Improved Hector at Proof of Concept 2.0

What smart device would be most useful for you? What do you expect from an application that tracks your electricity consumption? How would you improve Energysquare, the wireless phone charger? What if the customer became a co-creator? This is the goal of EDF Pulse & You, a digital laboratory of crowd-sourced innovation. Since April 2016, start-ups and companies have been using it to present their projects in fields like energy, well-being and housing to the public. The goal of the platform’s new 2.0 version of the proof of concept (POC), comments and discussion forums is to give users the ability to contribute their two cents. Here, innovations are tested before being improved and refined thanks to feedback from future users. “We hope that people will tell us how EDF can respond to their expectations in everyday life” “We hope that people will tell us how EDF can respond to their expectations in everyday life”, said Gaël Le Boulch, the person in charge of open innovation at the marketing department for EDF residential customers. The comments and ideas submitted by users will help improve products, develop technologies, and even create services that the designers may not have thought of”. Home Tests These guidelines have worked perfectly for Hector, a pocket-sized weather station and the latest invention to be critiqued by the website community. In response to concerns about its supposed Achilles’ heel--namely, the fragility of a prototype small enough to hold in the palm of your hand--experts have reinforced Hector, giving it a pre-installed battery, a cube form that cannot be disassembled, and a revamped suction pad. These changes greatly increase its sturdiness. Another change anticipated after comments made by the testers is that users will be able to consult the information collected (temperature and humidity of their home) from a distance on a smartphone or tablet. Other improvements were Another change anticipated after comments made by the testers is that users will be able to consult the information collected (temperature and humidity of their home) from a distance on a smartphone or tablet. Other improvements were suggested, including adding LEDs to make it easier to see the readings. Even the marketing department has taken user feedback into account: the logo has been well thought-out, the packaging was reviewed and redesigned, and the website highlights the many uses for the product. The testers have clearly left nothing to chance! And the experiment isn’t over. Some of them have been selected to test Hector at home until 15 October. This is an additional step in the co-construction processand more information is available at the EDF Pulse & You website. To go further Discover EDF Pulse & You, a co-innovation platformEnergysquare or how to recharge wirelessly

[EN] Planète Progrès : un projecteur intelligent, une hydrolienne et un skateboard électrique

[EN] Ce nouvel épisode de Planète progrès vous emmène à la découverte de différents objets intelligents qui pourraient bien séduire la maisonnée. C’est le cas d’Egger, un projecteur connecté qui enchantera les enfants. Les adolescents, quant à eux, adopteront peut-être très vite Eon, un système permettant de rendre n’importe quel skateboard électrique. Pour les femmes qui souhaitent devenir maman, le bracelet Ava sera leur meilleur allié. Grâce à lui, elles peuvent en effet connaître en temps réel leur date d’ovulation. Quant au rafraîchisseur d’air écologique Geizeer, chacun pourra en profiter durant les chaudes journées d’été. Sans oublier la production de l'énergie de demain avec le parc éolien de de Paimpol-Bréhat et une manière intelligente de contrôler sa consommation d'électricité.Les sujets Planète Progrès Eon, un dispositif pour rendre vos skateboards électriques Egger, un projecteur connecté pour les enfants L’hydrolienne du parc éolien de Paimpol-Bréhat Geizeer, un rafraichisseur d’air écologique Ava, le bracelet connecté pour connaitre ses périodes de fertilitéE.quilibre, une solution intelligente pour contrôler sa consommation d’électricité

Planet Progress: a smart projector, a marine turbine and an electric skateboard

This new episode of Planet Progress will take you on the discovery of various smart objects that could seduce the whole household. This is true of Egger, a connected projector that will enchant your children. Teenagers on the other hand will quickly become enthralled by Eon, a system that can make any skateboard electric. As for women hoping to become mothers, the Ava bracelet will be their new best friend. This device offers them real-time detection of their ovulation period. And Geizeer, the eco-friendly air cooler, will be a comfort to everyone on hot summer days. Last but not least is tomorrow's energy generator: the Paimpol-Bréhat tidal farm is an intelligent way to control energy consumption. In this episode of Planet Progress Eon, a system to convert any skateboard into a powerful electric machine Egger: Interactive Learning Projector For Kids The marine turbine of the Paimpol-Bréhat tidal farm Geizeer, an eco-friendly air cooler Ava, a connected bracelet to track your fertility periodsE.quilibre, une solution intelligente pour contrôler sa consommation d’électricité

[EN] Et le Li-Fi fut !

