It was in the year 1905, Nikola Tesla, famously stated, “The economic transmission of power without wires is of all-surpassing importance to man.” Coming to modern day, these words from the esteemed electricity pioneer holds an inevitable importance in how wireless power technologies work. Today, wireless power is a technology steeped in possibilities and promise of increased levels of convenience and freedom. Reviving Tesla’s dormant dream is Ohio State University spinoff, Nikola Labs, which is delivering wireless power solutions for IoT. Led by CEO Will Zell, this company with an advantaged radio frequency (RF) to direct current (DC) technology, seeks to relieve restrictions imposed by limited battery life. "Leveraging our core RF to DC technology, Nikola Labs creates the best wireless power solutions that fit clients' specific needs," adds Zell.
In partnership with Texas Instruments and Skyworks Solutions, Nikola Labs developed a state-of-the-art wireless power receiving chip called INDRA. The INDRA chip converts captured RF signals into DC power and includes power management circuitry. Specifically designed for low power applications, it is capable of producing usable power from a wide ranges of frequencies. Delivering high efficiency and drawing low power, INDRA is a perfect choice for low power IoT applications that for a variety of reasons need to avoid the limitations associated with batteries.
Leveraging our core RF to DC technology, Nikola Labs creates the best wireless power solutions that fit clients' specific needs.
Combined with their expertise in antenna design and advanced circuitry, INDRA lies at the heart of creating perpetually powered data rich networks. Allowing power to be delivered at distances up to 30 feet “(INDRA) is an entire system in one chip, and it gives us the power and flexibility that we need to develop the full solutions for our customers,” says Zell.
Albeit the many advancements and increasing penetration of IoT sector, there persist vast amounts of uncaptured data that could provide key insights into how we run our cities, buildings, homes and factories. Simple variables, like temperature, vibration and humidity may hold the key to improved asset utilization and improved profitability. The challenge is that these sensors require power that today is provided by batteries that often require frequent replacement which can result in increasing, instead of decreasing costs. Nikola Labs provides small form factor transmitters and receiving antennas that together deliver power wirelessly; thereby, eliminating the need for batteries. The firm works closely with its clients to develop custom solutions that cater to their specific wireless power requirements. With deep expertise in creating a unique antenna design, the company is able to tackle the toughest obstacles that clients face when implementing wireless power technology.
“Fundamentally, what we are focused on is creating the most efficient system at the lowest RF power levels,” says Zell. Poised at the beginning of a highly emerging market, Nikola Labs looks forward to years of continuing innovation and further developing their products. Having made a significant leap with INDRA, the firm is finding strong traction for wireless power in IoT. According to Zell, Nikola Labs will continue to pursue industrial IoT applications while also exploring opportunities to expand wireless power into other sectors - reviving Tesla's dormant dream.