The first embedded ultra-compact Artificial Intelligence processing card for on the edge computing
UP Bridge the Gap – a brand of AAEON Europe – is proud to launch AI Core: the first embedded ultra-compact Artificial Intelligence processing cards for edge computing.
AI Core is a mini-PCIe module powered by Intel® Movidius™ Myriad™ 2 technology. This low-power module enhances industrial IoT edge devices with hardware accelerated deep learning and enhanced machine vision functionality. AAEON Technology is one of the first IPC manufacturers to address the growing need for Artificial Intelligence on the edge with dedicated hardware.
Most of the available IoT solutions are focused on connecting edge devices to the cloud and these deployments face challenges related to latency, network bandwidth, reliability and security. Experts in this field agree that not all the tasks and decision making processes can be addressed in cloud-only models. AI Core is the solution for cloud limitations by bringing AI performance and hardware acceleration not “at” but “ON” the edge of the Internet of Things.
AI Core is powered by an advanced vision processing unit: the Intel® Movidius™ Myriad™ 2 VPU. With 512 MB onboard DDR memory this mini card module requires very little energy to enable local deep-learning and computing vision algorithms. (more…)
After having grazed the maker’s ecosystem in the year 2012, the Raspberry Pi has attracted a huge number of hobbyists and tinkerers all over the world. It has been the world’s most popular single board computer and a close competitor to the Arduino since then. If you have never heard of the Raspberry Pi, then look at wikipedia article.
Despite the huge fame that has followed the Raspberry Pi and some amazing projects created with it, some questions are still being asked like; What can you do with it and why would you want to? I remember when I first got my own Raspberry Pi back in 2013, I never touched it for about a year because this sort of questions was ramping on my head and couldn’t find any convincing answer then.
The Raspberry Pi is a great single-board computer that has grazed the surface of the earth with some amazing power and capabilities that are often underestimated. There is hardly anything you can not build with the Raspberry Pi, and yes, you can even build a Raspberry Pi Artificial Intelligence Cluster (build your own Jarvis, my favorite project). If you’re new to the life of Pi or mid-level into the into Pi then this post will provide some helpful Raspberry Pi tutorials and resources to help you fully utilize the Pi.
Getting Started with Raspberry Pi
This is a must tutorial for newbies and it basically sums up the bits of getting the Raspberry Pi out of the box and making your first Hello World program. It covers the general discussion about the Raspberry Pi, installing the Raspberry OS, OS choices, applications of the Raspberry Pi, and several others.
Despite the fact that the Raspberry Pi can be used with some other operating system, the Raspbian OS has been the most commonly used on the Pi. These guides will focus mainly on installing the Raspbian OS on the Raspberry Pi. It works in a way similar to what you see on windows, when the Pi boots, it will look for a specific boot file on the SD card, and once that file has been found, it will begin to execute the code inside and the OS loads.
The Raspberry Pi can be programmed with different programming languages, including Java, C, C++, and Python. Despite the fact that all these languages work quite well on the Raspberry Pi, Python is the most used of all mostly due to its flexible and easy language. Learning different languages is the best thing that any maker can do, but as a first language, Python is a good language to start with. There are many tutorials on Python online (even a few on Maker.io), so here are a whole bunch of them
Internet of Things is now becoming the mainstream buzz and learning how to build your own IoT-enabled projects for the Pi can allow the Pi to be accessed over the internet, control external devices using a mobile device, and take sensor readings and print them to a website is going to be a good idea.
The above tutorials and resources could be the life-saving guide you might need to start creating with the Raspberry Pi. Some of the projects demonstrated have shown how capable the single board computer can be.
The Samsung ARTIK™ is an integrated IoT platform consisting of enterprise-grade modules, cloud services, and end-to-end security for the design and development of robust IoT solutions. ARTIK empowers developers with easy-to-use APIs and SDKs, extensive documentation and rich tools. It hides the complexity inherent in IoT behind open, enterprise-grade APIs. Seeed Studio, a household hardware company, has launched the Eagleye 530s.
The Eagleye 530s released by Seeed is a maker board in a Raspberry Pi form factor and powered by the Samsung Artik-IoT Platform. The Eagleye incorporates the Samsung ARTIK 530s, a 1GB system-on-module (SoM). Samsung Artik 530/530s is a module meant for the Internet of Things; it’s based on a quad-core Arm Cortex A9 processor for local data processing and multimedia engine to handle audio and video processing. The module provides support for Ethernet, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and 802.15.4/Zigbee and Thread connectivity. Eagleye 530s supports full HDMI, MIPI camera interface, video, and audio media.
As compared to the original Raspberry Pi 3, The Eagleye has an ARM Cortex A9 installed with four cores clocking at 1.2 GHz. They both have a 1G of RAM, while the Pi 3 requires a micro SD card as it’s storage medium, the Eagleye doesn’t, it comes with a 4GB of eMMC flash memory, so micro SD card is optional. It offers much more than it’s competing product, it supports the wireless protocol Zigbee, making it suitable for IoT gateway applications.
The following are the Eagleye 530s board specifications:
Processor– Quad Core Arm Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2GHz
System Memory – 1GB DDR3
Storage – 4GB eMMC flash, SD card slot
802.11a/b/g/n dual band SISO (2.4G/5G)
Gigabit Ethernet port (RJ45)
Video Output – HDMI port
Audio – 1x Headphone Jack
Camera– 1x MIPI CSI header
USB – 2x USB 2.0 type A ports, 1x micro USB OTG Type-B
Debugging – 1 x Micro USB UART Type-B
Expansion – 40-pin GPIO expansion header compatible with Raspberry Pi
Power Supply – 5V via DC jack or micro USB UART connector
Dimensions – 87mm x 58.5mm x 20mm
Weight – 50g
Eagleye 530s will allow Samsung ARTIK developers to build on the powerful Raspberry and Makers ecosystem easily. Eagleye 530s is available for preorder on the Seeed website. Estimated ship date at the end of April 2018.
The new STM32WB from STMicroelectronics is a new wireless supporting System on a chip (SoC) that comes with a fully-featured ARM Cortex-M4 (@ 64 MHz) based microcontroller to run the main computing processes. It also has an ARM Cortex-M0+ core (@ 32 MHz) to offload the main processor and offer real-time operation on the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5 and IEEE 802.15.4 radio. The SoC can also run other wireless protocols as OpenThread, ZigBee® or other proprietary protocols. It opens many more options for connecting devices to the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Cortex-M4 combined with a Cortex-M0+ for network processing makes sure the STM32WB to be the latest ultra-low-power microcontroller to combine superior RF performance with longer battery life. The SoC also combines essential circuitry for connecting to the antenna. It also packs right amount user and system memory, hardware encryption, and customer-key storage for brand and IP protection.
These days, only a few manufacturers offer similar dual-processor wireless chips capable of managing the user application and the radio separately for maximum performance. Alternative chips typically utilize entry-level ARM Cortex-M industry-standard cores, which introduce technical limitations and very low amount of onboard flash memory.
The robust and low-power 2.4GHz radio consumes only 5.5mA in transmit mode of this new STM32WB and as little as 3.8mA when receiving. This device also include STM32 digital and analog peripherals that are engineered for low power consumption and complex functionalities, including timers, ultra-low-power comparators, 12/16-bit SAR ADC, a capacitive touch controller, LCD controller, and industry-standard connectivity including crystal-less USB 2.0 FS, I2C, SPI, SAI audio interface, and a Quad-SPI supporting execution in place.
STM32WB devices will be available in an array of 48-pin UQFN, 68-pin VQFN, or 100-pin WLCSP with up to 72 general-purpose I/Os (GPIO). Each can be specified with any of three memory configurations, giving a choice of 256KB Flash and 128KB RAM, 512KB-Flash/256KB-RAM, or 1MB-Flash/256KB-RAM.
