Tag Archives: IoT

3D Printed Objects that can connect to Wi-Fi without any Electronics

The world has seen an exponential growth of the Internet of things, where things are becoming connected. Every physical object is giving the chance to be connected to the internet and emit some data about itself with just the addition of some chips, and some form of wireless interface. Your Electric kettle can basically tell you when it’s ready or even prepare itself down for you.

Researchers have estimated will we have billions of connected objects in the coming years which are already creating security and privacy concerns. Concerns like; what if my device gets hacked, infected with malware or my mission-critical device suddenly losses it’s power. What if we still could achieve this connectivity possibility without having to rely on much electronics? Researchers at the University of Washington have created a range of 3D-printed plastic objects that can communicate with a router even though they’re not connected to the internet and don’t contain any electronics.

The researchers at the University of Washington have found ways to create connected objects with only 3D printed parts and an antenna. They receive funding from the National Science Foundation and Google.

First; they design and 3D printed a combination of plastics like springs, switches, knobs, gears and copper filaments to serve as an antenna. Then, they leverage a technique called “Backscatter Techniques” to transmit the signal to Wi-Fi enabled device. Backscatter systems use an antenna to transmit data by reflecting radio signals emitted by a Wi-Fi transmitting device or a router. Information can be embedded in those reflected patterns and can be decoded by a Wi-Fi receiver. In this case; the antenna is used to reflect the radio signals back to a Wi-Fi receiving device which could by a smartphone and physical motion on the antenna, like a regular tapping cause some form harmonics on the transmitted signal, where this harmonic will serve as the embedded information.

The 3-D printed gears (in white) and spring (blue spiral) toggle a switch (white box with a grey surface) made of conductive plastic. The switch changes the reflective state of a 3-D printed antenna (gray strip) to convey data to a WiFi receiver. Mark Stone/University of Washington

For example – as you pour a fluid ( a liquid detergent, water or even fuel) out of its containing bottle, attached to it a 3D printed gear on the outlet. The speed the gears turns will tell how much fluid content is left and if connected to some form of a switch that can bounces on and off an antenna due to the movement of the gears will make the antenna transmit those changes out with the reflected Wi-Fi signal. The receiver can track how much fluid is left and when it dips below a certain amount, it could possible automatically send a message to your Amazon app to order more or an SMS to notify you of current status.

The team has printed several objects and tools that were able to sense and send information to other connected devices: a button, a wind-speed measuring device, a dial, and a movable gear. When they’ve moved – such as when the button is pressed, the dial is turned, the wind blows through the devices, and so on – the antenna will transmit this change to receiving unit and some actions can be taken. Those devices can then be used to interact with the internet – the button turned on a computer, the dial scrolled a web browser, and a slider controlled a digital slider.

 

This whole communication is unidirectional, means it can only transmit information and not receive back. The team’s work opens up the possibility of adding internet connectivity to everyday items. You can have a water flow measurement device that could, in theory, be incorporated into the design of any bottle, so if you’re running out of juice, detergent, or milk, the speed at which liquid is flowing over the sensor could alert the web to reorder that item for you.

The team is making their 3D models available to the public so that anyone can utilize these objects at home.

Panasonic PAN9420 is a standalone fully embedded Wi-Fi Module

Building an Internet of Things infrastructure most times depends upon the wireless connectivity, but there are many options for wireless and not every device is IP addressable – a requisite feature for IoT. There are many wireless interface options, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), ZigBee, Z-Wave, Lora, RFID and Satellite, each with their own unique balance of power, range, data rates, mesh networking, interference immunity, and ease of use. However, some interfaces are not yet native-IP enabled, so cannot be addressed directly or exchange data with other devices and servers over the Internet. These then require a separate gateway, adding expense and complexity to the final solution.

PAN9420 Wi-Fi module

This is where Wi-Fi stands out: it is based on the IEEE 802.11 standards with native IP addressability, is ubiquitous, well understood, and can scale well in terms of data rates to optimize for power consumption. The PAN9420 is a 2.4 GHz ISM band Wi-Fi-embedded module from Panasonic.

The PAN9420 is a fully embedded stand-alone 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi module and the successor of the PAN9320.  It includes a wireless radio and an MCU for easy integration of Wi-Fi connectivity into various electronic devices. The module is specifically designed for highly integrated and cost-effective applications and includes a fully shielded case, integrated crystal oscillators, and a chip antenna.

