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  1. Today
  2. In our longest blog story yet, MEA describes the market forces that pushed us towards the latest CAT-M1 logging technology for use in the Australian bush, and how we engineered this new product to shoe-horn it into a small low-cost enclosure. All this, while adding a custom-made on-board solar panel, a dual PCB aerial for CAT-M1 and GPS, high efficiency battery charging, smarter connectivity, pluggable sensor interfaces and a Linux-based open-source operating system. Phew! This latest yarn can be found on this forum under ‘IoT Engineering/ What does it take to be an IoT engineer?/ CAT-M1 replaces 3G in MEA’s IoT’ at the bottom of Page 3.
  3. CAT-M1 replaces 3G in MEA’s IoT. The death knell of 3G logging systems – the backbone technology of many thousands of MEA monitoring systems ­in agriculture, climate and renewable energy systems across regional Australia for the past decade or more – will soon be ringing. As Telcos try to meet consumer demand for streaming videos and cloud-based services, getting customers off 3G allows carriers to free up wireless frequencies for 4G signals (the ‘long-term evolution’ or ‘LTE’ standard) over broader swaths of the radio spectrum. That trend towards more cellular bandwidth is of no interest to MEA; ours is a slow and patient drip-feeding of data from ground-based sensors up to our Green Brain platform, now holding somewhere north of 1.3 billion data records and rising at the rate of over a million records a day from more than 4000 sites. All is not lost, however – the telcos are climbing onto the IoT bandwagon by providing CAT-M1 and NB-IoT options on their LTE networks for those of us in the slow lane. MEA chooses CAT-M1, because we can buy that technology now (whereas NB-IoT is still not commercially available in Australia). We get a 2.6 times boost in transmission distance in comparison to 3G loggers, a lowering of our power consumption and – best of all – free IoT gateways all over the country! No more on-farm hubs to build and deploy – we jump from the sensor site direct to those tall cell towers. Down in the MEA basement the product development team has shrunk from four to three with the departure of our mechanical engineer for the warmth of Kununurra in Western Australia. Once again, product development timelines for a CAT-M1 product to replace MEA’s 3G loggers is predicated upon the opening of the irrigation season in July, leaving us 16 weeks to go from a clean sheet of paper to product on the shelf. Well, perhaps not quite a blank slate… To meet a four-month development cycle for an IoT product requires deep pockets full of all sorts of technological wizardry and understandings. These have been developed laboriously over the 35 years since MEA itself was a start-up, and I was its sole employee. The new logger operating system – for example – is Linux-based and uses the Legato operating system. We spent over a year figuring out this new platform to upgrade the 3G Hub of our Plexus on-farm sensor networks. Both hardware and firmware were debugged back then, and now we are simply recycling that IP in a new form. Software libraries were also developed back then to handle secure data uploads to Green Brain, data storage into lifetime memory on an 8 GB SD card and all the peripheral logic and switching to achieve ultra-low power mode. Likewise our solar-battery systems; the art of maximum power-point tracking (MPPT) and constant-current/constant voltage (CC/CV) charging of Lithium-Ion batteries from small solar panels was perfected in other projects over the past two years. Despite that head-start we’ve had some serious rabbits to pull out of the hat for this product to be commercially competitive. Fundamentally, the price of the enclosure and connectivity was predicted to have the greatest impact on the cost of the final product. To get around this, we needed to be able to use our smallest and least expensive enclosure. We already have the tooling for this robust and fully field-tested housing, through our GDot product. We’d learnt to ‘build it out’ during our Bluetooth IoT product developments in 2018. However, this small fully-sealed enclosure brought its own problems; somehow we had to shoe-horn a CAT-M1 aerial and a GPS antenna into there. We solved this with a tiny dual PCB antenna system that required special rf modelling to get the matching networks and micro-strip lines on the PCB to operate at our specified frequencies. Similarly, the solar panel had now got to be inside that small low-cost enclosure with everything else, behind the clear polycarbonate enclosure top. We solved that one by tooling up in China for a custom 960 mW 5.5 V solar panel with a cute rhomboidal shape designed for a perfect fit, but also over-sized to allow for efficiency losses imposed by the use of a vertical solar panel. There was also no room for an ‘on-off switch’; plugging and unplugging sensors has to start and stop logging and prevent power consumption during shelving and shipment. That design spec alone stalled us for some two weeks of serious head-scratching. Similarly, grumbling from our marketing department had us searching for a smaller circular connector to fit inside conduit used to protect cabling against rabbits, parrots and farm machinery. We found such a connector out of China, but at a prohibitive assembly cost if we soldered it on to multi-cored cables here in Australia. So we moved cable assembly to China as well, driving costs down by 66%. Sensor interfacing had to be plug-and-play. Fortunately, MEA developed pluggable daughter-boards during last year’s