SODAQ wants to provide you with the tools to build for the estimated 25 billion Internet of Things by 2020 using their set of Cellular IoT suite called SODAQ SARA Family.
Several industriy analysts have claimed that we will have 100 billion IoT devices connected and in circulation by 2050, with the majority of them running on the cellular network mostly due to its large-scale access and ease of deployment. We have already seen IoT deployments on 2G networks but the recent movement of Telecom operators into 4G networks and outfacing their 2G networks are paving ways for new IoT focused technologies to be integrated into the 4G networks. Some of these technologies being developed and deployed are the LTE-M and NB-IoT (Narrow Band IoT). NB-IoT focuses specifically on indoor coverage, low cost, long battery life, and enabling a large number of connected devices. LTE-M will allow Internet of Things devices to connect directly to a 4G network, without a gateway, and on batteries.
To facilitate the development of these exciting technologies, SODAQ which previously launched their NB-IoT shield for Arduino last year is incorporating a range of u-blox SARA modules in its design. The SARA modules are available for NB-IoT, LTE-M but also for 2G and 3G. The following are the u-blox Sara modules used in their IoT cellular suite are:
SARA-N211 – NB-IoT, band 8 and 20, for the European and African market.
SARA-R410M – Dual mode LTE-M and NB-IoT module for all global bands.
SARA-R412M – Triple mode module with LTE-M, NB-IoT, and 2G for all global bands.
The SODAQ board is called the SODAQ SARA. The SARA is an Arduino sized and compatible development board running the Atmel SAM-D21 32 bit microcontroller, along with one of the three u-box modules. In addition to the cellular modules, the SODAQ SARA comes integrated with a u-blox SAM-M8Q GNSS module for precise geolocation. SODAQ claims the GNSS module offers more accurate positioning than conventional GPS because it utilizes the Beidou, Galileo and Glonass satellites. It also comes with an accelerometer/magnetometer chip.
SODAQ is also launching a small form factor (SFF) edition of the same board with a size of about 55 x 25mm and still maintains the same functionality on the bigger board. One significant feature of their boards is that you can power the board directly with a solar panel and further program the boards with the Arduino development tools (Arduino IDE).
SODAQ is currently crowdfunding the boards on Kickstarter. With the three different LTE IoT module and two types of boards, SODAQ is offering a total of 6 different versions of its boards:
SARA-N211 NB-IoT (Band 8/20) for 90 Euros
SARA-R410M NB-IoT + LTE Cat M for 100 Euros
SARA-R412M NB-IoT + LTE Cat M + 2G fallback for 110 Euros with 1,200 mAh battery
SFF N211 for 95 Euros
SFF R410M for 105 Euros
SFF R412M for 115 Euros with 800 mAh battery
If all goes well in the Kickstarter campaign and SODAQ raises the required €25,000 over the remaining days of its campaign, the Internet of Things Development Suite will start shipping out to backers during March 2018.
With the arrival of the IoT and the need for control, devices now need to do more than perform the basic functions for which they are built, they need to be capable of communicating with other devices like a mobile phone among others. There are different communication systems which can be adapted for communication between devices, they include systems like WiFi, RF, Bluetooth among several others. Our focus will be on communication over Bluetooth.
Today we will be building an Arduino based project which communicates with an app running on a smartphone (Android) via Bluetooth.
Arduino Communication with an Android App via Bluetooth – [Link]
Particle, which has been known for its collection of IoT focused development boards, and its Internet of Things (IoT) platform (Particle Cloud) has launched a new set of mesh network-enabled IoT development kits called Particle Mesh. Particle Mesh is expected to provide developers more insight into implementing mesh networking technology. They help to collect sensor data, exchange local messages, and share their connection to the cloud.