The PAN9420 is a 29.0×13.5×2.66mm SMT package with a fully shielded case and a high-performance Marvell® 88MW300 MCU/WLAN System-on-Chip (SoC) inside, an integrated crystal oscillator at 38.4MHz, a clock crystal at 32.768KHz, medium access controller, encryption unit, boot ROM with patching capability, internal SRAM, and a chip antenna with option for a selectable external antenna. It also comes with an integrated web server, over-the-air firmware update, two UART interfaces, and a full security suite.

Block Diagram for the PAN9420 module

Simultaneous Wi-Fi connections can easily be implemented from the module with other smart devices as a result of its support for parallel access point and infrastructure mode. Client (STA), a micro access point (μAP), and Ad-hoc mode (Wi-Fi Direct) applications are enabled by the pre-programmed Wi-Fi SoC firmware. Raw data can be sent over the air from UART to smart devices, web servers, or PC applications with the transparent mode.

Unlike the PAN9320, the PAN9420 has an enhanced temperature range of -40 °C to +85 °C and reduced power consumption in transmitting, idle and power down. The PAN9320 and PAN9420 both have the same PCB configuration making it easy to migrate from PAN9320 without any changes to the PCB design. With a power supply of 3.0 to 3.6V and a power down mode current consumption less than 1mA, the PAN9420 is suitable for low power applications and should run comfortably with coin cell batteries.

It’s available in an Evaluation Kit containing one PAN9420 Mother Board (MB), one PAN9420-ETU daughter board which includes the PAN9420 FCC approved version, and one USB-cable packaged in a large case. The PAN9420 FCC version module already comes preinstalled with a firmware for easy deploying IoT based applications. The Evaluation Kit is going for around $128 and the PAN9420 module is costing at about $20.76 on digikey.

MicroZed is a Powerful and Low-Cost ARM + FPGA Linux Development Board

MicroZed is a low-cost development board from Avnet, the makers of the $475 ZedBoard and the entry level MiniZed development boards. Its unique design allows it to be used as both a stand-alone evaluation board for basic SoC experimentation or combined with a carrier card as an embeddable system-on-module (SOM).

The MicroZed processing system is based on the Xilinx Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC. The Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC (AP SoC) family integrates the software programmability of an ARM®-based processor with the hardware programmability of an FPGA, enabling key analytics and hardware acceleration while integrating CPU, DSP, ASSP, and mixed-signal functionality on a single device. The processing system offers the ability to run standard operating systems like Linux, real-time operating systems, or a combination of the two. The programmable logic provides a unique capability to create custom interfaces or custom accelerators. Together, they provide a versatile, performance optimized solution.

ZedBoard™ is a low-cost development board for the Xilinx Zynq®-7000 All Programmable SoC. This board contains everything necessary to create a Linux, Android, Windows® or other OS/RTOS-based design all at a cost of $495. The MicroZed sells for $199 with close performance and functionality with the ZedBoard. MicroZed contains two I/O headers that provide connection to two I/O banks on the programmable logic (PL) side of the Zynq – 7000 AP SoC device. In stand-alone mode, these 100 PL I/O are inactive. When plugged into a carrier card, the I/O are accessible in a manner defined by the carrier card design. The MicroZed board targets application in the areas of general FPGA evaluation and prototyping, embedded SOM applications, embedded vision, test & measurement, motor control, software-defined radio, industrial network and industrial IoT.

The Zedboard is based on Zynq-7020 with 85K logic cells while the MicroZed is based on the lower Zynq-7010 with a 28K logic cell. The MicroZed has 1GB RAM instead of 512 MB on the ZedBoard and has lesser interfaces as compared to the ZedBoard.

The following below are the features of the MicroZed SoM:

SoC

  • XC7Z010 – 1CLG400C

Memory

  • 1 GB of DDR3 SDRAM
  • 128 Mb of QSPI Flash
  • Micro SD card interface

Communications

  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • USB 2.0
  • USB-UART

User I/0 (via dual board-to-board connectors)

  • 7Z010 Version
    • 100 User I/0 (50 per connector)
    • Configurable as up to 48 LVDS pairs or 100 single-ended I/O

Misc

  • 2×6 Digilent Pmod compatible interface providing 8 PS MIO connections for user I/0
  • Xilinx PC4 JTAG configuration port
  • PS JTAG pins accessible via Pmod
  • 33Mhz oscillator
  • User LED and push switch

The MicroZed Evaluation can be purchased from the Avnet store here and comes with the following: MicroZed board, Micro USB cable, 4GB μSD card, Getting Started Card and a Xilinx Vivado WebPACK support and the Avnet’s MicroZed SOM comes bundled with the Wind River’s Pulsar™ Linux.

