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Bringing unique remote sensing and actuation technology to market


British company Instrumentel has developed a revolutionary communications technology that enables two-way command and control for battery-less remote sensing and actuation.

The company originated from the University of Leeds, where ground-breaking research by Dr Greg Horler of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering has produced an inductively coupled wireless telemetry system based on miniaturised electronics that can both sense and actuate.

It is believed that Instrumentel is the first company in the world to do this without using batteries, and with such an array of features.

Its core technology consists of an electronic tag and a reader. The tag is a miniature transponder, connected to sensors or actuators that are mounted inside the area where measurement or actuation needs to take place. The reader is a compact electronic communicator that provides inductive power and communicates with the tag enabling exchange of information between it and the reader.

This unique wireless “tag and reader” technology has a wide range of applications and the company is continually developing new products with the technology to meet market needs. For example, Instrumentel has devised lockable containers, totes and pallets for the use of a major retailer who is interested in securing high value goods in the supply chain.

Instrumentel has two key products: IntraSense and IntraLock, both of which are based on this core technology.


IntraSense uses the tag and reader technology to retrieve and transmit information in tight spaces and harsh environments. IntraSense was initially developed as a piston telemetry tool for the Formula 1 engine development sector. It has since been developed for a range of other markets, such as the food analysis market, where companies have expressed a desire for a method of measuring acidity levels in the mouth when food is consumed and in the rail industry, where Instrumentel is looking to develop it to monitor stress in rail tracks on a real-time basis. Needless to say there are numerous applications in industry and in the military where the technology can be applied to solve a range of issues.


Using the same core technology, IntraLock provides a high level of security to containers by way of a battery-less electronic lock and coded key. The “smart” container lock will only actuate within a designated area by a trained individual, therefore restricting who opens the container and where it can be opened. It also allows point-to-point asset tracking, making it suitable for a wide range of sectors: from securing police evidence or medical samples, through to ensuring the security of high-value goods in the supermarket supply chain.

Steve Couchman | alfa
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