The LoRa IOT Home Environmental Monitoring System consists of an Arduino Mega based IOT-to-Internet gateway and Arduino Feather based remote stations with environmental sensors. The remote stations communicate wirelessly with the gateway using LoRa radios.
LoRa IOT Home Environment Monitoring System – [Link]
C Enterprise Ltd., the company behind the amazing 3D printer Cel Robox, is now back on stage with some new upgrades and plug-ins: Root, Mote and Tree! Imagine that you will be able to control your 3D printer missions remotely where you can also control not only one printer, but multiple of them!
Robox is not another 3D printer, the 20-micron accuracy printer is a micro-manufacturing platform. The precise positioning of the 3 axis system along with the mechanical and electronic design of the HeadLock system provides a robust framework on which to build a range of manipulators and scanning devices to allow this robot in a box to do much more than just create beautiful 3D prints.
Key features of Robox is on this slideshow. You can check the full specifications here.
If you already have a Robox so don’t worry, you are not left behind. Robox team thinks that it won’t be a good choice to build above the already functional 3D printer in order to increase its capabilities. What they are doing right now is updating peripherals which are standalone and won’t disrupt the quality of the original printer. For example, an original Robox can be upgraded to become a RoboxDual using DIY upgrade kits or vendor provided services.
Increasing the size of printing by making a bigger size Robox was a suggestion for them, but what they were thinking about was different. Making a bigger Robox may risk some features already guaranteed in the original one, so why not make a way that you can function multiple Robox editions at the same time in an amazing architecture that saves space and time? Here comes Tree: a bespoke furniture system that utilises the compact nature of the Robox micro-manufacturing platform to increase productivity. It is a precision CNC machined from high quality birch plywood with a choice of two different finishes, and is supplied as an easy-to-assemble ‘flat-pack’ solution. Using familiar fasteners, Tree can be assembled by anyone in under 30 minutes with just an allen key and screwdriver. It is a nice addition to your fablab, coworking space or even your office!
To control this Tree, a new plugin from Robox is also introduced: Root! Robox Root is a connectivity
extension platform for all Robox printers. Its core function is to add network capabilities to multiple Robox from a single Root, with secondary functions to include a web interface and printer sharing across a network. It is perfectly suited for use in offices, schools or other professions where multiple users need easy access to a single or multiple printers. The onboard HDMI port also allows you to connect Root to any external display or touchscreen, including its companion, Robox Mote.
Robox Mote is custom designed controller for Root. Using a 5” touch screen connected directly to Root, you can see the status of any connected machines and also control them directly. This allows you to control and execute prints without a connected PC from pre-sliced GCode on SDcard or USB flash drive. Using Mote is an option, you can use any smartphone, tablet, or a computer using AutoMaker – Robox outstanding software.
In order to launch this new phase of Robox with customers involved, the team had launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Although it still has 21 days to go but the campaign exceeded its 10,000 goal.
Check the campaign video to learn more from Robox team:
If you don’t have a Robox, it’s a good opportunity now to get one with a great deal. You can order Robox now for £999, as mentioned in the website, but how about a DualRobox with Root included for £1399? If you already have a Robox it’s time to add a Root to your collection for £149 including Mote and support. And finally, if you are a business or a fablab and want to add a great 3D printing corner to your space then it’s the suitable time to order one of the Tree packages provided in the campaign.
Lots more rewards, packages, specifications and detailed information are provided in the campaign page, so check it out!
ikalogic.com launched “IkaScope” a new wireless oscilloscope probe that is able to make measurements directly on your mobile phone or your laptop. IkaScope transfers measured signals over high speed wifi connection and it will remember your home or office access points. It will work with iOS, Android and Windows devices (OSx will also be supported).
Input range 10 mV/div. → 10 V/divMaximum input voltage 80 Vpp
Bandwidth 25 MHz
Timebase 100 ns/div → 10 s/div
Input impedance 1MΩ
Input Coupling AC, DC, GND
Trigger Rising or falling slopes
Sampling rate 200 MSPS
Buffer 4K pts (4 * 1K Pts)1
IkaScope is a wireless oscilloscope probe, all contained in an ergonomic stylus. It uses a wifi connection to transfer signals to be displayed on any connected screen (Laptop, Smart-phone, Tablet or Desktop Computer). It’s equipped with a battery that can be recharged via any USB port. Being battery operated, IkaScope always provides 4000V+ galvanic isolation from power mains (even when being recharged).