Bluetooth project. These were designed to work across multiple IoT platforms so they clip easily into this CAT-M1 logger. This gives us SDI-12 connectivity and the ability to make AC resistance measurements of thermistor temperature sensors and gypsum blocks. Two more sensor daughter-boards pop out of the works; one for all sorts of dumb analog and digital sensors and another for ultrasonic level measurement to be used in tank-level monitoring, cattle movements or whatever. These have been set aside for later in the year – we’ve no resources left to complete the firmware for these last two plug-ins. By week 12 we have working prototypes, CAT-M1 connectivity, GPS reception and functional logging in the MEA Test Yard. Its deepest winter here in Adelaide and the shadows of the tall buildings surrounding us in this industrial estate limit the hours of available solar charging to five hours each day before shadows encroach. Battery voltage climbs under load, and we all breathe a sigh of relief. On top of the CAT-M1 logger design is the parallel development of the test jigs and software needed on the production line. This stutters forward slowly as we divert resources to gain EMC compliance on our Bluetooth IoT products (so we can fill an order from the largest dairy in Europe – in Turkey) and sort out issues with the Green Brain mobile ‘Retrieve’ app to cater for the latest Android and iPhone models. But functional doesn’t mean finished. Serious software development effort is still required to cater for ‘edge cases’ under field conditions, to link us more closely with Green Brain to automate the installation process and to implement over-air upgrades. But we are in production, and there’s a very good chance we’ll go to market with a highly competitive CAT-M1 logger that will rejuvenate MEA systems in the market once our trusty work-horse 3G systems are put out to pasture in the next year or two. Photos will follow – just as soon as I find that spare minute I’ve been looking for all year…
  4. Yesterday
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    Description: Advanced Pipe Sensing for Leaks and Breaks By: Dr Don McCallum NSW Smart Sensing Network Spanning fundamental discovery science to real time application on live water networks, this multi million dollar venture will use five different strands of smart sensing research for condition assessment and leak detection to prevent catastrophic breaks in what is a multi-billion dollar global problem. The program involves real sensors in a city-wide network, putting this work at the physical end of the IoT and Smart Cities developments. This collaboration draws upon the expertise of several leading research universities and water utilities under the co-ordination of the NSW Smart Sensing Network.
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    I have registered for this event. I wonder how can I attend this webinar event. Am I supposed to receive any link to follow?
  7. Last week
  8. Earlier
  9. A Two-Legged Race in the IoT Twelve weeks after pivoting back from the Myriota transmission trials to start the development of MEA’s CAT-M1 logger, I sign the purchase orders and we’re in production of the first 100 units. That story must wait for another day. In the meantime, our three Myriota loggers rack up their first three months of continuous unattended operation. Rainfall has boosted the moisture in the top 60 cm of the soil profile and lifted the level in the rainwater tanks, while the first frosts have occurred and been captured. The panel of three photos shows my Green Brain view of these three satellite-delivered systems on my smart phone, which I open at odd moments to ease my nerves. Perhaps the real test has been that I no longer hang about anxiously twice-daily, waiting for the latest satellite pass. I get on with other things. In the race to develop these two new IoT technologies to meet the demands of the looming Australian irrigation season, it is the satellite-based Myriota field stations that are clocking up the data-hours. But it will be MEA’s terrestrial CAT-M1 loggers – with a mere two weeks of logged data to their credit – that will do the heavy lifting.
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    By Tim Cara GeoWAN was founded to fill the dedicated LoRaWAN network role for Australia as IoT is moving fast and becoming more accessible the role of a ecosystem is becoming more important.LoRaWAN is a standard aimed at interoperability that requires device makers, solution providers and networks to work together.With the arrival of easy of access technologies and more flexible business delivery methods how IoT will open greater opportunities to Australian businesses and their future. Tim Cara who is a lifelong business owner and co-founder of GeoWAN and is trying to get the internet of things working for everyone’s benefit. Tim began working with Excel Electrical Engineers (EEE) in 2015 as a business strategy advisor and business development manager. First stumbled upon IoT in late 2015 and began directing a change in business direction. GeoWAN was founded in 2016 to focus on telecommunications and EEE shifted away from electronic design. Since then he has been working on delivering Australia’s dedicated LoRaWAN network in the testing, compliance, certification, deployment and regulatory aspects. Currently GeoWAN has networks in every state and territory, except Canberra, with multiple applications reliant on the network for data carriage. Tim envisioned delivering IoT connectivity services that are Reliable, Bi-directional, Affordable, Secure, Scalable and 100% user owned data.
