IoT project case study #3: understand customer needs

truckIn the beginning of the 2000s, while I was still working for the small company I had cofounded, we decided to answer a Request for Proposal submitted by a waste removal company, for a system allowing to check whether all planned daily garbage collections had been performed. At this time, we didn't know a lot about the waste removal market. But we knew we were experienced enough in technologies we would have to assemble in order to answer the RFP: onboard equipment and embedded software, GNSS positioning, wireless communications, Geographical Information Systems, etc.

Lightning shutter trigger 2.0

flashFirst version of my ligthning shutter trigger is not as sensitive as I would have liked it to be. Consequently, I have been thinking at designing a new version for some time now. I started the new design on end of March, and ended wiring the prototype yesterday.

I use a PSoC 4, from Cypress. This component includes an ARM core and some analog and digital blocks (including opamps) that you can configure and connect according to your needs. It took me a few days before feeling comfortable with the development environment and PSoC 4 capabilities, but I don't regret time I invested!

IoT project case study #2

A few years ago, I was asked to perform the audit of an embedded device. This device was used in professional fleet management applications, to upload various data to a central application server: vehicle location and speed, logic states of a few digital inputs, etc. The technical archictecture was based on a microcontroller and a GSM/GPRS/GPS module. An over-the-air (OTA) update function had been implemented, so that remote software update was possible. Nothing really complex, nor revolutionary.

Several thousand vehicles had been equipped. But quite rapidly, up to one third of installed devices stopped working. And the most stressful point was that the OTA update was no more functional. Consequently, every non-functioning device had to be removed from the vehicle, reprogrammed, and reinstalled.

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