Category: Software

New Online IoT Service in development –

A platform for managing and integrating general IoT systems is being developed.  The website provides a way for users to register and describe their IoT devices.  Using a REST API, data sent to the is logged and managed for users.

Using channels and “Thinkers” a user can trigger various actions and do some basic processing based on the data being sent from the IoT devices.  These can include simple tasks such as sending email alerts, or actually sending messages to other IoT devices to take an action.  A simple example is a thermostat application which turns heating and cooling on and off based on numerous temperature sensors providing input.

Data sent to can also be analyzed using machine learning algorithms in batch mode to develop insights over longer time scales.  One possibility is to use distributed temperature sensors around a house to determine which locations have poorer thermal insulation, or even to measure the thermal insulation value of a home.

The key is that having a general and easy to use platform with a simple user interface allows users to be creative in their use of IoT devices.

Optimize garden water use for savings and plants

Is your lawn or garden on a timer? Do you manually water? Do you research the weather to see how much it is going to rain before watering? Finally, do you know the right amount of water to give each plant in your garden to make it thrive?

All of these questions can be easily resolved by the technology being developed to integrate and automate gardening.  How it works:

  • Base Station: A networked base station in the house connects to your home WiFi network and also the low power garden network.
  • Distributed Sensors: Sensor modules which run on batteries and are charged by solar power are placed throughout the garden in strategic locations to collect information on ground moisture, temperature, humidity, and other information in real-time.
  • Watering: You install a watering system to disperse water appropriately. There are many options for how to do this, with varying expense.
  • Valves: Install wireless controlled water gates which can controlled manually from any internet enabled device, or, can be connected to a base station for automatic (smart) operation.
  • Learning: By monitoring the level of moisture achieved by various amounts of water, the system learns your drainage and soil type to optimize when to water, and how much.
  • Tuning/Zones: Not every plant requires the same amount of water. Configure your base station with information on what plants are near each sensor, and the base station will use this information to control the amount of water delivered.

The prototype of a sensor node is shown below.  The screen is only to show the status of the system.  Visible directly above the screen is the ultra low-power wireless module.  The zig-zag wire is the antenna.  To the left of the antenna, you can see the CPU.