  11. Pivoting in the IoT Harsh competitive realities find MEA’s 4G-connected Plexus networks competing with older 3G technology in IoT on-farm applications. This, even though the 3G network has entered its Sunset Phase and disruptions to this network are expected to increase over the coming year as Telstra and other carriers reclaim these frequencies for 4G/LTE services. Telstra have announced 3G closures from 2020, now only a year away. Although MEA also has these older 3G offerings, it’s been clear that they will need to be replaced as soon as possible by newer LTE/CAT-M1 offerings, if only we could actually buy such technology to design into products. What these 3G offerings have shown us is that ‘sensor to tower’ terrestrial IoT technologies offer the real cost advantage of ‘no gateway’. Yet the hype swirling around our heads is promoting diametrically opposite solutions; a return to one-way sensor-to-gateway solutions of the sort that we built and deployed twenty years ago. Sure, Sigfox and LoRaWAN offer much improved radio technologies compared to our older 433 MHz simplex products. But the main bugbear from back-in-the-day remains: if you can’t make the jump from the sensor site to some local gateway, you can’t make the measurement, so you can’t make the sale. The problem then was always barriers - topography, tank farms, wood lots, distance, weak allowable radio power, wet canopies, ground-effects and the sheer clutter of other radio traffic on these free-to-air bands. MEA’s Plexus networks solved that problem in 2013 by forming co-operative sensor mesh networks to work around such barriers. Data back-haul from the single Plexus hub operated on both 3G and 4G bands. 3G/4G technologies could always beat that ‘barriers’ rap by shouting louder on quieter channels; the telcos – after all – own and control those portions of the radio-frequency spectrum. CAT-M1 will do even better, with a gain in transmission distance of over 2.5 times compared to 3G/4G modems. Myriota’s satellite solution offers the only other viable alternative; transmit upwards instead of sideways. The ‘gateway’ passes overhead everywhere a number of times a day. A year ago – with that background – MEA made the choice to work on CAT-M1 and Myriota IoT technologies for our newer offerings. MEA's CAT-M1 product development began late in 2018 while we waited for news on the availability of Myriota technology, which turned up in January of 2019. A quick pivot into Myriota territory saw MEA build three operational Myriota links in February; these have been transmitting soil moisture, micro-climate and tank level data solidly to MEA's Green Brain since then. That done, by March those harsh competitive realities saw us pivot quickly back to the CAT-M1 developments to help us face rising threats in our traditional irrigated agriculture markets. These new CAT-M1 Green Brain Loggers are to be released in the third-quarter of 2019 to replace our ageing 3G technology. In the meantime, we keep a close eye on our Myriota traffic, learning much of value about how we need to build that product after our CAT-M1 launch in a few months’ time.
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    Description: 2019 Headline activities and plans for IoT Alliance By: Geof Heydon Internet of Things (IoT) Alliance Australia Principal Consultant Smart Cities and Data Sharing Consultant As the IoT Alliance Australia (IoTAA) Principal Consultant and co-founder, Geof will put the Internet of Things (IoT) into context and discuss the ecosystem complexity of IoT. He will share the IoTAA approach, structure, activities and publications and introduce the challenges faced with data sharing which underpins all IoT initiatives. Examples of smart city and local government will be used to illustrate the issues. He will introduce the “five Safes” approach to data sharing and discuss the emerging standards for trust preserving data sharing. As a digital technology consultant, Geof co-founded the IOT Alliance, Australia - IoTAA in 2015 and today is their principal consultant and Chair of the Platforms and Interoperability Workstream. Geof is currently working in Smart City initiatives and developing Digital Strategy, Data Sharing Policy and risk analysis for local Governments. He also Chairs the Australian Computer Society’s (ACS’s) Data Sharing Technical Committee and sits on the ACS Technical Board and chairs the Standards Australia JTC1 IoT working group mirror committee. Extensive practical executive management, innovation and consulting experience in Telecommunications, Science and the emerging digital economy, Smart Cities and Internet of Things. Experience driving and transitioning science and ideas though innovation into the market. 2019-25-06 2019 Headline of Activities for IoT Alliance Australia.pdf
