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MIT Engineers Build Smart Power Outlet

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Artist's conception of the smart outlet.

A team of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a smart power outlet capable of analyzing electrical current usage from a single or multiple outlets.

Credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a smart power outlet that can analyze electrical current usage from single or multiple outlets, differentiating benign arcs from dangerous arcs.

The system also can be trained to identify what might be plugged into a specific outlet, such as a fan instead of a desktop computer.

The custom hardware of the smart power outlet processes electrical current data in real time, while software analyzes that data via a neural network.

The system relies on a machine learning algorithm to determine whether a signal is harmful by comparing it to those used to train the system.

The outlet can connect to other devices wirelessly via the Internet of Things.

"I think the larger goal is to have everything connected, all of the time, for a smarter, more interconnected world," says MIT's Joshua Siegel.

From MIT News
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