joshua Smith Blake Hannaford Chris Rudell Visvesh Sathe
To support the development of implantable devices that can restore movement, and improve the overall quality of life, for people with spinal cord injury or stroke, UW’s Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering (CSNE) has received $16 million in funding from the National Science Foundation. The funding, dispersed during the next four years, will allow researchers to continue their cutting-edge work, with the goal of having proof-of-concept demonstrations in humans within the next five years. Based at the UW, the CSNE is directed by EE Adjunct Faculty member Rajesh Rao, who is a UW professor of computer science and engineering. Founded in 2011, the CSNE is one of 17 Engineering Research Centers funded by the National Science Foundation. Core partners are located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and San Diego State University. A prime example of cross-campus collaboration, research is being undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team including several UW EE faculty members: Howard Chizeck, Blake Hannaford, Matt Reynolds, Chris Rudell, Visvesh Sathe and Joshua Smith. “UW is extremely fortunate to have visionary leaders in Director Rajesh Rao and Deputy Director Chet Moritz, who are spearheading the cutting edge research at CSNE,” said EE Chair Radha Poovendran. “Under their leadership, the CSNE is growing to be a place where fundamental and translation research for the benefit of society are fostered.” To restore sensorimotor function and neurorehabilitation, CSNE researchers are working to build closed-loop co-adaptive bi-directional brain-computer interfaces that can both record from and stimulate the central nervous system. The devices essentially form a bridge between lost brain connections, achieved by decoding brain signals produced when a person decides they would like to move their arm and grasp a cup. Specific parts of the spinal cord are then stimulated to achieve the desired action. By wirelessly transmitting information, damaged areas of the brain are avoided. Researchers are also working to improve current devices on the market, such as deep brain stimulators that are used to treat Parkinson’s disease. A challenge with current systems is that they are constantly “on” and may provide stimulation to patients when not needed, resulting in unintended side effects as well as reduced battery life. CSNE researchers are working to make these systems "closed-loop," turning them on only when the patient intends to move. See Also: Seattle Times Article UW Today Article [post_title] => CSNE Receives $16 Million to Continue Developing Implantable Devices to Treat Paralysis [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => csne-receives-16-million-to-continue-developing-implantable-devices-to-treat-paralysis [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-16 15:41:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-16 23:41:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://hedy.ee.washington.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=1407 [menu_order] => 924 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 6 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11449 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-09-22 11:49:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-22 18:49:32 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_11453" align="alignleft" width="371"] UW President Ana Mari Cauce speaks at the GIX launch.[/caption] The Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) is the first of its kind, marking the first time a Chinese research university has built a physical presence in the United States. The University of Washington and Tsinghua University joined forces to establish the graduate institute in Bellevue, Washington. The space, which was funded through a $40 million donation from Microsoft, prototypes new technologies as one of the largest and most advanced maker spaces in the region. GIX was founded as a catalyst for new innovation. The well-stocked maker space provides new students with the tools needed to conduct high-impact research. The vision of GIX is to support students as they tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems – from health to the environment. “We intend to teach students enough in each area – design thinking, technology development and entrepreneurship – to build their confidence in pursuing their own innovations in high-impact fields such as health and sustainability, and improving standards of living both locally and globally,” UW Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science & Engineering and Electrical Engineering and GIX CTO Shwetak Patel said on the institute’s website. After only two years, the institute’s vision came into being; a physical space was located and assembled, and a program was identified and developed. The quick turnaround reflects a passion for innovation from university educators. Professors of UW Electrical Engineering and Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering Joshua Smith and Matt Reynolds were members of the original curriculum committee for GIX. They have continued these efforts on the Interdisciplinary Faculty Group (IFG), which governs the academic degree program at GIX. [caption id="attachment_11452" align="alignright" width="393"] The GIX building was named the Steve Balmer Building after Steve Balmer, the former CEO of Microsoft.[/caption] When selecting students for the new program, Co-CEO at the institute and UW Vice-President for Innovation Strategy Vikram Jandhyala wanted to ensure the students at GIX had an entrepreneurial spirit. “It was very hands-on,” Jandhyala said in a recent article. “We wanted to make sure they were self-starters in terms of being entrepreneurs, and they could do things not just measured by GPA or scores from their undergraduate years.” In addition to Tsinghua, eight other universities and five other companies from around the world are partnering on GIX. “Literally, we are bringing the world together,” said one of the key architects of the GIX vision and Microsoft President Brad Smith in a recent article. This fall, GIX will open its doors to 43 students from China and the United States. In ten years, it is estimated that GIX will educate about 3,000 students. At this point, the 43 students are all a part of the master’s degree program. However, the institute’s leadership envision that GIX will grow to support a wide-range of programs, including refresher courses, virtual reality and remote learning. "I'm very proud that EE and CSE faculty have been a part of the core group in the establishment of GIX," UW Electrical Engineering Professor and Chair Radha Poovendran said. [caption id="attachment_11454" align="alignleft" width="200"] Microsoft President Brad Smith[/caption] A grand opening for the institute was held on September 14. Leaders from both China and the Pacific Northwest attended. UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Governor Jay Inslee, and previous Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire were in attendance. Additionally, top executives from Microsoft, including Smith, CEO Satya Nadella and former CEO Steve Ballmer, and many Chinese officials, including the consul general from San Francisco and Tsinghua’s President Qiu Yong, attended the event. 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Representative Publications

  • S. Thomas, R. Harrison, A. Leonardo, and M. Reynolds, "A Battery-Free Multi-Channel Digital Neural/EMG Telemetry System for Flying Insects", IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, vol. 6, no. 5, Oct. 2012, pp. 424-436.
  • J. Hunt, T. Driscoll, A. Mrozack, G. Lipworth, M. Reynolds, D. Brady, D. Smith, "Metamaterial Apertures for Computational Imaging", Science, 18 January 2013: 339 (6117), pp. 310-313.
  • J. Ensworth and M. Reynolds, "Every Smart Phone is a Backscatter Reader: Modulated Backscatter Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (BLE) Devices", in Proceedings IEEE RFID 2015, pp. 78-85.
  • J. Besnoff and M. Reynolds, "Single-Wire Radio Frequency Transmission Lines In Biological Tissue", Applied Physics Letters, vol. 106, 183705 (2015).
  • I. Cnaan-On, S. Thomas, J. Krolik, and M. Reynolds, "Multichannel Backscatter Communication and Ranging for Distributed Sensing with an FMCW Radar", IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 63, no. 7, pp. 2375-2383 (2015).
  • G. Lipworth, J. Ensworth, K. Seetharam, J.S. Lee, P. Schmalenberg, T. Nomura, M. Reynolds, D. R. Smith, Y. Urzhumov, "Quasi-Static Magnetic Field Shielding Using Longitudinal Mu-Near-Zero Metamaterials", Nature Scientific Reports 5, 12764 (2015)

Research Areas

Affiliations

Innovation/Entrepreneurship

Education

  • Ph.D. 2003
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • M.Eng., 1999
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • S.B. 1998
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology