Raspberry Pi sales rise during coronavirus pandemic

In March, sales of Raspberry Pi single-board computers totaled 640,000. The consumer find it the cheapest way to start tinkering and drove to the second-largest sales month since Raspberry Foundation began selling for home use.

Other uses of Raspberry Pi computers are more directly associated with the appearance of COVID-19. For example, in Colombia, efforts are underway to run a ventilator on a Pi computer, and if successful, it will help solve the problem of the lack of traditional ventilation equipment in this country.

I think what this is telling us is that we’re seeing genuine consumer use of the product. It’s not like your desktop PC – you’re not going to be able play Crysis on it – but if you want a machine you can use to edit documents, use the web, use Gmail and Office 365 and all the baseline use cases of a general purpose computer, the Raspberry Pi 4 is a product we’ve made to get over that bar.

Eben Upton, the Raspberry Pi’s co-creator for Techrepublic

When the Raspberry Pi Foundation asked to talk about how to deal with COVID-19 using Raspberry Pi devices, one of the most common uses he saw was 3D printing with use of Raspberry Pi, especially for 3d-printed faceshields.

Raspberry Pi 4
Raspberry Pi 4

Arduino-based ventilator to help coronavirus patients

A month ago we wrote about Arduino-based solution, similar to the one tested in Columbia. As far as manufacturing and using home-made medical equipment is not advised, the spread of the COVID-19 might push humanity to such solutions. Johnny Lee’s project involves a simple, low-cost ventilator controlled via Arduino.

The idea is that since these machines are basically just blowers controlled by a brushless DC motor, an Arduino Nano equipped with an electonic speed controller could allow it to act as a one. Such a setup has been shown to provide more than enough pressure for a ventilator used on COVID-19 patients. This device has in no way been evaluated or approved for medical use, but it does provide a starting point for experimentation.

Source: https://blog.arduino.cc/2020/03/17/designing-a-low-cost-open-source-ventilator-with-arduino/

New #CoronaIOT initiative from Industrial IoT manufacturer

Trends indicate a weakening of many sectors of the economy, including the IoT sector. However, we can prevent the upcoming crisis with products and technology keeping up with the inevitable changes in our daily lives.

TECHBASE Group took the challenge of gathering potential partners for projects that serve improvement of health safety and worldwide trend of Social Distancing. The program will periodically present new IoT projects, involving manufacturers, software and hardware developers, new technology influencers and media.

Industrial Raspberry Pi powered devices as a base of medical equipment?

When industrial IoT devices and edge devices, like medical equipment work together, digital information becomes more powerful. Especially in contexts where you need to collect data in a traditional edge context, or control the servo-motors of a ventilator. You can then remotely monitor the container using the sensor.

By introducing AI (artificial intelligence) into the device itself, edge computing can also make more context-sensitive, quick decisions at the edge. Data gathered from the sensors can be transferred to the cloud at any time after local work has been completed, contributing to a more global AI process, or archived. With the combination of industrial IoT devices and advanced technology, high quality analysis and small footprint will become the AI standard in 2020.

ModBerry M500 with Raspberry Pi’s 4 on-board

Battery powered IoT devices crucial to 2020+ standards

Technology must transfer data to the central system in real time, otherwise it may have negative consequences. If the sensor battery power runs out, a machine failure may stop production for one day or lead to direct danger. If battery life is unbelievable and short, IoT applications will become useless, causing more interference rather than making life easier for its intended purpose. Therefore battery powered IoT devices come as a standard in up-to-date IoT installations

Wireless sensors and sensor networks are one of the elements of the Internet of Things systems and intelligent factories. Replacing the standard sensors and data collection devices with versions that communicate wirelessly gives many benefits, but also enforces a highly thought-out system design that will minimize energy consumption. This is important because these systems must work for many years without servicing. In the article we present the issues regarding the design of systems and forecasting of energy consumption in IoT systems.

