ERICA Project: When AGILE is talking to your kids

ERICA project was about evolving one of products, NEXT, an educational robot for toddlers, into a smart cloud connected robot, with the ability to interact with children. So here the challenge was to develop the software for connecting the embedded board in the robot to the AI cloud platform FIONA.

We were glad of finding the Agile Open Call. It was a perfect timing for us since we were planning to work on an evolution of our current suite of robots for toddlers with a more intelligent one. It was a perfect match, since we already had a product in the market with some units (about 5,000) upgradeable to be connected to the cloud. By using AGILE stack, we obtained a framework to have things done. The initial learning curve was a bit tough but we quickly take over thanks to the support of the AGILE tech team. We met some challenges regarding the hardware requirements, as to run the Java version of AGILE, since our hardware setup, although powerful, it was tightened by low-price requirements to meet market constrains. The AGILE consortium understood perfectly the situation and both parties agreed to reshape the initial scope of our proposal. We developed a lightweight C++ implementation of AGILE core components, following the same architectural pattern as in the Java version. With this contribution the AGILE project is now able to support more hardware devices as i.e. Raspberry Pi Zero.

The possibility of including dissemination actions to the budget was a strong plus. This allowed us to participate in relevant trade shows to gain feedback from real customers, as well as to produce a video to introduce the consumers the new product and its advantages.

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Beyond the money, having the support and advise of external experts is always good to reconsider your approach. AGILE has provided us a strong push to the development of our new product which we expect to take to the market in the coming months.

Nevertheless, taking advantage of the communication channels of the AGILE project and consortium helps us, as a SME to get known beyond our own audience, enabling us to reach to new people, and hopefully open new opportunities.

AdeleRobots.com

inCare Together is taking care of our seniors

EUROB CREATIVE (www.eurob.com) is a highly innovative SME focused on empowering individuals through mobile and IoT technologies. It is focused on the sectors of m-Health, m-Commerce and 3D technologies, developing and commercializing relevant products, especially inCare Together, which was selected as one of the top projects by Agile-IoT in their First Open call for projects.

In an ageing Europe, developed economies are looking for scalable and cost-efficient ways to improve the quality of life and independence of seniors. In this general context, inCare Together targets the large and growing market of seniors’ homecare, both for individual homes and for large nursing home facilities. It utilizes EUROB’s InCity Together Platform as a backbone, together with AGILE-IoT gateways and modern and appealing wearables as input sensors. inCare Together addresses several acute growing needs of both caregivers and seniors at homecare, particularly with regards to non-intrusive, yet efficient, health and safety monitoring.

inCare Together has been developed with three objectives in mind:

  • to help seniors maintain their independence and keep living at home for longer time, while at the same time providing them with a feeling of being cared and having immediate help when needed.
  • to allow family members to monitor the safety and wellbeing of their elderly relatives remotely without disrupting their daily life.
  • to assist caregivers of nursing homes and facilities in the monitoring of elderly people, enabling them to check the status of residents and identify possible problems or emergencies as fast as possible.

The solution consists of a smart wristband, additional smart sensors and an AGILE-IoT based node that provides real-time data about the geolocation, heart rate and regular activity of the elderly person. These data is stored in a cloud-based system for historical processing and emergency detection. Using AGILE and InCity Together technologies, the solution offers end-to-end privacy and security control.

The analysis of collected IoT data allows for early detection of critical situations and health risk factors, wandering beyond facilities, emergency alarms, deviations in physical activity patterns analysis and others. Based on this, inCare Together creates automatic reports for authorized caregivers (family members, nurses, doctors) that can be accessed via web or delivered to their email accounts.

inCare Together is going to be marketed as a monthly/yearly subscription service. Benefits unlocked: Seniors are more well protected and feel more independent while their caregivers gain piece of mind about the seniors’ whereabouts and physical wellbeing, freeing up time and resources for other duties, instantly and accurately being notified about critical events. Also, nursing organizations reduce effort and costs associated to seniors’ everyday monitoring, thus contributing to health system sustainability.

inCare Together has been possible to be realized thanks to the support provided by Agile-IoT, both in the platform side, which has became the cornerstone of inCare and in the visibility provided and support by the project, that has helped us to overcome the technical difficulties found.

