Open Category

Grand Prix

Coin-Size Vibrational Energy Harvester for IoT Network Society

NMEMS Technology Research Organization (NMEMS TRA)
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) (Exhibit Area: General)

Open Category Grand Prix

For IoT society to become a reality, vast numbers of tiny wireless sensors must be connected to the Internet. However, they will not operate if the batteries run out or cannot be charged. To avoid this reliance on batteries, these two organizations created a miniature device that can convert the slightest vibration around us into electrical energy. This compact power generator, which combines technologies used to make smartphone sensors and microphones with a newly developed power generation technology, offers the highest energy recovery efficiency in the world.


The number of skilled inspectors is decreasing owing to declining birth rates and the aging population, so there is an urgent need for the automation of social infrastructure inspection work. In manufacturing plants there is also a need for automated daily checks of equipment and facilities using sensors that replicate the human senses of an expert. Moreover, to maintain and improve productivity in this “new normal” era, manufacturing needs to become more resilient to such threats as the coronavirus pandemic, floods, and typhoons. For this, reliable data, which is the foundation of knowledge-intensive industries, is essential. To collect the data, vast numbers of IoT wireless sensors are needed, and this power generation technology is expected to meet the demand for practical “energy harvesters” to power sensors. Also highly evaluated was the fact that this technology is expected to be used for wearables in the future.

Semi Grand Prix

Wideband Ultrasonic Transducer

Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Exhibit Area: General)

Open Category Semi Grand Prix

We stand on the threshold of an era in which autonomous vehicles, drones, and other robots will be widely used in consumer and commercial applications. For these and other applications, accurate contactless detection of a device’s surroundings are essential. As a solution, this transducer generates sound waves through heat, unlike conventional speakers, enabling it to produce a wide range of sound waves with little reverberation. Combined with signal processing, this technology can be used for precise positional detection, material detection, and close-range detection, thus contributing to enhanced convenience.


As an image sensor, this transducer can be used for sensing in the dark, detecting transparent objects, and ensuring privacy. It can also detect small objects and objects with low reflectivity, such as cardboard, for which millimeter wave radar is not suitable. There are many other types of sensors available, and if used in combination with them this transducer can compensate for their weaknesses to enable even more advanced sensing. We can expect to see the development of a wide range of applications for these sensors in the future. Highly evaluated was the potential of this technology to contribute to society as a technology suited to the demands of the “new normal”, including contactless user interfaces and the detection of pulse and other vital signs.