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Zero Power Touch Sensor and Reciever For Body Communication

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Short Description

Intra-body and extra-body communication is an attractive wireless communication method for wearable devices and their applications. In this project it will be desing and optimized an hardware design and the implementation of a novel zero-power receiver optimized for intra-body and extra-body communication and on-off keying modulation. The receiver includes an energy-harvesting subsystem that extracts energy from the received message to supply the low power circuits. The proposed zero-power receiver is able to receive and to parse data, as well as wake up external logic when a specific address is detected. The receiver can be used both as an always-on touch sensor to be deployed in the field and as a body communication wake up radio to other nodes on the human body. The student will work to design a whole application and system exploiting the zero-power communication receiver/sensor.

The hardware and software load of the thesis will be balanced according with the skills and preferences of the candidate students when the details task description will be provided before the student project will start. In field, measurements of the system will be performed from the students as important activity in order to evaluate power consumption, reliability, functionality, classification accuracy and energy efficiency and to further optimize the system.

Depending on the applicant's profile and project type, his tasks may involve some of the following:

  • Embedded system and application design
  • lab. testing/characterization of the existing prototype: verification of the prototype's characteristics w.r. design specification (simulations), measuring power-consumption, and assessing detection performance in lab. Conditions
  • High-level software programming, machine learning, wireless communication
  • programming the circuit for specific application, field testing, data acquisition

Status: Available

  • Looking for Semester and Master Project Students
Supervisors: Michele Magno


(not all need to be met by the single candidate)

  • experience using the laboratory instrumentation - signal generators, oscilloscopes, DAQ cards, Matlab etc.
  • analog electronics and signal conditioning with operational amplifiers: amplifiers, filters, integrators etc. (not mandatory)
  • knowledge of microcontroller programming and PC programming (C/C++, preferably microcontroller with Bluetooth Low Energy but it is not mandatory)
  • basic knowledge on signal processing is a plus.
  • plus is knowledge on printed circuit board (PCB) using Altium.


30-40% Theory
40-50% Implementation
20% Testing


Luca Benini

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Detailed Task Description


Practical Details