[EN] Les habitants de l'éco-quartier Camille Claudel à Palaiseau (Essonne) seront parmi les tous premiers en France à bénéficier d'un réseau Li-Fi chez eux. Cette technologie utilise la lumière pour transporter des informations sans fil, grâce à une géolocalisation extrêmement fine. Déjà à la pointe du développement du Li-Fi sur la voie publique, EDF cherche désormais à installer cette idée à l'intérieur même des foyers. A cette fin, EDF Optimal Solutions a lancé en décembre 2015 un appel à projets avec la plateforme Partager La Ville afin d'imaginer les applications les plus utiles aux habitants et de recruter les start-up les plus ingénieuses en matière de transmission sans fil par la lumière. On en connaît aujourd’hui le lauréat : il s’agit de Home LiFi-Services, qui privilégie l’interconnexion des objets connectés. Il regroupe les sociétés Actiled, Courchevel Telecom, Algonano, Mon Pti voisinage et Bee Lifi. Valentine de Lajarte, directrice et co-fondatrice de Partager La Ville revient sur cette démarche originale. Comment le projet Home Li-Fi est-il né ? Valentine de Lajarte : Nous avons fait le constat que la technologie Li-Fi existait mais sans être véritablement utilisée. Il nous a semblé judicieux de mettre en relation, par le biais de la plateforme Partager La Ville, différents acteurs capables d'imaginer l'avenir de cette innovation de rupture. Et, plus précisément, de définir de nouveaux usages mieux adaptés et utiles aux habitants. Après concertation avec la municipalité de Palaiseau, ScientiPôle Aménagement (1) et EDF Optimal Solution, le choix a été fait de déployer la technologie Li-Fi et de développer des services facilitant le maintien à domicile des personnes dépendantes. Par ailleurs, EDF optimal Solutions a été à l’initiative du déploiement de la technologie Li-Fi en outdoor sur les 75 lampadaires du quartier Camille Claudel dans la Ville de Palaiseau du quartier Camille Claudel. Pourquoi avoir retenu cette thématique ? Les plus de 60 ans représentent déjà près de 23 % de la population française et leur part devrait atteindre 31,5% en 2050. Or les personnes âgées déclarent en majorité vouloir rester chez elles le plus longtemps possible, préférant le maintien à domicile au placement en structure spécialisée au coût élevé. Or, 80% des accidents de la vie courante des plus de 65 ans sont dus à des chutes survenues au domicile. Des services de communication géolocalisées, par exemple des alertes de sécurité, utilisant le Li-Fi prennent alors tout leur sens. Pouvez-vous nous donner un exemple des services qui peuvent être proposés grâce au réseau Li-Fi à l’intérieur des bâtiments ? Une intelligence artificielle va pouvoir détecter des mouvements anormaux dans une habitation, comme un arrêt prolongé dans un couloir qui peut être le signe d'une chute. Mais un tel système ne devient vraiment intéressant que si une alerte est transmise à une plate-forme de téléassistance et si cette alerte est prise en charge, par exemple, par un service de conciergerie. Des consultations médicales à distance peuvent même venir compléter le dispositif. Pour aller plus loin Retrouvez le projet sur le site partagerlaville.com Au cœur du plus grand écoquartier à Palaiseau

And there was Li-Fi!

Residents of the Camille Claudel eco-district in Palaiseau (Essonne) will be some of the very first in France to enjoy Li-Fi network access at home. The technology uses light to carry information wirelessly using extremely precise geolocation. Already a leading player in rolling out Li-Fi in public spaces, EDF is now looking to bring this idea right into people's homes. To achieve this, EDF Optimal Solutions launched a call for projects in December 2015 with the Partager La Ville platform so as to identify the most useful apps for residents and to recruit the most ingenious start-ups working in wireless light-based transmission. And the winner can now be revealed: Home LiFi-Services, which works on interconnection between connected devices. It includes the companies Actiled, Courchevel Telecom, Algonano, Mon P'ti Voisinage and Bee Lifi. We spoke to Valentine de Lajarte, director and co-founder of Partager La Ville, about this original approach. How did the Home Li-Fi project come about? Valentine de Lajarte: We'd noticed that Li-Fi technology existed but wasn't really being used. We thought it made sense to use the Partager La Ville platform to bring together a range of stakeholders who could set out the future of this breakthrough innovation – and, more specifically, who could determine new uses that are better suited to and more useful for residents. After dialogue with the municipality of Palaiseau, ScientiPôle Aménagement (1) and EDF Optimal Solutions, the choice was made to roll out Li-Fi technology and to develop services to help dependent people remain at home. Alongside this, EDF Optimal Solutions was also behind the roll-out of outdoor Li-Fi technology through the 75 street lights in Palaiseau's Camille Claudel neighbourhood. Why did you choose this theme? The over-60s currently account for 23% of the population of France, and this should reach 31.5% by 2050. But the majority of elderly people say they want to stay at home for as long as possible, preferring this option to moving to expensive specialised facilities. However, 80% of day-to-day accidents among the over-65s are caused by falls at home. In this context, geolocated communication services using Li-Fi – for example safety warnings – show their true value. Could you give us an example of services that could be offered thanks to a Li-Fi network within buildings? An artificial intelligence could detect abnormal movements within a home, such as prolonged lack of movement in a corridor, which could indicate a fall. But the benefits of this system only really become clear if a warning is sent to a remote assistance platform and if this warning is looked into, for example, by a concierge service. Remote medical consultations could even be used as an additional system feature. To go further Find out the project on partagerlaville.com website (in French) At the heart of the biggest eco-district in Palaiseau