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    By Brian Dorricott When we are in deep, working with amazing technology such as IoT in its many forms, we are busy solving customer problems. We are used to speaking in the language of the solution and the vision of the future, but does that resonate with the customer? What is the problem that the customer is trying to solve right now? And how much will they pay to have it solved? How do you find out without giving away your idea or becoming a “sales man”? This webinar will explore the answers to these questions. Brian Dorricott has taken 88 teams through Australia’s national science and technology accelerator run by CSIRO. He leverages his first-hand experience as an engineer, serial founder, and entrepreneur having founded two companies: Gordano in 1994 (exit to MBO, 217x RoI) which provided messaging software that was used by 13,200 companies including the US Army, IBM and Telstra; and an internet security company (sold to Cisco, 50x RoI). He left his role as the Entrepreneur in Residence at SETSquared (the world’s leading university incubator) to facilitate and lead individuals and teams through the process of maximising the impact of their innovation for themselves and Australia. 2019-11-06 Innovation with IoT.pdf
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    By Prof Jinho Choi In this talk, we present an overview of cellular IoT that provides infrastructure-based connectivity for IoT applications. In addition, some key features of 5G in relation to IoT applications are explained. In particular, we focus on machine-type communication (MTC) in LTE-A and 5G, which support massive connectivity for IoT devices and sensors and provide new approaches for MTC. We also briefly address IoT security issues and data-aided sensing. Jinho Choi was born in Seoul, Korea. He received B.E. (magna cum laude) degree in elec- tronics engineering in 1989 from Sogang University, Seoul, and M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Sci- ence and Technology (KAIST) in 1991 and 1994, respectively. He is with the School of Information Technology, Burwood, Deakin University, Australia, as a Professor. Prior to joining Deakin in 2018, he was with Swansea University, United Kingdom, as a Professor/Chair in Wireless, and Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), Korea, as a Professor. His research interests include the Internet of Things (IoT), wireless communications, and statistical signal processing. He authored two books published by Cambridge University Press in 2006 and 2010. Prof. Choi received the 1999 Best Paper Award for Signal Processing from EURASIP, 2009 Best Paper Award from WPMC (Conference), and is Senior Member of IEEE. Currently, he is an Editor of IEEE Trans. Communications and IEEE Wireless Communications Letters and a Division Editor of Journal of Communications and Networks (JCN). We also had served as an Associate Editor or Editor of other journals including IEEE Communications Letters, JCN, IEEE Trans. Vehicular Technology, and ETRI journal. https://vimeo.com/engaustralia/review/339484054/8fbedd167a 2019-28-05 Cellular_IoT PDF.pdf
  15. Susan Olsen

    Virtual Reality

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    By Professor Ben Horan Virtual Reality (VR) is a key element of Industry 4.0 and provides the ability to access environments and scenarios which either don’t exist or are difficult to access. Low-cost, consumer grade VR technologies have created new opportunities for training applications. The CADET Virtual Reality (VR) lab at Deakin University, Australia, is working with partners to develop new VR solutions for training across a range of different applications. This presentation will overview a series of mixed-reality/virtual reality training systems/solutions developed by the VR Lab and look at how the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) techniques employed needed to go beyond the video and audio provided by consumer grade VR headsets to provide custom haptic interaction. The systems/solutions overviewed include the Verity midwifery and nursing training for intrapartum contractions; embryologist intracellular injection training; snowboard and board sports training; and remote training in safely operating complex plant. Associate Professor Ben Horan is the Associate Head of School (Research) for the School of Engineering, Deakin University, Australia. In 2015, Ben established the CADET Virtual Reality Laboratory, a new cutting edge research facility with a research team that is recognised locally and internationally for their Research & Development in Virtual Reality, Mechatronics and Advanced Human Computer Interaction (HCI). Ben has over 90 publications and received a number of awards and recognitions for his work including in 2018 being awarded as one of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers by Engineers Australia. https://vimeo.com/engaustralia/review/336251486/e9862d3b14 2019-14-05 Virtual Reality.avi
  16. Tales from the Trenches Part 2 More learnings from the three Myriota sensor-to-satellite systems installed in the MEA Test Garden are told in the latest yarn at the bottom of Page 3 in “What Does it take to be an IoT Engineer?’ in this forum. ‘A Hat Trick in the IoT’ covers issues with over-zealous data feed rate, the vagaries of UARTs and glimpses into topographical issues caused by the Mt Lofty Ranges. Oh, and one more thing: check the sealing around the Myriota SDK antenna connection where it enters the enclosure. Sometimes the O-ring seal is under insufficient pressure to prevent water ingress if the unit is placed outside under rainy conditions. Simply tighten the connector nut inside the enclosure to fix this.
