ASSIST’s system-driven research is accomplished through its Testbeds and five integrated research Thrusts:
- Thrust I, Energy Harvesting and Storage: develops efficient ways to harness energy from the human body and/or the environment, converts it to usable forms, and stores it in ultra-high density capacitors.
- Thrust II, Low Power Emerging Nanoelectronics: designs and builds low power electronics and antennas.
- Thrust III, Low Power Wearable Nanosensors: develops low power nanosensors and interfaces these with the human body.
- Thrust IV, Low Power System on Chip: integrates enabling nanotechnologies with intelligent power management strategies for computation, sensing, and wireless communication.
- Thrust V, Wearability and Data:designs wearable packages for system architectures, verifies the biocompatibility of emerging on-skin technologies, and performs analytic processing of collected sensor data.
To achieve its vision, ASSIST is currently developing two Testbeds that demonstrate the breadth of innovative and disruptive technologies being developed in the Center. These Testbeds are:
- Self-Powered and Adaptive Low Power Sensing Platform (SAP): battery-less, open architecture sensor platform using continuous energy harvesting to ensure vigilant cardiac monitoring.
- Health and Environmental Tracker (HET): multimodal correlation of health and environmental parameters to help elucidate the causes of exposure-related respiratory illnesses.
All ASSIST research comes together in the development of these testbeds; they are excellent demonstration vehicles for cutting-edge technologies being produced in the Center. Each of these Testbeds features the ultra-low power SoC developed in Thrust IV, but each has a unique set of sensors depending on its location on the body, and the power required to operate it.
The implementation of Testbeds requires both the core ASSIST technologies and the involvement of medical and environmental testing, human factors, and data analytics. The Testbed process follows an engineered systems approach through iterative examination of applications that will define the requirements for nanosensors, nanodevices, nano-enabled energy harvesters, data formats, form factors, etc., and their integration with cutting-edge Systems-on-Chip.