Top-up charging technology makes electric buses more efficient

The expert : After his thesis on induction melting of metals, Bernard Maestrali joined the EDF research and development centre in the microwaves and high frequencies team. Currently the head of Energy Optimisation & Industrial Procedures Expertise, he leads three teams: one develops industrial heat pumps, another creates tools to optimise the use of energy and materials on industrial sites, and the third works on original ideas to help spread electric mobility solutions, particularly this top-up charging project for buses. . Photo DR. What is top-up charging and what are its advantages compared with current charging techniques? Biberonnage (top-up charging) is a French term referring to how babies are fed many times in a day, but the concept has been known around the world for three to four years now. This can be applied to an electric vehicle with a fixed route whose battery will be partially re-charged at each stop. At EDF, we are considering this solution for buses, but it could also work for shuttles used in airports or large university campuses. The idea is that it is not necessary to charge a battery 100% before the start of a service route. You can, for example, start with a 20% charge, knowing that you will top up on the way. There are several advantages. There are fewer spikes in demand on the power grid since there is no need to recharge entire bus fleets at night. In addition, the batteries do not have to be large enough to last a whole day. They can be smaller, which saves on weight and allows buses to take on more passengers. Also, top-up charging means a very low charge/discharge duration, and there is little variation in the voltage, which preserves the battery's service life. This is also good news in terms of investment since the batteries are less expensive and last longer. Further reading: The fully electric bus that charges itself Top-up charging of electric buses is the subject of several field experiments in France, including one at the Nice airport underway since November 2014. © PVI, Aéroport de Nice Côte d'Azur EDF has chosen to work on contactless inductive charging. Why this technique? We think that induction is the smartest solution and the most flexible (editor's note: see inset). Unlike with other existing charging solutions (pantograph, articulated arm, ground contactor etc.), there is no physical contact. When the bus reaches the charging area its positioning does not have to be so precise. In addition, introducing the mechanism requires less significant roadworks since the slab containing the inductor can be level with the surface or buried just 5 millimetres under the road. How inductive top-up charging works The principle of the inductive charging system which EDF is working on is based on two inductors. One is fitted in the bus and the other is embedded in a large slab made of strong plastic material, which is inserted into the road surface at the level of the bus stop. When the vehicle reaches the zone, the inductors are face-to-face and the charge begins without physical contact, by inductive coupling, with a yield of 90-95%. There is no minimum duration for the battery charge since it is simply a question of increasing the level by a few percentage points. The time that a bus is stationary at a stop is about one to two minutes depending on the number of people, and the system injects on average 100 kW. Photo : EDF Are there already plans to roll this out in France or elsewhere the world? There are experiments exploring various technical solutions, notably in Grenoble, Nice and Geneva, Switzerland. But for the moment, nothing has yet been rolled-out on a large scale. We should keep in mind that the pros and cons of each of these technologies have not yet been completely identified and tested over time. At EDF, we have been working on inductive charging in various forms, and we are in contact with municipal transport systems. No matter what, there will need to be a phase of harmonising all the technology. I think we will have to wait between five and ten years to see top-up charging technology for buses in our cities. Further reading: A garage for electric bicycles In the future, do you think it will be possible to top-up individuals' electric cars? Absolutely. We have already carried out modelling studies on such a concept. In fact, our current work on static charging is in preparation for the advent of dynamic charging systems which could pave the way for electric motorways. This would involve placing inductors on stretches of road at regular intervals, enabling electric vehicles to constantly top-up. This level of autonomy would allow drivers to make long journeys without long stops. As with buses, car batteries would not have to be so large, which would reduce weight and cost, and would offer more design flexibility. But even if the technology exists, ways of thinking will have to evolve if we are to make the switch from thermal engines to electric ones. When it comes to cars, we are a bit set in our ways. So, it's also our job to change minds. On the same topic Battery energy just when you need it The future of electric busesWireless electric buses are setting off in EnglandELLISUP, the fully electric bus that charges itselfSolar Roadway: roads that produce electricity In Partnership with