IkaScope – a new wireless oscilloscope probe – [Link]
At last week’s IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco (USA), imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technology and Holst Centre debuted a miniaturized sensor that simultaneously determines pH and chloride (Cl-)levels in fluid. This innovation is a must have for accurate long-term measurement of ion concentrations in applications such as environmental monitoring, precision agriculture and diagnostics for personalized healthcare. The sensor is an industry first and thanks to the SoC (system on chip) integration it enables massive and cost-effective deployments in Internet-of-Things (IoT) settings. Its innovative electrode design results in a similar or better performance compared to today’s standard equipment for measuring single ion concentrations and allows for additional ion tests.
Sensors based on ion-selective membranes are considered the gold standard to measure ion concentrations in many applications, such as water quality, agriculture, and analytical chemistry. They consist of two electrodes, the ion-sensitive electrode with the membrane (ISE) and a reference electrode (RE). When these electrodes are immersed in a fluid, a potential is generated that scales with the logarithm of the ion activity in the fluid, forming a measure for the concentration. However, the precision of the sensor depends on the long-term stability of the miniaturized RE, a challenge that has now been overcome.
“The common issue with such designs is the leaching of ions from the internal electrolyte, causing the sensor to drift over time,” stated Marcel Zevenbergen, senior researcher at imec/Holst Centre. “To suppress such leaching, we designed and fabricated an RE with a microfluidic channel as junction and combined it with solid-state iridium oxide (IrOx) and silver chloride (AgCl) electrodes fabricated on a silicon substrate, respectively as indicating electrodes for pH and Cl-. Our tests demonstrated this to be a long-term stable solution with the sensor showing a sensitivity, accuracy and response time that are equal or better than existing solutions, while at the same time being much smaller and potentially less expensive.”
“We are providing groundbreaking sensing and analytics solutions for the IoT,” stated John Baekelmans, Managing Director of imec in The Netherlands. “This new multi-ion sensor is one in a series that Holst Centre is currently developing with its partners to form the senses of the IoT. For each sensor, the aim is to leapfrog the current performance of the state-of-the-art sensors in a mass-producible, wireless, energy optimized and miniaturized package.”
Researchers at Stanford University have just invented a revolutionary way of communication. They are replacing the conventional way of wiring, wireless, radio and Bluetooth connectivity using chemicals that can be found in every house.
Nariman Farsad, now a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford, had built the first ever experimental chemical texting system in York University, which used vodka to send its messages.
While making research in the lab of Andrea Goldsmith, professor of electrical engineering, he and his fellow researchers have built a machine that sends messages using common chemicals. With the use of vinegar and glass cleaner, Farsad overcomes some hurdles he faced while sending data using vodka. In his vodka messaging machine, the signal would build up to the point that the receiving end was too saturated with vodka to receive more messages. Instead, easy to obtain chemicals like vinegar and glass cleaner could do better and plus these two specific liquids can cancel each other out at the receiving end of the system.
This system is extracting one and zero bits out of liquid since it sends pulses of acid (vinegar) or base (glass cleaner). After typing the message in a small computer, it will be send to a machine that pumps out the corresponding “bits” of chemicals, which travel through plastic tubes to a small container with a pH sensor. Changes in pH are then transmitted to a computer that deciphers the encoded message.
While working in Wireless Systems Laboratory, Goldsmith had faced a lot of challenges in her career in wireless communication and worked hard to overcome them, but now dealing with chemicals will be a new adventure for her and her research group without any previous best practices.
“Every problem that we’ve addressed in traditional wireless communications over the last three or four decades is really different now because it’s a different mode of communicating,” Goldsmith said. “As so, it opens up all of these new ways of thinking about the optimal way to design this type of communication system.”
Most of nanotechnology solutions that are out there are small in size, need power plus some wiring for connectivity, or depend on high frequency signals to operate, what would be harmful for body functions. This new chemical technology can be widely used in body-related sensors since chemical-based data exchange could be self-powered, traveling throughout the body harmlessly and can not be detected by outside devices.
Goldsmith and Farsad are now working in two directions, improving the current chemical texting system, and collaborating with two bioengineering groups at Stanford to make human body-friendly chemical messaging a reality.
This technology can open up new avenues in communication protocols replacing the base unit, the electricity, with chemicals.
You can read more about this brand-new way of communication at Stanford University website, and you can learn more in this video
Silicon Labs, the leader in energy-friendly solutions for a smarter, more connected world, has been constantly making silicon, software and tools to help engineers transform industries and improve lives since 1996.
Silicon Labs has just launched its newest development platform, The Thunderboard Sense Kit. Thunderboard Sense is a small and feature packed development platform for battery operated IoT applications. It is partnered with a mobile app that seamlessly connects Thunderboard Sense to a real time cloud database.
The mobile app enables a quick proof of concept of cloud connected sensors. The multi-protocol radio combined with a broad selection of on-board sensors, make the Thunderboard Sense an excellent platform to develop and prototype a wide range of battery powered IoT applications.