  17. A Hat-Trick in the IoT. Myriota have repaired our third recalcitrant sensor-to-satellite modem and sent around one of their engineers to hand-deliver it. Good companies are tested in bad times. This has been a superb experience in dealing with Myriota’s support team, and we have gained confidence in them rather than losing it. Facing down technical issues is a learning ground; one is forced to set aside specious hand-waving and theorizing and to let the problem do the talking. Thus, what started with some manufacturing faults by one of Myriota’s suppliers turned into deeper insights at MEA into how this new technology really works. First up, we’d been trying to account for missing records. We’d assumed these were simply poor radio transmissions that hadn’t gotten through to the satellite, or could not be decoded. More careful analysis showed that they weren’t actually missing, but up to thirty-hours late. How could that be? Turns out we’d over-stretched the pipe, by trying to send four records twice a day for each pass of the single satellite. Dropping back to three records per pass (six log records per day at four-hour intervals) found us moving data reliably every 12 hours. Next up were issues in our own data – inexplicable glitches that suggested we were dropping digits, causing ugly spikes and unseemly drop-outs in our lines graphs. This turned out to be coding issues in using the Myriota low-power UART to obtain serial data from our sensors. Implementing a system of error-checking and re-tries fixed this. Finally, a first glimpse into the mysteries of topographical interference in transmissions to passing satellites… The single Myriota satellite that we see here in Adelaide is in polar orbit, with the Earth rotating under it twice per day. Even though the satellite completes an orbit every ninety minutes, we are only likely to see it in our field of view for between five and eight minutes during each fly-by. And for MEA - sitting up close to the foothills of the Mt. Lofty Ranges - this means that satellite transits to our east may be blocked on some passes. This is mere supposition at this stage, but it's something we picked up listening to Myriota’s engineers discussing our connectivity issues. Older (MEA is now officially 35 years old), wiser and somewhat less brash, we re-install our repaired tank level Myriota transmitter, complete with data re-tries, slower four-hour log interval and a wary eye to the East. The first rains of autumn appear from the west shortly thereafter, and now all three MEA-Myriota test stations work together to show the measured rainfall, the consequent lift in soil moisture in the surface layers, falling temperature and rising relative humidity associated with this cold front and – best of all – a rise in the level of the rainwater tanks as they begin to recharge.
  18. Lessons from Myriota I’ve written three blog posts on how MEA started up our adventures in moving IoT data over Myriota’s nano-satellite link to our Green Brain web application. Those stories can be found at the end of my forum posts entitled “What does it take to be an IoT Engineer?” on this Engineers Australia IoT site. I’d like to hear how other engineers are travelling with their new Myriota SDKs (Software Development Kits), so jump onto this thread and contribute. Let me kick-off by mentioning that I’ve got three sites set up moving soil moisture, climate and tank level data – about 350 messages so far in the past five weeks. Proof-positive of five weeks of soil moisture tension data linked from MEA's test garden to Myriota's tiny satellites The folks at Myriota have been wonderfully helpful as we walked into all the usual bear-traps, sharing “Ah, blast!” moments on either side of the fence. Here’s two: MEA has been jamming too many messages into the pipe, at the rate of 8 per day. This constipation results in lost messages. We’re dropping back to six messages per day. Our tank level monitoring site has not transmitted a single message (see that last story “The IoT via Satellite”). Turns out this was due to multiple instances of dry solder joints on that particular SDK, particularly under battery pads and around the UHF aerial-connections corner of the module (pads 19 to 29). Lesson: Keep an eye out for hardware faults if you are not getting connectivity. The Myriota folk are taking this up with the SDK-kit manufacturer. OK, open to Myriota IoT stories from engineers working with this gear...
  19. The IoT via Satellite In less than a week after receiving two more Myriota satellite modems (in SDK form) we’ve built two more operational IoT devices, tripling the rate of data flow and improving our chances of understanding this brand-new technology as we race to create working products for new markets. Modem #2 is a mini-weather station, capable of accurate measurements of rainfall, air temperature, relative humidity and their derivatives – dew point and frost point temperatures and vapour pressure deficit. Data compression allows meaningful data to be pushed up via the very slow and narrow pipe that the Myriota technology offers, essentially 14 bytes per three hours. Modem #3 is doing something a bit more exciting; we’re measuring tank water level using a downward-looking ultrasonic depth sensor mounted in the tank roof, which is the perfect mounting spot for upward-looking satellite transmissions. This new technology makes use of our latest ADC technology and one of a series of generic sensor interfaces we’re developing to plug-and-play with sensor front-ends and different comms back-ends in MEA’s small IoT world. Calibration checks use far less sophisticated technology; a tape measure with me up a ladder hoping my glasses won’t take the deep dive to the tank bottom. This is the end of playtime; now we have to get serious about building real IoT products. For that we need a ‘reference design’ from Myriota to help us with specifics like antenna types, special radio-frequency PCB layout issues and so forth. It is commonplace now for manufacturers to use their own engineers to help the applications teams in the customers’ world to get to market as quickly and painlessly as possible. All this focus on the hardware and data transmission technologies hides one of the fundamental truths of the IoT; without a web-based data platform to connect data to customers all this ground-based techno-effort is for nought. MEA’s Green Brain is the final repository for the data that’s left my test garden, gone straight up 800 kilometres to the low-earth orbit satellite whizzing by at many kilometres per second twice per day, to be carried in polar orbit for another forty minutes until the satellite passes over Norway where it downlinks the raw radio data for web-based processing using Myriota’s special algorithms. Finally, the sorted and scaled data is hopped across to Green Brain from whence I can track things – just metres away from where it all began. We corral all these three demo sites into a shared link to Green Brain for Myriota so that their engineers can see what we see from their own offices, and share that link in turn with others so that they too may play and be convinced. In the meantime, we’re running a careful watching brief on the demonstration systems. Almost immediately we’re reminded of how easily one can be lulled into complacency; only one of the two new units is getting data through. We recheck battery sensor and aerial connections, press the RESET button on the Myriota modem board, check that we haven’t made a typo in the Device ID, try to get radio transmissions to the PC dongle in the dev kit, reflash the code, and wait through various twice-daily transmission windows. Everything checks out. No fault found at our end. Finally – by standing outside in the MEA car park – we realize that we’re not getting a GPS fix from this module. Without that, nothing starts up. We are brutally reminded that our understanding of this new data transmission technology has all the depth of a car park puddle.
