Home/ Blog/Applications

Applications’ Category

Summit Envirosolutions Streamlines Data Processes with Wireless Sensors and Digi

Posted on:

At our Global IoT Conference earlier this year, we sat down with local consulting firm Summit Envirosolutions to discuss the sophisticated, yet simple, information systems that gather and evaluate critical environmental data used to provide more insightful recommendations.

Focusing specifically on cultural, environmental and water resources, Summit resource management teams help clients better follow regulatory guidelines at local, state, and federal levels. John Dustman, a hydrogeologist with Summit, shared how everything from agriculture and mining to food processing and municipal supplies use our most valuable resource, water. This requires a certain level understanding, of course, but also demonstrates that groundwater can still be a big mystery to many. To find out more, watch the video:

With over 20 years of experience developing groundwater visualization tools, Summit combines the power of environmental science with data management tools to monitor the quality of water – and to enhance our understanding of physical, biological, and chemical relationships. Summit was also a collaborative developer of AQUILYTICS, software that uses continuous water level and flow rate data to perform hydrogeological tasks that were previously unavailable in any other software program.

Summit developed a protocol for acquiring telemetric data, and created an environmental/water supply database and corresponding graphical user interface to enable instantaneous access, querying, graphing and GIS visualization. “It’s like an MRI for a water well,” said Dustman, “and the ROI is almost immediate from a couple of perspectives.”

>> Read the full Summit customer success story to see how they streamlined the data collection process with Digi Connect Sensor+.

Cellular Routers to be Critical for Public Safety Communications

Posted on:

The National Public Safety Broadband Network is the nation’s first cellular broadband network dedicated to public safety. It will be providing more reliable communication for first responders by enabling better device interoperability across public transportation agencies throughout the United States. This new technology will allow agencies to utilize purpose-built transit cellular routers as a means to improve communications. Continue reading to see why fail-safe interoperable network is critical.

Public Safety Challenge

The public safety challenge is to protect citizens and critical infrastructure so that incidents can be mitigated faster with a more coordinated response. And the role of public transportation is only increasing as cities grow larger and denser, as an urban incident will require coordinated dispatch, and perhaps even evacuation. Traffic systems will also be a key element to incident resolution in order to expedite the arrival of response teams and direct traffic flow around the incident, which may necessitate remote access to onboard or roadside cameras and message boards.

However, commercial networks can crash when overloaded and legacy mobile radio networks are not always compatible, which is why a fail-safe interoperable network is required for emergency group communication, multi-media transmission of video, images and data; plus, reliable location tracking, economies of scale and the ability to interconnect with legacy systems also come into play.

Cellular-based Communication Solutions

The Public Safety Broadband Network is leveraging both existing LTE and advancing 5G international standards for mission critical services over commercial cellular networks. The services are built on new protocols and mechanisms that guarantee priority and preemption for voice, video and data, and will include push-to-talk, group calls and direct mobile-to-mobile. First responder vehicles, traffic control and transit system will now be able to utilize cellular mobile access routers as network gateways that securely bridge local subnets to agency systems. Agencies will need to know how to evaluate routers for ruggedness and security, along with forward compatibility as new public safety applications emerge.

How to Select a Router for First Responder Applications

Is your organization ready to take advantage of mission-critical cellular networking capabilities? Join our Director of Government Business Development, Steve Mazur, and Vice President of Application Engineering of Telit to learn what factors to look for in first responder cellular communication solutions: why speed matters, the role of cellular communications, and how to measure ruggedness and security in cellular devices.

>>See more details and register today.

NASA Selects Digi XBee for TechEdSat Missions 5, 6, and 7

Posted on:

After successful launches of TechEdSat 5 (2016) and 6 (2017), in 2018, NASA has again chosen Digi XBee for the TechEdSat 7 launch to collect sensor data including temperature, air pressure, and 3-axis acceleration parameters. The TechEdSat series continues a partnership with San Jose State University, University of Idaho and NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA.

One of the big benefits of TechEdSat program has been to evaluate and demonstrate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware to lower costs and accelerate development. Digi XBee continues to stand out as a great example of proven commercial hardware that can tolerate the harsh temperatures, shock, and vibration of launch, orbit and re-entry. Each TechEdSat mission has used Digi XBee for an Exo-Brake system to precisely rotate the satellite and bring it back to earth.

Typically, the sensor devices are connected with wiring, but the team chose to move away from traditional wiring and experiment with a wireless network because less cabling on the spacecraft, reducing the size, weight and power (SWaP) need to accomplish the mission. Another important benefit is the ability to relay this data back down to the command center for analysis.

This wireless network is part of NASA’s effort to test the performance of wireless networks on a spacecraft and determine if the technology is suitable for other applications. Due to the high cost associated with launching a rocket, the team must be extremely conservative when implementing new technology. Digi is proud to be a part of these successful missions, and we look forward to Digi XBee being incorporated into more NASA missions.

>>Read the full NASA + Digi XBee timeline for the full story.