Wandercraft’s exoskeleton gains momentum

It's finally here. After three years of experiments, Atalante – the exoskeleton from Wandercraft – was officially presented for the first time at the company's Paris offices on 9 June. It was a chance to see just how far the first winner of the EDF Pulse Awards has come since 2014 – then, the robotic legs, destined to change daily life for people with motor disabilities, were just an idea from science fiction, a project in its infancy from a start-up founded by three old classmates from the École Polytechnique. Three years later, the robotics company employs 25 people, raised €4 million last year, and works with the École des Mines and Paris-Tech universities and the CNRS, the French national scientific research centre. "At every stage, at every trade show and event, EDF Pulse has supported us and offered us media exposure and a reputation boost without equal," says Matthieu Masselin, deputy director of Wandercraft. A future alternative to wheelchairs, these 35 kilograms of pure technology are a way of "giving dependent and disabled people the use of their legs". And with its 12 motors, each controlling a joint at the hips, knees or ankles, the prototype offers much greater freedom of movement than its current competitors, which are limited to 4 motors. Its performance is primarily based on a sensor belt attached to the torso area, which triggers movements in a similar way to a Segway – the upper body controls the entire device. In addition, the robotic legs benefit from increasingly precise algorithms, which can control each movement directly by flexing, closely resembling natural walking. The results: “A more flexible, intuitive way of walking, all thanks to a lighter system," says Matthieu Masselin. Atalante can regain its balance faced with obstacles and negotiate steps and pavements, and does not require the use of crutches, unlike current exoskeletons. It's a way to increase the independence of its users, beginning with paraplegics and people with degenerative diseases, including myopathy and multiple sclerosis. On the market at the end of 2017 For the robotics company and its prototype, the future is approaching fast. At the end of the year, the first patient tests will be held at one or two care homes, with patients using the exoskeleton for two hours a day for six weeks. It will be the moment of truth and a time for final adjustments thanks to feedback from the dependent users as well as the medical staff who care for them. "It will be a chance to make our technology even more mature," says Nicolas Simon, director of Wandercraft. "Then, we will need to show its therapeutic benefits during the clinical trial stage. And these benefits for people who are not independent, such as patients at rehabilitation centres or the elderly, include better blood circulation and improved intestinal transit as well as helping to reduce osteoporosis, and more." The aim is to put the first systems on the market from the end of 2017. Wandercraft wins First Prize ("Gold") At Grand Prix de l'Innovation Digitale [Great Awards of Digital Innovation], in the category "Community transformation". More about [in French] To go furtherWandercraft : walking again without crutches

“Above all, this award is an opportunity to expand our network!”

What is EcoIsme's aim? Ivan Pasichnyk : EcoIsme aims to provide the tools for everyone to be able to take steps to protect the environment and the planet from the comfort of their own home. We know that too much energy can be simply wasted – that we sometimes consume more than we really need. With EcoIsme, we want everyone to be able to save money and protect resources while helping to develop renewable energy sources as much as possible. If we truly want to change our energy system, for example by developing solar power, we need to make sure that demand from consumers doesn't exceed the amount of energy generated by the solar panels. How does your device work? EcoIsme can result in energy savings of up to 30%, and even more with solar panels. To measure the energy being consumed by the household and to obtain data on the residents' habits, we use our own sensor, which is connected to the main power line and plugged into a socket. Once we have this data, we send it to the user. The data, which gives details on the energy used by all the appliances in the home, is very easy to analyse so that users can understand where their money is going and control their spending. Why did you call it EcoIsme? It's a contraction of "Ecology is me", which states the main aim of the system and the start-up's truly eco-friendly vision. We're convinced that sustainable development requires smart homes. Human beings can't spend their entire lives monitoring everything, but technology can help us to save time, money and the planet's resources. You've just won the 2016 EDF Pulse Award for the "Smart Home" category. For us, this award from EDF is above all an opportunity to expand our network. It's also a source of pride due to the huge support we received from Ukraine during the vote (although the start-up is based in Krakow, Ivan Pasichnyk is Ukrainian – Ed.). And winning €100,000 in prize money is also a nice bonus. Especially now that we're finalising the prototypes and moving to the production stage. To go furtherEcoIsme: Regulate energy in your homeAnd the three winners of the third EDF Pulse Awards are...