  20. So I imagine that this Lab will help us to form cognitive experience of robots registered by different sensors, applicable for various tasks in complex systems and even build new management system
  21. The IoT on a Shoestring. With MEA’s 35th birthday now only weeks away, we find ourselves cobbling together demonstration systems at a furious rate, calling up snippets of technology from our IP grab-bag to make ‘Minimal Viable Products’, or MVPs. The problem facing MEA is that we don’t know these new markets that the Myriota ultra-low-cost satellite IoT technology has opened up before us – field measurements beyond the bounds of the cellular IoT network. Rather than spend our limited marketing resources wandering expensively into the Outback to survey the views of potential agricultural customers, we are assembling working prototypes around the modems we have been able to obtain from Myriota and hooking various applications across to our Green Brain web platform. We’re after rapid feedback from a select few. These MVPs are only 80% operational, but our target audience – Early Adopters – prefer this so that they can be the first to play with this new technology. They are even prepared to pay a premium for that privilege, and to put up with MEA’s engineers hovering anxiously nearby as we tweak out obvious bugs. By the time Myriota can get into solid volume production of their technology, MEA will also be ready with the application technologies to take full advantage of it. This is only possible because of the ‘home-town advantage’; both Myriota and MEA are Adelaide-based companies, and I’ve been with them along their journey since they first came out of the University system some years ago with a wad of patents, seed funding and the drive to disrupt the current IoT paradigm, where satellite links have traditionally been prohibitively expensive. Marketing folk call this ‘networking’; I just call it ‘staying alert’. And so – in a matter of weeks – we’ve hacked together satellite-connected demonstration models for five typical applications in both irrigated and broad-acre agricultural applications: 1. ultrasonic and hydrostatic tank water level monitoring 2. sub-soil moisture tension measurements in grain-growing areas 3. standard soil moisture content profiling in irrigated agriculture 4. frost and micro-climate recording systems 5. rainfall monitoring MEA’s two IoT teams proceed at a swift pace into this new arena, working on a shoestring budget but drawing upon a deep well of experience and proven technologies that took us years to develop. So here they are – young and old: - The younger team are our Green Brain developers: Matthias (Green Brain back-end), Brent (Green Brain design front-end) and Dominic (business development and customer insights) The product development team builds all the ground-based stuff not in the Cloud: Andrew (electronic engineering), Terry (production engineering and phone apps), Jack (mechanical engineering and document control) and Raf (firmware engineering)
  22. Please, feel free to ask anything.. I have spent more than a year just accumulating information, trying to understand useful ways of implementation. And there is much more to invent... In spring of 2018 there has been a project going for Initial Coin Offering (ICO), where I was invited as an advisor. They would like to build an ecosystem for Artifical Intelligence (AI). Sounds good, isn`t it? However, due to my interest in radio electronics and a clear understanding of the generators and sensors interaction, and the basic principles of the CPU, I drew attention to the team's mistakes in the formation of the project... Later I offered my views in exchange for a share of the project... But it turned out that they did not want a constructive implementation of the project and simply inflated the bubble, absolutely not owning technology. So I left the project and began to build my own vision... I hold a degree of Ph.D. in the field of technical exploitation of marine ports (complex transport systems) and waters. My protection was took by doctor of physical-mathematical sciences, the engineer and the developer of laser navigation principle for several kinds of transport, including military helicopters.. Now he is also a part of project being my partner.