Wireless communication vs Battery power

The idea of wireless sensor networks has been around for at least two decades, while the IEEE subgroup working on personal wireless networks defined the 802.15.4 standard in 2003, a year later the first versions of ZigBee appeared. Since then, many varieties of wireless communication have been developed, such as LoRa & NarrowBand-IoT and additional functions introduced, as a result of which designers now have a choice of various open or proprietary protocols. What significantly affects the way the entire project is implemented is energy consumption.

Obrazek posiada pusty atrybut alt; plik o nazwie battery-iot-esp32-1030x386.png
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://modberry.techbase.eu/

The basic elements of these systems are sensors that measure physical quantities. Some signal and data processing capabilities are also important. After all, the communication interface is important, which will allow you to pass the measured data on. Such a sensor node should wake up from time to time, make contact with its superordinate controller, transfer data and fall back to sleep again. Battery life depends on the total charge collected. Minimizing this consumption in the long run means that you need to minimize energy consumption during each work cycle. In many cases, the sensor will only work for a small fraction of the time. A measurement that lasts a few milliseconds can be triggered once per second, once per minute, or even less frequently. Therefore, the energy consumed in sleep mode may dominate the total energy consumption.

Battery-ready IoT devices based on ESP32

Battery / SuperCap power support allows the processes and data to be securely executed, saved or transferred, and the operating system to be safely shutdown or reboot, if the power source has been restored. The power failure alert can also be sent to cloud service, to perform custom task, specified by user or self-learning AI algorithm.

The Moduino device is a comprehensive end-point controller for variety of sensors located throughout any installation. It fully supports temperature and humidity sensors and new ones are currently developed, e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, etc.

Battery powered Moduino ESP32
Battery powered IoT installation. Source: https://modberry.techbase.eu/

ModuinoModBerry symbiosis allows wide range of wake-up/sleep schedule customization, in order to perform best and save energy accordingly to power supply state. Arduino and MicroPython environments provide libraries to control different scenarios of data and power management.

With built-in algorithms and the possibility to program on your own, the TECHBASE’s sleep/wake addon module can wake the device using schedule/timer. Another option is wake on external trigger, e.g. change of input, etc. All the options for sleep, shutdown and wake can be configured for various scenarios to ensure constant operation of devices, safety of data and continuity of work in case of power failure in any installation. Check battery-powered Moduino X0

Almost half of IoT developers use AI in their projects

The latest research results from IoT Newark developers reveal that 49% of respondents use AI in their IoT applications. There is also a growing concern about user privacy and the more frequent introduction of ready equipment.

35% of respondents think security is the major concern for any IoT implementation, mainly due to the type of data collected from the things (machines) and humans, which is very sensitive & personal. We can expect to see more and more encryption everywhere. Businesses who initiate IoT projects treat IoT security as their top priority.

SBCs the main platform for Industrial IoT

SBC is still the preferred hardware foundation for IoT gates, then 54%, followed by personal projects (30%) and silicon supplier platforms (13%). It is unclear whether the latter includes a commercial computing module. As shown in the graph above, many IoT programmers need third party help, especially for edge-to-cloud communication.

About 45% of respondents use environmental sensors for IoT devices, followed by motion sensors (26%) and optical / image sensors (15%). WiFi (67%) is the most popular wireless technology in Internet of Things projects. The next places are Low cellular energy and Bluetooth, followed by LoRa at 21%. The survey results also include responses to programming languages, cloud platforms, IoT data, project motivation and more.

Artificial Intelligence influencing Industrial IoT

From the end of 2017 to 2018, artificial intelligence-specific processors (AI) began to appear on mobile devices. The goal is to make smartphones more intelligent. As GPUs shrink, AI-related equipment becomes necessary for the Internet of Things.

Support for enterprises from platforms such as Google TensorFlow will be introduced in 2020 with equipment adapted to artificial intelligence. TensorFlow is already optimized for mobile devices and can be quickly launched on single-board computers. In many ways, AI frameworks are better than other mobile frameworks, such as ReactJS. The AI structure is not designed to work with the user interface. It’s perfect for the Internet of Things.

Until the end of 2020, artificial intelligence will be as important for IoT devices as the cloud.