XMotion All In One Controller for Robotics

If there is a motion, it must have XMotion. Recreating Arduino & interface circuits user focused.

XMotion is Arduino Compatible all in one robot controller. Which designed specially for robotics, IOT and maker projects.

It includes powerful Motor drivers, switching mode regulator, interface circuits and more. With protected features, it is all in one board for lots of different type robot projects.

But not only this. Also we added some supporting materials, like starter codes, libraries. If you want to do line follower, mini-sumo or any basic robot we have ready-made codes for beginners.

XMotion All In One Controller for Robotics – [Link]

Cars getting into the customizable IOT game with AutoPi

AutoPi.io Dongle

Automotive industry has noticed the growing trend of internet of things and used it as a business opportunity for connecting their cars. By 2020, 381 million cars are expected to be on the road. Even when you can buy a IOT car there are few or none customization opportunities which is what differentiates AutoPi from other systems. A group of software developers created a device called AutoPi dongle based on Raspberry Pi which allows the user to fully customize their car which could change the way you drive.

Autopi is built on RSA and AES encryption to ensure total security and efficiency. The infrastructure is based on SaltSack and the device is based on the Raspberry Pi. The AutoPi dongle has WIFI, GPS, Bluetooth, HDMI out, 3G/4G connectivity, USB, accelerometer and much more. Additionally, they created the AutoPi cloud which allows remote monitoring, alerts, triggers etc.

Any external device can be connected to the AutoPi dongle to achieve much more. Some projects that have already been implemented include crash detection, collision prevent assistant, theft detection, parental control and video evidence recording. With the GPS and the historic trip widget included in the software you can know where your car was at any time.

It’s a perfect device for young new drivers and their worried parents who want to keep track of their kid’s speed, use of seatbelt etc. using a variety of sensors, all this information could be accessed remotely. Also, during summer the is nothing worse than getting into a car that has been left out in the sun. Hot weather can also shorten your battery’s usable life, and it’s a hazard for pets left in the car. Heat monitoring can detect the temperature and lower the windows slightly to prevent the temperature from rising too high, or during winter the car could be heated before you arrive. You can trigger an internal system, an external system, and an externally connected system in order to bring your projects to life.

For 94,5 € you can get the DIY edition, for 189 € the WIFI only edition, and 4G for 247,5 €. In the webpage you can also get the Raspberry Pi 3 adapter. The price is still a bit too high for a car accessory, but when you think about the possibilities and the improvement in your car and your lifestyle it is not that expensive.

[source]

obniz – API managed IO on the Cloud

Obniz is the world’s first development board which IO is available as API on the cloud. It’s Tiny but powerful, Internet connected board.

obniz has 12 IO and WiFi module and It can be controlled through the APIs on obniz cloud, either through the REST or WebSocket API. The API can be used in javascript, so obniz programs written in JavaScript can run on a webpage, so “Turning on a motor by pressing a button on the Web” is an easy task!

With obniz, it’s easy to make any hardware project you can think of! Just connect motors or sensors to an obniz then program it via the Internet. No App or firmware flashing is required. Program it from your PC or smartphone now!

obniz – API managed IO on the Cloud – [Link]

Open-Source NB-IoT Shield for Arduino

This completely open-source LTE shield uses the latest and greatest CAT-M NB-IoT technology optimized for low-power IoT devices! by Timothy Woo @ hackster.io:

With the emergence of low-power IoT devices with cellular connectivity and the phase-out of 2G (with only T-mobile supporting 2G/GSM until 2020), everything is moving toward LTE and this has left many people scrambling to find better solutions. However, this has also left many hobbyists facepalming with legacy 2G technology like the SIM800-series modules from SIMCOM. Although these 2G and 3G modules are a great starting point, it’s time to move forward and SIMCOM recently announced their new SIM7000A LTE CAT-M module at a developer’s conference. How exciting! 🙂

Open-Source NB-IoT Shield for Arduino – [Link]

Visible Things Industrial Starter Kit in Stock Now!

Visible Things simplifies the complexity of secure edge to enterprise IoT technology. It delivers a complete evaluation and reference platform to connect smart devices right through to the cloud and enterprise software. Avnet Silica supports an ever increasing range of sensor, connectivity, gateway and security technologies, together with cloud, analytics, mobile and enterprise integration services. Avnet Silica regularly add new features, provide updates and deliver training on their Visible Things platform.

Avnet Silica are giving away 10 Industrial Starter Kits worth 329€, so be quick and register here to win!

