Earth Notes: IoT Launchpad Project Research

Summary of early research notes and discussions from the IoT Launchpad project.
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(Part of WP1: Research.)

OpenTRV is conducting industrial research in a number of areas around making IoT hardware less hard for the software developers who are IoT's mainstay.

The research is a mixture of desk-based and practical/empirical, and occurs at all stages of the IoT Launchpad project from April 2015 to March 2016, though the initial phase is largely closed by July 2015.

This contains pointers to some of those notes, and some of the used / built-on / proposed standards.

To recap: this "IoT Launchpad 2" project is about taking friction and cost of hardware and physical deployments out of IoT projects, especially for the software end of the business where the majority of the value and developers are. The aim is to research and validate the concept of a basic customisable (multi-)sensor unit with secure data backhaul as close as possible to £10, with minimal install costs, (as much as an order of magnitude or more below existing solutions) and the ability to manage (and maintain) a large fleet of sensors cheaply. All this work is (a) open source software and hardware and (b) attempting to make best use of existing standards in this space. The two verticals against which the central ideas are being validated are building health (cf "sick building syndrome"), and surface transport real-time footfall tracking with the aim of improving service and getting more people on public transport.

five brick stack, c/o MH

To achieve this we are concentrating on the following areas, with a basic survey of existing and possible solutions covered in WP1 below:

  • Simple physically-pluggable design, board and/or module level.
  • Low-power implementation to (say) allow (rechargeable) battery realisation, implying minimal install and maintenance costs (no electrician/mains), and with an eye to energy-harvesting to make fit-and-forget.
  • Be soldering-iron-free, with automatically-secure backlink, and good dev tools for the majority of (software) IoT developers, though supporting low-level hackers also.
  • Have a fully-customisable sensor stack so that appropriate sensors, even for rare parameters, can be deployed on demand, mix-n-match, ie not a one-size-fits-all (levelled-down) or expensive (levelled-up) compromise.
  • Support commonly-required sensors directly eg temperature/RH%/light, and provide simple open software and hardware APIs to support development of third-party and exotic sensors (eg Bluetooth or gas presence) and/or easy connection of (eg) I2C and SPI devices.
  • Making it simple and easy to manage (provision, deploy, maintain, remove) devices easily on a small scale (eg in a house) and/or at a much larger scale (eg office complex or transport network), indoors or outdoors.

OpenTRV Limited is leading this IoT Launchpad 2 project; EnergyDeck is its partner in the project ("We Help Run Buildings Better").

Research Notes, WP1


Some discussions on or related to IoT Launchpad topics:

Also see the workshop results from the 2015/06/22 Cleanweb meeting, curated by OpenTRV for the Launchpad.