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Science Nation: Eye On Home

3 minutes

(Describer) Streams of light collide to create a globe filled with water. Title: Science Nation.

(Describer) Someone irons a shirt.

(male narrator) Ever leave home and wonder if the iron's on? Or the oven? Or what about the lights? Not if you happen to be inventor Anthony Rowe. The Carnegie Mellon computer engineer can always keep an eye on his home, even in another time zone. His place is brimming with sensors. All he needs is his laptop or iPhone to see what's running and what's not. We've developed a sensor device which can sense

(Describer) A small box.

how much energy the appliance is using. It also allows remotely turning the appliance on and off.

(Describer) On a computer...

The big line here is the fan. I can also activate the fan remotely.

(Describer) A fan on a floor starts running.

(narrator) His apartment is wired with sensors he designed. They monitor the electrical usage of household gadgets and appliances.

(Describer) He closes a fridge.

The unique property of this system is since these devices are wireless, it makes it easy to install. You don't have cabling. Each device has a small radio inside that talks from one device to the next, forwarding messages back to a gateway system.

(narrator) The data is transmitted via Wi-Fi. Rowe accesses it over the Internet. He also developed software to chart the output, with support from the National Science Foundation.

(male) I can see a bar graph and a pie chart showing me which devices are consuming the most energy.

(narrator) One day the refrigerator was using more electricity than usual.

(male) It happens if you're in a hurry, you don't notice that it's not closed. If I click on TV, I see when my TV was consuming power and how much power it's consuming. I can remotely turn my living room lamp on and off. Rowe's main objective: to give people an easy way to monitor their power consumption and thus, their carbon footprint. By saving energy, we help the environment and we also reduce costs.

(narrator) And end those worries about hot irons and ovens.

(Describer) A globe turns by the title.

For Science Nation, I'm Miles O'Brien.

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Carnegie Mellon University Computer Scientist and Electrical Engineer, Anthony Rowe, can always keep an eye on his home, even when he’s traveled to another time zone. That’s because he’s rigged his home with sensors he invented with support from the National Science Foundation. Now all he needs is a laptop to help him keep track of all his appliances – whether they are on or off and how much energy they’re using.

Media Details

Runtime: 3 minutes

Science Nation
Episode 1
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 2
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 3
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 4
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 5
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 7
4 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 8
4 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 9
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Science Nation
Episode 10
4 minutes
Grade Level: 10 - 12