Aquatic Project with Bioceanor

Bioceanor (www.bioceanor.com), a French start-up, was one of the 8 winners of the first Agile IoT Open Call. Bioceanor presented their results after 6 months of project. They deployed 3 devices for real-time water monitoring in the context of Aquaculture. One is in a fish farm (figure 1), another is in a shellfish farm (figure 2), and the third one is in a microalgae production farm (figure 3). The devices are taking one measure every 20 minutes of water temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and salinity.

They used Agile IoT architecture and gateway (figure 4) to collect data from the devices and to send them to their visualisation platform.

The feed-back of the end users was really positive, as the real-time water monitoring was really useful to their production follow-up. They could anticipate some events and correlate the water monitoring data to their production data. Agile IoT framework helped Bioceanor to deploy faster and easier the overall architecture, giving a robust product to the end user.

Thanks to the visibility of the Agile IoT project and the proof of concept, Bioceanor has now several devices orders from aquaculture customers in production.

More info on Bioceanor overall projects in July issue of International Aquafeed Magazine, pages 46-47.

 

Using Agile-IoT technologies in an IoT solution for energy saving in vacation rental properties

The domain of vacation rentals has drastically evolved over the last few years, thanks to popular online platforms like AirBnB and HomeAway. Unlike hotels, which are usually equipped with complex automation technologies, vacation rental properties are still running behind and have not yet adopted connected home technologies. The reason is usually the lack of dedicated IoT solutions which do not require complex house renovations and high initial investments. The lack of connected home technologies turns out to be a missed opportunity for the owner or manager to save energy, money, and time and to simplify the management of the property.

Modosmart (www.modosmart.com) wants to solve this problem and has developed ELIO, an IoT solution which reduces the energy expenses in vacation rental properties thanks to the automation of air-conditioning and heating based on presence detection technology. The system includes two devices developed by Modosmart, namely a window sensor and a room sensor unit which includes presence detection and temperature and humidity sensing. The devices are in pre-commercial state, tested and validated with a set of early adopters. They use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for communication. In addition, the solution is equipped with an off-the-shelf air-conditioning controller able to control any type of infrared based A/C split machine.

Modosmart was selected as one of the eight startups awarded in the first open call launched by the Agile-IoT project and which had proposed project ideas to integrate the Agile-IoT gateway into existing IoT solutions. Our project aimed to integrate the Agile-IoT gateway hardware and software stack into the Elio solution.

The project started on the 1st of January and ended on the 30th of June. During the first half of the project there has been a thorough analysis of the gateway stack with the aim to allow the gateway to speak with the custom devices developed by Modosmart. The outcome of this phase was a proof of concept demo showing the gateway communicating with an ESP32 board, equipped with BLE communication and using the same Nordic nrf51822 microcontroller used in our custom BLE devices.

During the second three months of the project, the proof of concept board has been replaced by the real devices of the Elio solution. At the end of this phase the gateway was able to collect presence, temperature and humidity data from the room sensor unit, to monitor weather a window is open or close and to control the air-conditioning by speaking to the off-the-shelf controller.

Thanks to the collaboration with the Agile-IoT project and to the received funding, the Elio solution is now able to rely on a modular, robust and flexible gateway which can accelerate the time-to-market. The modularity, robustness and flexibility is a result of the fact that the Agile-IoT gateway is built on top of a Docker containerized system powered by ResinOS, which is an operating system bringing the containerization approach to embedded systems. The benefits of using  a modular containerized framework is demonstrated by the fact that by developing our own container we have been able to connect the Agile-IoT gateway to our devices without any modification to the other parts of the system.

Developing on top of a Docker based system has been the first experience at Modosmart, and thanks to the possibility offered by the Agile-IoT project and to the support received by the project’s technical team, we have been able to achieve our objective in a relatively short time and without facing major obstacles.

 

Image from PxHere

Agile for the retail analytics industry: Thinkinside experience

Thinkinside is a company specialised in retail analytics. It’s flagship product RetailerIN (www.retailerin.com) allows to analyse customers behaviour in retail stores and to suggest possible interventions on how to optimise store operations and organisation. The product exploits IoT devices in store in order to collect anonymous information on customer’s behaviour. Examples of such IoT devices are Bluetooth Low Energy TAGs placed on products, or people counters at the entrance. Such devices are typically connected through an in-store gateway to the cloud where data is processed and analysed at scale.

Being a software company, one of the key challenges we face on a regular basis is on how to design and develop custom hardware components in order to either explore new services or accommodate specific customer needs. This typically involves specific hardware and IoT devices to be integrated. With the IoT ecosystem comprising many hundreds of new players offering one or two parts of the IoT puzzle, finding the right hardware + software solution is often a time-consuming task, especially for small companies like Thinkinside.