The 30 mm x 45 mm board includes these energy-friendly
Silicon Labs EFR32 Mighty Gecko multiprotocol wireless SoC with a 2.4 GHz chip antenna, with an ARM Cortex-M4 core plus support for Bluetooth low energy, ZigBee, Thread and proprietary protocols
Silicon Labs EFM8 Sleepy Bee microcontroller enabling fine-grained power control
Silicon Labs Si7021 relative humidity and temperature sensor
Silicon Labs Si1133 UV index and ambient light sensor
20 breakout pins for easy connection to external breadboard hardware
CR2032 coin cell battery connector and external battery connector
Onboard sensors measure data and transmit it wirelessly to the cloud. Thunderboard Sense comes with Silicon Labs’ ready-to-use cloud-connected IoT mobile apps, to collect and view real-time sensor data for cloud-based analytics and business intelligence.
“We’ve designed Thunderboard Sense to inspire developers to create innovative, end-to-end IoT solutions from sensor nodes to the cloud,” said Raman Sharma, Director of Silicon Labs’ IoT Developer Experience. “Thunderboard Sense helps developers make sense of everything in the IoT. They can move quickly from proof of concept to end product and develop a wide range of wireless sensing applications that leverage best-in-class cloud analytics software and business intelligence platforms.”
Check out the official intro video by Raman Sharma
To start using Thunderboard Sense you have to place your CR2032 battery in the right polarity, install the mobile app from Google Play or Apple store, find your board listed on the main screen of the app, and then you will be ready to explore the Thunderboard demos and start your own project! You can program Thunderboard Sense using the USB Micro-B cable and onboard J-Link debugger. You do not need RF design expertise to develop wireless sensor node applications.
Thunderboard Sense kit is available for $36 and you can buy it from here. All hardware, software and design files will be open and accessible for developers. You can visit Silicon Labs Github to download Thunderboard mobile app and cloud software source code.
Dziku discuss how to configure a cheap 433MHz wireless module for serial communication:
HC-12 are cheap 433MHz wireless serial port communication modules with a range up to 1800m in open space. Each costs about $5 when bought from China, and 2 of them can create wireless UART link that can be used, for example, to transfer telemetry data from UAV. Or drive IoT device. Or connect sensors. Or whatever else one can think of.
Realtek RTL8710 could be a good alternative thanks to its ARM Cortex-M3 processor @ 166 MHz, a little more user memory (48KB), audio support, and faster WiFi performance.
Here are the specifications of the module: SoC: Realtek RTL8710AF ARM Cortex-M3 @ 83 MHz with 1MB ROM, 512KB RAM, and 1MB flash Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n WiFi @ 2.4 GHz – 2.5 GHz (2400 MHz – 2483.5 MHz) with PCB antenna; Station / SoftAP / SoftAP + Station modes Expansion headers: 22 half-holes with
Up to 1x SPI @ 41.5 Mbps max
Up to 3x UART with 2x up to 4Mbps, 1x @ 38400 bps
Up to 4x PWM
Up to 1x I2C @ 3.4 Mbps max
Up to 19 GPIOs including 10 supporting interrupts
Power Supply: 3.0 to 3.6V (3.3V recommended) Power Consumption: 87 mA typ. @ 3.3V using 802.11b 11 Mbps, +17 dBm; 0.9 mA light sleep; 10 uA deep sleep Dimensions: 24 x 16 mm Temperature range: -20 ℃ ~ 85 ℃
With the ability to program the module via IAR, openOCD, and/or J-Link, it also supports firmware updates via UART, OTA, and JTAG.
The processor is said to run FreeRTOS operating systems, which happens to be the one also used in Espressif ESP8266 and ESP32 SDKs. It will also support ARM® mbed™ as a future plan.
A group of developers in Elektor Labs have modified a high power wireless power transfer project, which originally developed byWürth Elektronik eiSos GmbH & Co. KG, an electronic and electromechanical components manufacturer in Europe, in an attempt to come up with an easy-to-achieve solution for wireless power transfer of more than 100 Watts without using any kind of controller or programmed elements.
The same circuit is used in both transmitter and receiver circuits. It is based on a resonant converter which generates a constant frequency according to the LC parallel resonant circuit. The resonant converter, also known as Zero Voltage Switching (ZVS) oscillator, has no power-loss elements and provide high efficiency response with up to 200 Watts of energy.
In the modified version, the gate driving circuit were replaced with a faster one which uses a separate power supply. Also a protection circuit consists of a PTC resettable fuse was added using a high-side current monitor IC, this will protect the whole circuit from damage by shutting down the converter.
This version delivers up to 50 Watts with 88% efficiency for 12-24 V supply voltage.
More details about this project are available here, including the bill of materials BOM, schematics, and how circuits work.
More information about original circuits are available here.