  23. Dear Sirs! I represent R&D community. We decided to build a modular laboratory, in order to provide the possibility of remote experiments posing and simulation to detect and record the interaction of induced radiation sources with different materials and substances in different aggregate states in simulated (specified) conditions, and with an ability to get the result being transported worldwide to the consumer physically and in form of useful algorithms of code. This will also let us to form on the platform basis a library of useful algorithms, which could be used by developers worldwide. This, in turn, involves reducing the threshold requirements for the computing power of users locally. Here I would like to ask if anybody needs a remote access to the Lab that includes laser emitter (what kind of more than 10?); 2-axis or other optical crystal (maybe any lenses?); magnetron; cryogenerator; vacuumator; ionizing source, etc... This Lab will give an opportunity to pose experiments remotely with no need to get the permission for exploitation of ionizing sources, without buying optical crystals and learning how to keep them good, without building electricity supply chains of professional standards.. You can write me a letter on my e-mail: singularpulsation(at)gmail(dot)com, telegram: (at)HumanHead; linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tigran-stepanyan-a0a435101/ P.S: Any comments are highly appreciated!
  24. ‘Straight-Up’ with the IoT. A new year has fired up at MEA and the troops have rested. I wish I could have rested, but with MEA closed over the Christmas-New Year period, I inevitably spent that down-time reading up on all those technologies I’d sidelined in my head amidst the daily blur. This year I got up to speed on the latest ultrasonic technologies for level sensing, just in case we set about marrying Myriota’s remote-area satellite IoT technology with tank level monitoring and sensing cattle movements. And it’s been hot ‘Down Under’, so the Christmas break also found me conducting a large-scale study in the MEA Test Garden on the impact of current-collapse in our IoT solar panels at temperatures above 40°C. To complicate things, the summer sun climbs high into the sky during the summer solstice, with shorter charging days for north-facing solar panels exacerbating solar-battery charging difficulties caused by radiant heat load. January and the return to work saw us hosing down last-minute alarms in our new Bluetooth-gypsum block IoT technology, destined for shipment to some remote tropical island off Australia’s north-east coast where the Green Turtles are breeding. Things that shouldn’t have gone wrong did go wrong. The ADCs and direct memory access functions in our MSP430 embedded controllers didn’t work as either the data sheet or Errata notes suggested they ought. Occasional data gaps were appearing in the logged record because measurements didn’t complete. We fixed this with a re-write using basic code and much cursing. Then the outdoor air temperature hit 46.9°C (116.4F) in the MEA Test Garden in Adelaide – with over 52°C inside the enclosures – and suddenly we had data spikes. That last-minute glitch was also hosed down and we entered production. With all that done, we got back to debugging our Myriota satellite IoT test system, which had stopped transmitting following a rain event. That too got sorted, teaching us yet again that one can’t be careless with enclosures even when hacking stuff together to test first principles. February rolled around and we dug deep into our back pockets for intellectual property – hardware and firmware – to lash the Myriota modem to our newly-developed smart gypsum block interface. Sometimes it’s good not to be a start-up, as there is no need to develop every darn thing from scratch before you can get down to business. Test beds evolve quickly. Six weeks into the New Year in the MEA Test Garden and we’re monitoring the soil moisture tension profile in the orchard and beaming data straight-up to those whizzing satellites that pass overhead twice-a-day. We’ve already learnt that we can send eight 20-byte packets by queuing them and letting the Myriota modem tackle the business of attempting multiple packet transmissions at each pass. This will stop-gap us against otherwise poor sampling rates until more satellites are launched. Once again we find ourselves under time pressure. Does this satellite IoT technology really work as expected? Can we reliably design product around it? Where are the pitfalls? Can we compress the data sufficiently to match the very small payload? How do we connect data across from the Myriota server to MEA's Green Brain in the cloud? Only squads of data – and time to collect it – can help us here, and we need all sorts of weather events to shake loose nasty gremlins that will surely bight us if they get through to production and our customer base. In the meantime, my Christmas sabbatical has fired my imagination and I’m spending the wee morning hours in my home lab testing new sensor ideas. There just never seems to be enough time in this IoT race!
  25. Hi All, I have been made aware of a suite of IoT eBooks + some on robotics (24 books in total) which are currently on special ($15 US) at the Humble Bundle store for the next 2 weeks. https://www.humblebundle.com/books/robotics-iot-books?hmb_source=navbar&hmb_medium=product_tile&hmb_campaign=tile_index_1 Enjoy.
  26. Dear All: Our company (ATE-NJ, China) is a professional team focusing on indoor localization techniques. We gained the 2nd place in the 3D competition of Microsoft Indoor Localization Competition 2018(https://microsoft.com/en-us/research/event/microsoft-indoor-localization-competition-ipsn-2018/). Our software supervisor (Prof. Song) is visiting Australia during before Feb 23. We would like to demonstrate and discuss UWB localization techniques with any company or person who is interested in it. Please email us ( su.zhang@ate-nj.com ; zhiyi.song@ate-nj.com) to agree time and place on UWB localization techniques.