FELFEL Develops Smart Foodservice Solution

Posted on:

An innovative Swiss company, FELFEL, has changed the way their employees eat at work with access to high-quality food on-demand. FELFEL developed a complete, innovative solution that enables employees to choose from fresh and affordable meal options such as “Pollo alla Siciliana” or “Satay Chicken Noodles” instead of boring or non-nutritious meals. Employees can access these meals by simply scanning their badge to unlock the wooden cased refrigerator, selecting their item to scan, and can their manage account details through a web application.

To design its food service solution, they chose the Digi ConnectCore 6 single-board computer to speed time to market by eliminating the traditional risk, effort and complexity of custom board designs without sacrificing flexibility or capabilities. “Many companies in Switzerland are in isolated office parks or remote areas, and the options are limited to vending machines,” said Fah Yik Yong, tech developer at FELFEL. “It all starts with great food choices, of course. But we also wanted to create a custom solution that delivers fresh food with a unique user experience.”

Using 4G LTE technology, FELFEL can pre-plan inventory using real time data that is sent to a central location at its headquarters. This innovative food service solution has already been installed in over 80 locations across Switzerland and Liechtenstein with plans to continue to expand.

>>Read the full customer success story here.

Digi XBee3: Go Smaller, Run Longer

Posted on:

The new Digi XBee3 smart modules offer reduced size and weight with increased battery life in plenty of options, all from a reliable partner you can trust. These let Digi XBee3 go smaller, run longer and work smarter while retaining rock-solid stability. It’s perfect for IoT devices that need to be compact, mobile and ultra-efficient.

Digi XBee3 can fit almost anywhere. With a new Micro SMT footprint of just 13mm x 19mm it occupies less than a third of the original XBee form factor. To maintain full compatibility, it is also available in the original Digi XBee through-hole and surface-mount packages, so that even customers who integrated Digi XBee when it first came out can continue to source components that fit their original PCBs. Choose between three standard form factors:

  • Through-hole for maximum flexibility & third-party socket compatibility
  • SMT standard-size for lower cost, greater I/O and backwards-compatible footprint
  • Micro for lowest size, weight and cost to support mobility and maximize ROI

Size, Weight, & Power

Digi XBee3 supports three different antenna types so that you can choose the right solution for your project. Need maximum simplicity? Choose an onboard chip antenna that requires no additional components and works great from inside a non-metallic enclosure. Should you need greater flexibility in positioning your antenna, choose a standard U.FL connector that supports a slew of external and specialty antennas, especially useful if your device lives in a metal box. Finally, if you are creating a PCB trace antenna or simply want an antenna connector someplace else, there’s the RF pad option that enables routing antenna signal to anywhere on your circuit board. Digi XBee3 offers a wide range of alternatives in a tiny package.

Going small means going mobile, and going mobile usually means taking power with you in the form of a battery. You’ll want this battery to be pretty tiny too, and that creates a challenge. Smaller batteries have less capacity, and therefore require more frequent recharging or replacement unless power is properly controlled. Digi helps you meet this challenge with lots of options for managing power to ensure that even small batteries can have long lives. In simple solutions where power is not constrained your Digi XBee3 can remain active all the time. However, when running with a limited power budget it’s most effective to put the device to “sleep” so that it can minimize power use during the downtime. Digi XBee3 supports an external sleep control so that a host device can put the Digi XBee3 to sleep when it’s not needed and wake it when it is. An internal cyclic sleep timer is also available when there’s no host device, like for simple sensor applications that wake every few minutes to transmit a new reading then going back to sleep. Finally, the business rules engine in MicroPython can create programmatic power control for extra, application-specific savings. Most protocols offered on Digi XBee3 also support different levels of sleep, from a deep sleep that uses almost no energy to lighter sleep modes when faster wake times are required. Digi XBee3 knows that getting good sleep is a key to staying smart.

Digi XBee3 Use Case

18.8 million people live with diabetes and many want their doctor to effectively monitor their blood glucose levels without losing any of their independence. They need a blood glucose monitor that is remotely accessible anytime, anywhere. Naturally they’d like it to be lightweight and portable with terrific battery life.

Digi XBee3 has everything required. The module’s smart size and feather weight helps match the glucose monitor to active lifestyles. Power management from the XBee3 ensures it only uses what’s absolutely necessary—extending the period between recharges without degrading the user’s experience. Digi XBee3 enhanced portable and wearable medical devices have the power to send automated updates, notifications and alerts to medical professionals or patients’ loved ones as their health status changes. These solutions empower patients to preventatively monitor their health and improve their overall quality of life while providing peace of mind for their loved ones. Doctors also benefit by making better decisions when patient data is easily and securely accessible in real-time. By fitting in a pocket and needing only infrequent charging, the Digi XBee3-enabled glucose monitor pleases patients and improves their outcomes while reducing overall costs.

This is just one of many ways that Digi XBee3’s small size, power savings and implementation flexibility helps create solutions that are reliable, cost-effective and smart.