The Agile project allowed us to tackle one of the key pain points of ICT companies working in the IoT+retail sector, and in particular

  • Interoperability and integration of IoT hardware platform and components: by relying on the Agile gateway and the readily available hardware and software components, integration and interoperability can be simplified a lot, especially during the initial design and fast prototyping phase of the solution.
  • Fast implementation and prototyping: the Agile hardware and software modules allowed us to develop solutions and prototypes in a very small time. This is considered as key when developing Proof of concepts for customers or when developing new solutions.
  • Support for many different standard hardware solutions covering different options in terms of connectivity, sensing boards, costs, form factors, etc.: the Agile software can run on many different hardware platforms. This allows us to easily scale the solution to the most appropriate hardware platform required to address customer needs.
  • Allowing companies to focus on value added services (rather than hw design and maintenance): our focus is software and the creation of innovative retail services and solutions. By mitigating the risk involved in the design and implementation of hardware component, we can focus on our key expertise (software) and create, in a faster way, new services to ne introduced in the market.

Iacopo Carreras, CEO Thinkinside

 

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Announcing the 8 winners of the Agile IoT Open Call #2

The second Open Call of Agile IoT opened in February 2018. 38 Companies from all over Europe applied for this call. Out of those 38 great ideas, 8 got selected to start their project with the Agile IoT Gateway.

AGILE is an adaptive and modular hardware and software gateway for the Internet of Things (IoT) with support for protocol interoperability, device and data management, IoT apps execution, and external Cloud communication, featuring diverse pilot activities, Open Calls & Community building.

The projects of the 2nd open call started May the 2nd of 2018 and will end after 6 months. During this period, they will integrate the Agile IOT gateway into their projects.

Below are the eight teams selected by the jury.

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Ex Machina: Middleware for a modbus energy monitoring solution

In early May, Ex Machina, one of the 8 winners of the first open call, presented its progress with the AGILE platform to professional IoT developers and advanced IoT geeks in Athens.

Manolis Nikiforakis, Ex Machina CEO, described an environment for building powerful industrial IoT solution, using a typical energy monitoring use-case as an example.

The Ex Machina solution is built on open source technologies like Eclipse Kura, Eclipse Kapua, Eclipse hawkBit, Thingsboard.io, Agile-IoT, Resin.io, Node-RED, openHAB, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266/32, Modbus, and MQTT.

AGILE Open Call #2 – Deadline March 30

The second AGILE Open Call deadline is on March 30! Have you submitted yet?

Who should apply?

Are you an SME, entrepreneurs, or start-up developing IoT hardware and software? If so, this open call is for you.

We are looking for companies to evolve and enhance the AGILE gateway software and find new hardware applications for it. Both hardware and software related projects that use the AGILE IoT stack are eligible for this open call.

The total amount of funding is 400,000 € and a maximum of 8 companies will be selected for a sub-grant of 50,000 € each.

Get your application started. The deadline is March 30, 2018 at 17h00 CET.

Find out more

AGILE Open Call #2 – Have you submitted yet?

We launched our second AGILE Open Call on February 1!

Are you an IoT Hardware and software developing SMEs, entrepreneurs or start-up? Then this open call is for you!

We are looking for companies to evolve and enhance the AGILE gateway software and find new hardware applications for it. Both hardware and software related projects that use the AGILE IoT stack are eligible for this open call.

The total amount of funding is 400,000 € and a maximum of 8 companies will be selected for a sub-grant of 50,000 € each.

So don’t wait, start your application now! You have until March 30, 2018 at 17h00 CET to submit your project.

Find out more

Announcing the 8 winners of the Agile IoT Open Call #1

This first Open Call was a great success: As Agile’s first open call for projects came to an end, 56 companies from all over Europe submitted their ideas to our open call. After a rigorous selection process, 8 companies were selected as the best fit to continue their project with the Agile IoT Gateway.

AGILE is an adaptive and modular hardware and software gateway for the Internet of Things (IoT) with support for protocol interoperability, device and data management, IoT apps execution, and external Cloud communication, featuring diverse pilot activities, Open Calls & Community building.

Over the first 6 months of 2018, the 8 selected companies will continue to integrate the Agile IoT gateway into their products. Keep reading below for more information on the exciting ways in which the 8 projects will work with us on extending the Agile IoT gateway into their project.

The eight teams, which have been selected by our jury, are the following:

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