Particle Mesh features a new family of mesh-ready devices with Wi-Fi, BLE and LTE connectivity and also integrated with the Particle device cloud. Particle mesh consists of three main boards: The Argon, The Boron, and the Xenon. Each of these Particle Mesh boards has at least one form of outside connectivity option (LTE/3G/2G, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) and an onboard mesh network hardware to facilitate setting up a mesh network for local communications between sensors and other particle mesh boards. All three devices are built around the Nordic nRF52840 MCU + BLE + mesh radio and follow the Adafruit Feather specification making it compatible with most Adafruit FeatherWing hardware accessories. (more…)
Everybody loves the Raspberry (at least the makers does) and has seen several applications from being blasted to space or powering a self-driving car. Raspberry Pi in its natural state is an ideal platform for IoT development mostly due to its connectivity interfaces like the Bluetooth, WiFi, and Ethernet but no significant development has been done in this space apart from some pretty hacks in the last years. GraspIO in partnership with Farnell Element14 distributor has released the GraspIO Cloudio, a Raspberry Pi add-on board with Drag and Drop programming interface for full suite IoT applications development.
Cloudio offers the ability to do drag and drop programming instead of the conventional text-based python programming and is supported on iOS and Android devices. So with just an Android phone, iPhone or iPad, you can start programming and controlling your raspberry pi cloudio based applications. Cloudio incorporates Voice Assistant Capabilities, Internet of Things cloud service, sensor monitoring and dashboard, custom notifications, and even provides off the shelf support with the beautiful IFTTT (“If This Then That”) platform. With the integration of IFTTT, you can easily automate some actions like for examples – if an email is received then send sensor reading or feed the fish for a while, another interesting case is – if a weather forecast states there is a likelihood of rain then closes the cage. Cloudio also provides support for upload program to multi-board at once, a perfect option if you will be managing a large number of boards.
At the heart of the Cloudio board is the Atmel 8-bit AVR Atmega32U4 controller and comes in a portable size that makes it compatible with Raspberry Pi 1/2/3/Zero and ZeroW. It comes with a 0.96″ OLED Screen, a display that can be used for displaying real-time sensor values, custom messages and even supports emojis. The board includes proximity, light and temperature sensors and an extra 3 ADX ports for interfacing with external sensors. The board consists of a proximity, light, and temperature sensors plus 3x ADC interfaces for connecting other sensors such as humidity and motion. With the Cloudio, you will never run out of 5V ports as it comes with three digital 5V output ports. Cloudio does not require any external power supply unit and gets its power from the underlying Raspberry Pi. Other features of the board are a mini 5V servo motor port, a buzzer, RGB LED and tactile switch.
According to Steve Carr, the Global Head of Marketing at Premier Farnell and Farnell element14, he says –
“The versatility of GraspIO Cloudio along with its ease of use will make it popular with makers and innovators in a wide range of application environments. Cloudio, when combined with a Raspberry Pi, is a Full Stack IoT platform meaning that you can programme IoT devices simply and quickly with drag and drop programming on a mobile app. The combination of built-in hardware facilities and access to innovative application software will make Cloudio a valuable addition to the range of tools available to developers of projects involving voice, motion, imaging and cloud interaction.”
Cloudio lets you build and create your own voice assistants using the inbuilt speech recognition feature to control it from your smartphone. It comes with an unlimited cloud service from GraspIO to connect, program, monitor, and manage Cloudio from your mobile device. It is preloaded with 50,000 free Cloud Calls and which a daily 100 non-cumulative calls will be credited to the user’s account for life. Cloudio drag and drop based approach to IoT development is undoubtedly going to help limit the barriers in commencing IoT development.
The GraspIO Cloudio Raspberry Pi add-on board is now available to purchase, priced at $40 and is exclusively manufactured and distributed by Premier Farnell UK Limited and other companies that are members of Premier Farnell Group. You can buy the Cloudio Raspberry Pi add-on board here.
The Socionext MN87900 from Socionext is a powerful and low-power single-chip microwave sensor at 24GHz with sophisticated sensing capabilities like motion detection, speed and direction detection and so many, that can quickly find applications in the Internet of Things sensing applications.
