New Waterloo-developed sensor can alert phones of building leaks

The sensor is designed to be cost-efficient and easy-to-use


Researchers at the University of Waterloo have developed a new sensor that can detect water leaks in buildings and send an alert to phones.

Notably, the device uses nanotechnology to power itself, allowing it to operate without a battery. This, in addition to removing related circuity, has allowed the team to cut the cost of the sensor significantly. In fact, the researchers estimate that the sensor could be commercially produced for $1 each — roughly one-tenth of the cost of current leak detection devices.

In practice, the sensor uses nanoparticles that cause a chemical reaction that produces enough electricity to power a wireless radio and other environmental sensors.

Besides cutting costs, the researchers have designed the sensor to be environmentally friendly and nickel-sized for easy placement.

There’s no word yet on when the sensor may become commercialized.

Image credit: Creative Commons — “Drip Drip Ready Drip” by cogdogblog 

Source: University of Waterloo