Robot "laser" personal heater


June 2012: Haser wins an Award from Awesome Foundation!!

July 2012: 
Throwing focused heat 15 feet (3.5m) away!

Haser is a highly targeted space heater (like a heat spotlight) that transports heat directly to you, from over 15 feet away, with over 50% energy savings. Multiple units use Wifi to cover you (and others) front and back. They're also totally programmable & hackable. Here's a fun, 1-minute video of how Haser works (much more detail here):

Haser intro

Heating is expensive. A small room takes 1,500 watts, but with normal clothing, your skin (surprisingly) needs only 20W in a chilly room (64-68F).  We gain 75% of heat via radiation (e.g. from the Sun), but today's systems are inefficient, using convection. Even the "avant-garde" Dyson Hot +Cool™, retailing at $400, uses about 1,200W. Haser uses less power and gives you over three times the mobility of Dyson's fan/heater. It will likely pay for itself, through savings, within a year. Chances are, with utility company and government rebates, you might even be able to get one for free

Haser uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to see you, track you, then “paint” you (i.e. target you) with heat. Not the air, not the room, just you. It produces warm infrared (IR) heat via lasers or other collimated (highly focused) sources. Like a heat lamp, it uses IR around 1000nm for a nice soothing warmth. It delivers at 4mW/cm2 (100% eye-safe) to the skin with little loss, allowing the thermostat to be set to 65F and save 60% energy.

The companion Rover robot unit plugs in and charges a PCM (Phase Change Material) with high heat capacity. It then comes to you and gives off ambient radiant heat, again, bringing heat to you. When it needs to go off and recharge, a topped-up second unit comes to take its place. Heat generated at the Haser is removed using a circulating fluid (like a car's radiator) which also goes to heating the Rover. Almost all of the heat generated by the system is transported directly to you without intermediary losses.

Haser is designed from the outset as a multi-unit, smart, distributed, networked, adaptive, fully programmable climate control system, adding to the "internet of things." Multiple Hasers and Rovers auto-configure over WiFi to create the best heating plan. Almost all the tech & open source software for all this already exists so it isn't pie-in-the-sky. An open API (Application Programming Interface) will be provided for hobbyists.

Current Status. Research & Development towards proof-of-concept. 
July 2012. Can throw significant amounts of heat 15 feet! Preliminary tests with a 200-300W source and a large Fresnel lens show this. 

Here's a video of Haser heating a specific spot even when the body is in motion (45 seconds):
Note: The heating is real, the tracking is human-controlled. We'll have a video of the computer controlled targetter soon. Our focus, though, is primarily on the heating, not the targetting. That technology already exists and others are working on making that better and better.

Haser targetting heat

Haser Static test

May-June 2012. We've done some tests with IR lasers and thermally sensitive fabric, from distances of 3 to 12 ft  (1 to 4 m).

What's needed.  Lasers, power supplies, microcontrollers (Raspberry Pi and Arduino), stepper motors, optics, laser thermometer, tools, cables, optic fibers, oscilloscope, IR lamps, etc. We have some salvaged equipment with little documentation. Anyone know how to fool a Spectra-Physics S90 laser power supply into using a generic laser (image below)? These are pretty powerful and we have two. It has an RS232 serial interface and we already have the basic command set and instruction manual, but it needs digital feedback from its own laser head. 

Spectra physics J20 power supply