Unlike PIR sensors like the popular HR-SR501 that can detect motion to about 3 meters at about 120 angles and based on the concept of detecting infrared energy emitted by an object while attempting to determine if it’s a motion or not, the Socionext MN87900 is a microwave sensor that sends out microwave signals and detects the bounce back signals to decide if it’s a motion or not. Microwave sensor uses what we call the Doppler’s Effect concept.
SocioNext MN87900 is a 24 GHz and very tiny, measures about 12mm x 7mm x 1mm making it ideal for the small size requirement in the most Internet of Things application and other applications in the areas of smart-home, automotive or driver assistance systems, medical applications, and many more. Based on a single-chip radio frequency IC (RFIC) that offers a multi-mode sensing capability for detecting stationary or moving objects and measuring the distance and direction of movement, including whether an object is approaching or leaving. This multi-mode sensor capability gives the device ability to re-adapt its functionality to different case scenario without making any single hardware changes.
The RFIC can be used to sense very slow movements (like breathing and heartbeats), and even detect the movement of multiple objects within a 160-degree radius to a distance of about 8 meters away. With slight modification, the RFIC can reach a range of up to 30 meters.
Apart from having powerful sensing capabilities, it is also power friendly. During continuous operation, the sensor can take up to 500mW, but this can be reduced to an intermittent operation where for example, during a one-sixth burst, the sensor can take about 80mW, a very drastic reduction in power. The MN87900 can pass through fabric or resin like materials, and unlike camera-based people detecting applications, the MN87900 doesn’t need to capture or display images to identify people or objects which is handy for privacy-concerned applications.
The MN87900 supports SPI as a form of interface to microcontroller system. Along with the hardware, a simple API system was developed to support the designs of CW, FSKCW, and FMCW mode capabilities to provide distance, direction, and relative velocity.
The following are the SocioNext MN87900 key specifications:
Sensing Modes – CW, FSKCW, FMCW (moving or stationary)
Motion direction – approaching or leaving
Motion speed – up to 200 km/h
Range – 0.15 to 8 meters 80°@-3dB, expandable to 30 meters
Variable frequency width – 24.15±0.1 GHz
Host Interface – SPI
High sensitivity – -110dBm
Transmission Power: 0.8mW
Fast frequency pull-in: 100 µs
Automatic adjustment: Built-in initial adjustment function (e.g. adjustment of RC filtering)
Power supply voltage: 2.5V
Current consumption: 200mA
Module size: 12mm x 7mm x 1mm
Weight – 145 mg
Temperature Range – -40°C to 85°C
The module pricing is currently not available, and more information about the product can be found here.
IoT which translates to the Internet of Things has been a significant buzz for the last five years while disrupting major Industries (from Agriculture, Energy, Healthy, Sports and several others).
IoT adoption has seen rapid development in the makers’ world, with different makers and manufacturers producing various forms of boards, chips, software to facilitate quick IoT development. Boards like ESP8266 from Espressif System is used for rapid prototyping and a low-cost choice for Wi-Fi-based IoT applications. Israeli based IoT firm SensiEdge has launched the SensiBLEDuino, an off-the-shelf, hardware-ready development kit based on the open-source Arduino for rapid prototyping of IoT applications.
SensiBLE is a full fledge customizable solution for those wanting to design IoT products. It helps to fasten development with a variety of sensors onboard, along with Bluetooth LE 4.1 capabilities and a low-power ARM® 32-bit Cortex®-M4 CPU with FPU. Some of the main challenges when embarking on IoT product development are; what platform will I use? What sensors are available to achieve my goal(s)? How do I handle connectivity? What about the Cloud Platform to use, and so on. Developers or product designer always result in the use of several boards or modules to achieve this while also increasing the time to bring the product to life. The SensiBLE kit removes most of these fears; it combines hardware and software in tiny form factor to allow developers get their product to market quickly at lower development costs. (more…)