A Flexible High-Density
Sensor Network


This website explains a scalable electronic sensate skin that was designed as a dense sensor network in the MIT Media Lab's Responsive Environment's group. Our skin is built from small (1" x 1") rigid circuit boards attached to their neighbors with flexible interconnects. Each board contained an embedded processor together with a suite of thirteen sensors, providing dense, multimodal capture of proximate and contact phenomena. In addition to the design of the physical system, this thesis develops protocols for internode communication (both neighbor-neighbor and global), and power-efficient wake-on-phenomena operation.

The system was rigorously tested with an array of up to 4x3 nodes subject to a variety of sensor stimuli. Although there were some robustness issues in the final design (particularly in the wired interconnects, which were not the focus of this thesis work), the skin that we developed showed good flexibility for a prototype, ran quickly and efficiently, and could detect and respond to a variety of stimuli.