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    WEBINAR RECORDING: Plant Water Stress & Sap Flow Measuring & Monitoring Tools By Dr Peter Cull Director, ICT International Presentation: 2019-03-19 ICT Soil Water & Plant Sensors Final.pdf ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ PLEASE NOTE THE EVENT TIME IS 12.00PM TO 1.00PM AEDT - MEMBERS OUTSIDE OF ACT, NSW, VIC & TAS NEED TO ADJUST TIMES ACCORDINGLY Description & Presenter: Dr Peter Cull is passionate about the need to use water efficiently in cropping, forestry and the natural environment. To achieve water use efficiency, it is necessary to quantify and monitor water in the natural environment. Dr Peter Cull has always believed that developing precision instruments to accurately measure, monitor and understand water would make a significant contribution to some of the major challenges in food production and land use. Completing his PhD in irrigation monitoring in 1979, Dr Cull commenced work as a scientist for CSIRO for 3 years. He subsequently worked for many years as a cotton agronomist consulting to corporate cotton farmers in Australia. Commencing in 1982 Dr Cull developed an Australia based company, ICT International, into a highly successful business researching, developing, manufacturing and exporting scientific instrumentation, providing scientific measuring and monitoring solutions, suitable even for some of the world’s harshest environments. These instruments are largely targeted at monitoring water movement through the natural environment. ICT International is a company that has the responsibility of further refining, developing and bringing to market many of the ideas generated by soil and plant scientists. Dr Cull’s professional goal is to continue investing in the research of environmental monitoring solutions for the future.
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    WEBINAR RECORDING: Engineering Careers in IoT Presentation: Engineering Careers in IoT G Sizer 5-Mar-19.pdf ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ IoT Engineering encompasses the application to the IoT of expertise in a range of engineering disciples including systems, electronics, software, information, telecommunications, mechatronics, computer systems and cyber security. For example, an IoT design engineer may apply electronics and software engineering skills in the development of a wide range of devices and technologies. Other IoT Engineers are concerned with the specification, development, deployment, integration, operation and maintenance of IoT equipment, software and systems by the application of engineering skills and a knowledge of the IoT technology domain. Over-arching this are specialist engineering requirements to maintain data security, integrity and privacy. The webinar will provide guidance to engineers seeking to develop their skills in engineering disciplines which can be applied in the context of IoT, addressing in particular how Engineers Australia members can pursue CPEng status based on their work in IoT and related engineering disciplines. About the presenter: Geoff Sizer, CEO Genesys Electronics Design Genesys founder and CEO Geoff Sizer has a lifelong passion for electronics and technology, and an ongoing commitment to the electronics engineering profession. He has more than 35 years experience in electronic product development ranging from complex systems to simple consumer goods for a diverse range of industries and applications. Geoff is a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Chartered Professional. As a former President of the IREE, Geoff was instrumental in the formation of the ITEE College in Engineers Australia and is its immediate past chair. He has championed the formation of the Applied IOT Community of practice. During his career Geoff has acted as a Director or Chief Technical Officer for several leading technology firms including Advanced Systems Research Pty Ltd, Advanced Spectrum Technologies Pty Ltd, EMC Assessors Pty Ltd, Telezygology Inc and Embertec Pty Ltd.
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    WEBINAR RECORDING: IoT Data Models - bringing order to IoT chaos ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Description: A Data Model in our context is an object-oriented data-centric representation of physically distributed and/or centralised data and functions within a system or sub-system. Data models are key underlying structures that provide modularity, scalability, flexibility and interoperability between IoT systems big and small. On the small scale, they ensure easy mapping and logical grouping and action of inputs and outputs, and on the large scale, they make interoperability mapping between disparate systems elegant. At the detail level, mapping layer APIs and comms protocols to the data model makes your system scalable, and helps avoid wheel-reinvention of platforms from development to development. Data models bring order to the chaos, or rather, prevent chaos from being entertained. About the presenter: JON EGGINS - CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER AND DIRECTOR BE (Hons) Jon has more than 20 years of electronic product development experience, particularly in the area of embedded hardware and software development. Jon has held positions such as embedded software team leader at Philips, plus more diverse roles including those relating to marketing, communications and people development; Jon is an experienced people manager with a passion for developing people and teams. Jon manages several client relationships and projects and is involved in detailed engineering and review on complex projects. He has specific technical interests in the areas development of IoT architecture, indoor location systems and electro-mechanical systems in general.
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