>>Want to try these smarts on for size? Here is a ZigBee Mesh Kit to get you started.

 

Five New Features of the Next Generation of Digi XBee®

Posted on:

Earlier this week, the Digi XBee Cellular introduced three new variants to the lineup and announced the new features and upgrades of the module platform that combines global connectivity, built-in security, and design flexibility for Internet of Things (IoT) applications:

Digi XBee Cellular

Designed for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile Cat-1 cellular networks.

Digi XBee Cellular LTE-M

Provide OEMs with a simple way to integrate low-power cellular connectivity into their devices.

Digi XBee Cellular NB-IoT 

Provide OEMs with a simple way to integrate low-power narrow-band cellular connectivity into their devices.

These advanced, smart, cellular modems strengthen the already robust Digi XBee product line and are capable of meeting all wireless needs – from cellular, to Zigbee, to Wi-Fi protocols. The platform offers complete design freedom for cellular IoT connectivity integration from LTE Cat-1 all the way to LTE-M and NB-IoT LPWAN technology.

With the new upgrades and features below, organizations looking to integrate cellular connectivity and the ability to standardize on one module platform with a single hardware footprint across products, regions, applications, and cellular networks for everything from local applications to global solutions – regardless of the complexity level.

  1. Programmability: Local intelligence programmed on the modem itself. Business rules engines and application logic can transform data, control local I/O, connect to Bluetooth sensors, actively manage utilization of the cellular link and optimize cellular data plans.
  2. Full USB Support: Supports wide range of applications, from basic to more complex Linux-based applications/systems; direct USB communication for apps with native control requirements.
  3. Bluetooth® Ready: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Bluetooth Mesh connectivity. Allows simple and quick local setup, provisioning, and troubleshooting capabilities using modern mobile phones and tablets.
  4. Advanced Manageability Features: Support robust over-the-air (OTA) firmware upgrades, Digi’s easy-to-use RF management and configuration tool Digi XCTU, and remote management through Digi Remote Manager™.
  5. Built-In Security: Hardened with built-in Digi TrustFence™ device security.

>>Find more information about the award winning,  next generation Digi XBee cellular products to get started today.

From Digi XBee Project to Life-Changing Robotic Limb Products

Posted on:

We first met Easton LaChappelle four years ago when he was only 17-years-old. Easton took us by surprise as a self-taught maker who set his mission on creating brain-powered prostheses powered by Digi’s XBee RF modules. Using 3-D printing and Digi XBees, Easton created what the market so desperately needed, a prosthetic that sold for less than $400, robotic nonetheless.

Easton not only taught himself but found the most useful tools to progress his mission. He used tools and “how to” resources he found in online communities to set himself free from limitations that often hold others back.

We weren’t the only ones to take notice. Today, at 21-years-old, Easton has worked with NASA on The Robonaut, and he’s now working with Tony Robbins, Microsoft, and others to make his dream come true. His company, Unlimited Tomorrow, focuses on making life-changing robotic limbs available and affordable for those who need it most.

It all started when he met a little girl with a prosthetic arm. He found out that her parents had to pay $80,000 for it—and not the ‘smart’ kind that Easton could then see was possible. Take a look at how far he’s come today:

“Easton is an absolute genius! He’s dreamed of transforming people’s lives through robotics since he was just 17 years old (I started funding him when he turned 18) and has turned his dreams into reality! Check out these life-changing results he’s creating with 3D-printed prosthetics!” Tony Robbins says.

To see more amazing Digi XBee projects and meet up-and-coming makers, visit the Digi XBee project gallery here.

You can also learn more about how to get started with Digi’s XBee product line here. >> 

Four Critical Requirements for Intelligent Water Management

Posted on:

When managing complex drainage districts, distributed lift stations or a municipal water treatment facility, networking and SCADA engineers are tasked with creating and operating safe, efficient water and wastewater management systems for their local and regional communities. In the challenging world of water management, application operating environments are commonly remote and harsh, which makes using 4G LTE wireless networks ideal for connecting remote assets. Below are four critical requirements to consider when upgrading to new technology and network management tools.

  • Equipment Reliability – How long is the warranty of your communication gear? Pumps, PLCs and RTUs are expected to last for years.
  • Flexible Networking Options – It is typical for municipalities to designate a primary and secondary, backup cellular carrier for SCADA telemetry equipment installed across a wide geographic area. The ideal 4G LTE device will support software-selectable carrier switching.
  • System Security – 4G LTE devices and management tools must support guidelines and requirements for water management systems as defined by the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Act in the U.S. and similar legislation in other countries. It should also enable enterprise security features like access-controlled ports, encrypted data storage, authentic boot and firewalls, as well as connections to security equipment such as IP cameras.
  • Remote Management – Once devices are installed and systems are operational, the challenge of operating a network of distributed telemetry equipment begins. Remote configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting tools are essential.

>>Check out our 4G LTE solution for Water/Wastewater Telemetry and SCADA applications.

Contact a Digi expert and get started today! Contact Us
Have a Question?