Visible Things is delivered in the form of many different boards which can be taken depending on the functionality required. The very nature of IoT technology requires the features delivered by these boards to be pre-integrated and tested end to end wherever possible. This fundamental principle of Visible Things allows the users to concentrate on their applications to deliver the target IoT business outcomes.

Please contact visible-things@avnet.eu for more information and general order details.

 

 

Key Features

  • Sensor to server security layer on top of network security
  • Quick evaluation of end application
  • Highest degree of flexibility
  • Reduces development time significantly
  • Optimised power consumption
  • Integrated and tested communication path from
  • Edge to Enterprise
  • Cloud ready

Example of Target Applications

  •  Remote monitoring
  • Predictive maintenance of motors and drives
  • Room control in homes and buildings
  • Lighting and shading (indoor & outdoor)
  • Security and surveillance
  • Home appliances
  • Smart energy (metering & in-home displays)
  • Health care & infrastructure
  • Industrial automation, inspection, drives monitoring, sensor hub

Video: Visible Things Demo at Embedded world 2017

 

 

 

Industrial Gateway Kit demo video.

Avnet Silica’s Field Application Engineer, Werner Busch, presents Visible Things Industrial Gateway Kit, based on Renesas Synergy™ S7G2 processor. This basic kit, among high number of connectivity options, includes everything you need to start your own IoT application.

IoT Protocols for the Electronics Designer

Here is an interesting article from autodesk.com about IoT for the Electronics Designer. Learn how to choose the Right Protocol for Your First Project.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is connecting our world together more intimately than ever. It’s also adding a whole new level of complexity and confusion on the shoulders of the electronic designer. The biggest problem is the overwhelming amount of choices and considerations that have to be made for an IoT project. Which protocol is the best? Will my chosen protocol be irrelevant a year from now? Do I have the time to design RF and an antenna? In this blog, we’ll be focusing on the topic of protocols, how they fit into the networking stack, and how you can use modules to make easy work for your first IoT project.

IoD-09, An Intelligent WiFi-Enabled Display Module

4D Systems, the manufacturer of intelligent graphics solutions, has announced a new 0.9” smart display module as part of the ‘IoD-09’ series. This series is a set of small full-color TFT display modules that feature the Espressif ESP8266 SoC. It also comes with microSD card slot and is compatible with Arduino IDE.

IoD-09 Display Module

The IoD-09 modules have 6-pin connector at each end, which can connect easily to other applications and boards. It is also suitable for connecting to accessory boards for a range of functionality advancements. The design of these display modules provides a suitable platform for easy integration of displays into a product.

IoD-09 Display Module Specifications:

  • 80 x 160 Resolution, RGB 65K true to life colors, TFT Screen.
  • Built-in WiFi suitable for ‘Internet of things’ applications.
  • 802.11 b/g/n/e/i support
  • Integrated TCP/IP protocol stack
  • WiFi 2.4 GHz, supporting WPA/WPA2 and WEP/TKIP/AES, along with STA/AP/STA+AP/P2P operation modes
  • 4Mbit (512kb) of Flash memory for User Application Code and Data.
  • 128Kb of SRAM of which 80kb is available for the User.
  • 12 pin/pad interface, for all signals, power, communications, and programming.
  • Onboard microSD memory card connector for multimedia storage and data logging purposes.
  • DOS compatible file access (FAT16 or FAT32 format).
  • Display full-color images, animations, and icons.
  • 4.0V to 5.5V range operation (single supply).
  • Module dimensions:
    • (TH version) 31.8 x 16.4 x 11.7mm.
    • (SM version) 37.0 x 16.4 x 5.9mm.
  • Weighing: (TH / SM) ~5 g.
  • RoHS, REACH, and CE compliant.

IoD-09 is also available on two different models, IoD-09TH TFT LCD module with Through Hole interface, and IoD-09SM TFT LCD module with Surface Mount interface. In addition, they can act as master or slave devices, connect to the internet, display a raft information and graphics, along with the capability to communicate to SPI, I2C, and/or 1-wire devices, as well as having general GPIO for digital control/input.

The IoD-09 is compatible with Arduino IDE and the 4D Systems Workshop4 integrated development environment (IDE). Workshop4 provides powerful graphics using the GFXdloIoD09 graphics library specifically for the IoD-09 series through a drag and drop style graphical user interface (GUI).

Workshop Software

Finally, you can buy the IoD-09 display module for about $20. There is also a starter kit for $40 which includes the module, the 4D-UPA programmer, and a 4GB micro-SD card. For more information, you can visit the official page and download the datasheet.