Wireless power transmission safely charges devices anywhere within a room

February 16, 2017
Credit: Disney Research

A new method developed by Disney Research for wirelessly transmitting power throughout a room enables users to charge electronic devices as seamlessly as they now connect to WiFi hotspots, eliminating the need for electrical cords or charging cradles.

The researchers demonstrated their method, called quasistatic cavity resonance (QSCR), inside a specially built 16-by-16-foot room at their lab. They safely generated near-field standing magnetic waves that filled the interior of the room, making it possible to power several cellphones, fans and lights simultaneously.

"This new innovative method will make it possible for electrical power to become as ubiquitous as WiFi," said Alanson Sample, associate lab director & principal research scientist at Disney Research. "This in turn could enable new applications for robots and other small mobile devices by eliminating the need to replace batteries and wires for charging."

A research report on QSCR by the Disney Research team of Matthew J. Chabalko, Mohsen Shahmohammadi and Alanson P. Sample was published on Feb. 15, 2017 in the online journal PLOS ONE.

"In this work, we've demonstrated room-scale wireless power, but there's no reason we couldn't scale this down to the size of a toy chest or up to the size of a warehouse," said Sample, who leads the lab's Wireless Systems Group.

According to Sample, is a long-standing technological dream. Celebrated inventor Nikola Tesla famously demonstrated a wireless lighting system in the 1890s and proposed a system for transmitting power long distances to homes and factories, though it never came to fruition. Today, most wireless power transmission occurs over very short distances, typically involving charging stands or pads.

The QSCR method involves inducing electrical currents in the metalized walls, floor and ceiling of a room, which in turn generate uniform magnetic fields that permeate the room's interior. This enables power to be transmitted efficiently to receiving coils that operate at the same resonant frequency as the magnetic fields. The induced currents in the structure are channeled through discrete capacitors, which isolate potentially harmful electrical fields.

"Our simulations show we can transmit 1.9 kilowatts of power while meeting federal safety guidelines," Chabalko said. "This is equivalent to simultaneously charging 320 smart phones."

In the demonstration, the researchers constructed a 16-by-16-foot room with aluminum walls, ceiling and floor bolted to an aluminum frame. A copper pole was placed in the center of the room; a small gap was created in the pole, into which discrete capacitors were inserted.

"It is those capacitors that set the electromagnetic frequency of the structure and confine the electric fields," Chabalko explained. Devices operating at that low megahertz frequency can receive almost anywhere in the room. At the same time, the magnetic waves at that frequency don't interact with everyday materials, so other objects in the room are unaffected.

Though the demonstration was specially constructed, Sample said it likely will be possible to reduce the need for metalized walls, ceilings and floors in the future. It may be possible to retrofit existing structures, for instance, with modular panels or conductive paint. Larger spaces might be accommodated by using multiple copper poles.

Combining creativity and innovation, this research continues Disney's rich legacy of innovation and leveraging technology to enhance the tools and systems of tomorrow.

Explore further: Flying drones could soon re-charge whilst airborne with new technology

More information: Matthew J. Chabalko et al, Quasistatic Cavity Resonance for Ubiquitous Wireless Power Transfer, PLOS ONE (2017). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169045

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11 comments

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KBK
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 16, 2017
Unbelievably toxic, and FUCK NO!!!!

It's really a bad idea to expose the human body, in all it's myriad complexities in DNA and chemical exchange and bonding, to high powered megahertz electromagnetic fields.

This makes as much sense as shooting people in the head while they walk around.

"Our simulations show we can transmit 1.9 kilowatts of power while meeting federal safety guidelines,"

'Simulation' and...they've never actually done it. This is full on retard. Why do people, who seem to consider the idea of intelligence..why do they keep bringing this total insanity up as some sort of new advantage?

What is wrong with these people??????????? What kind of cognitive dissonance to they have to create in their insanity, to come up with the logic of high powered RF/electromagnetic and direct exposure of such to the human body, in the long term?

I'm not sure it is possible to express how bad an idea that wireless RF power is, for humans.
ShotmanMaslo
4 / 5 (4) Feb 16, 2017
What you fail to realize is that low frequency EM radiation is not harmful, only higher frequencies are.
axemaster
5 / 5 (3) Feb 16, 2017
Unbelievably toxic, and FUCK NO!!!!

It's really a bad idea to expose the human body, in all it's myriad complexities in DNA and chemical exchange and bonding, to high powered megahertz electromagnetic fields.


It's not toxic. RF does not have enough energy to interact with DNA, etc etc... this is a long discussed issue, with many studies done, and RF basically does not affect the human body. To put it bluntly, the assertion that RF causes cancer carries about as much weight as the idea that vaccines cause autism - none whatsoever. It's pseudoscience.

The real issue here is the unbelievable amount of radiated energy this will cause, which will screw up all sorts of equipment. Electronics engineers go to great lengths to reduce EMI, so there's no chance this kind of technology will be approved.
SiaoX
5 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2017
What kind of cognitive dissonance to they have to create in their insanity
Occupation and profit, what else...
low frequency EM radiation is not harmful, only higher frequencies are
Symptoms Of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. We can confuse it with psychic issues, but the bees cannot get fooled so easily. The discharges induced at the joints of metallic objects can be also source of fire and risk for electronics and persons with cardiostimulators and another implants.
Phil DePayne
1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2017
I don't think it would be much different than the rogue cell tower irradiating you right now,
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2017
What you fail to realize is that low frequency EM radiation is not harmful, only higher frequencies are.


Not directly as such, but all the objects in the room still absorb the EM radiation and turn it into heat, so a 2 kW transmitter is like putting a 2 kW space heater in the room.

It's hardly efficient or desirable.
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2017
It's done with magnetic fields, and the energy that is not collected by the devices in the field is returned to its source.

Since most people do not have metal in their bodies it's not going to make anyone sick. If you're worried about your fillings, they are too small to interact with the field. If you're worried about your pacemaker then that might be valid, but I bet they take that into account.

So, what now? It's new so it must be bad? Really? Really?
winthrom
not rated yet Feb 20, 2017
Hope pacemakers are immune
Eikka
not rated yet Feb 20, 2017
It's done with magnetic fields, and the energy that is not collected by the devices in the field is returned to its source.


Unless picked up by other objects in the room. Saying that only resonant recievers can pick it up is not the whole story: any conductive object is able to pick up energy from an oscillating magnetic field by induction. The metal wristband of your watch for example.

Since most people do not have metal in their bodies it's not going to make anyone sick.


Your body is conductive, so it picks up some of the energy. It will turn up as heat, about 5-6 Watts of it if they limit the power to the recommended long term exposure SAR limits.

That may not be physically harmful, but it does point out that we're talking about significant power losses in the system even within the offical safety margins.

Da Schneib
not rated yet Feb 20, 2017
So make a "charging box." If you want stuff charged up put it in the box.
savvys84
Feb 22, 2017
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