M-Bus/Wireless M-Bus support for Moduino X1/X2

Moduino based on ESP32 can now be equipped with TECHBASE’s original mBus10/60/400 converter module. The converter operates as a M-Bus Master and allows user to connect up to 400 standard M-Bus receivers (Slaves) through M-Bus Master output or fewer devices at a higher M-Bus load over long distances. Moduino, as a fully capable Industrial IoT device, can now be used with every device equipped with M-Bus interface, e.g. heat meters, electricity meters, gas meters, executive modules, recorders, measuring instruments.

Wireless M-Bus support

TECHBASE has added high performance module for wireless M-Bus connectivity and multi-hop networking into Moduino series expansion options. The module is configured as an embedded micro system or simple data modem for low power applications in the metering specifically allocated band of 169 MHz or in the ISM band of 868 MHz. The device is can be configured for interoperability in a WMBus network for Industrial IoT applications.

The RF implementation guarantees best-in-class performance in terms of covered area and power consumption. The output power can be increased up to +30 dBm on the 169 MHz band (+27 dBm on optimized version for highest power efficiency) and up to +15 dBm on the 868 MHz band. The extremely reduced power consumption gives access to long lasting battery life requirement (up to 2 μA in sleep mode for wireless M-Bus module with an RTC clock running).

The Moduino devices  can be provided with a W-MBus stack specifically developed by Embit for the platform that allows to integrate the module in the desired system without effort and simplify the interaction in WMBus networks.



First industrial gateways series based on new ESP32 chips

The newest addition to TECHBASE’s Industrial IoT Ecosystem is a lightweight, but powerful energy-efficient and fully capable automation controller series, called Moduino – an industrial computer for remote data control and management, equipped with latest ESP32 compute module, wide range of serial, digital and analog inputs/outputs and wireless communication interfaces. This cost effective solution is perfect for end-point devices.

Moduino is powered by ultra-low power Dual-Core Tensilica LX6 240 MHz processor with 512KB RAM (up to 4MB) and 4MB SPI flash memory on-board. Integrated Wi-Fi/BLE modem and extra wireline/wireless interfaces make the Moduino micro-computer a versatile addition to Industrial IoT solutions offered by TECHBASE company. For more complex installations and for those, who need high integration capabilities, the Moduino devices can easily work remotely with existing ModBerry gateway for data accumulation and monitoring, to perform specific actions before sending the data to cloud services. The Moduino-ModBerry installation can work as standalone Ecosystem (for example via MQTT), providing fog-computing to any installation.

Wireless solution

Both Moduino X1 & X2 offer built-in Wi-Fi & Bluetooth 4.2 and support for LoRa, Sigfox, LTE cat. M1, NarrowBand-IoT (LTE cat. NB1) modems. Currently the support of ZigBee modems is under development. Moduino is equipped with standard U.FL (IPEX) external antenna connectors, allowing the device to reach up to 1km range (for Wi-Fi modem) and expanding the range for other wireless interfaces.

Battery and AC powered

Two multi-sized units X1 and X2 represent diversified approach to IIoT installations for remote data access & management. The main difference between Moduino X1 and it’s larger brother Moduino X2, apart from size, is a battery power support for X1 due to lower energy demand, making it independent from local power grid – perfect for remote installations and scattered objects monitoring. Both solutions can be powered by regular power supply with UPS support (LiPo & Supercapacitor batteries), offer wide range of serial, digital and analog inputs/outputs assisted with support of wireless communication interfaces.

Operating systems & software

Use of ESP32-WROVER compute module adds the support for real-time operating systems (compared to most Raspberry Pi based Linux and Windows OS versions), and openness of the Espressif’s platform to Moduino industrial automation controller. Thanks to enormous community of ESP32 and Arduino users and developers, the Moduino can now adapt existing software solutions, tools and programming environments,  for example:

  • ESP-IDF (Espressif IoT Development Framework)
  • Zephyr Project (scalable RTOS)
  • Arduino (C++)
  • MicroPython
  • Mongoose OS
  • etc.

End-point sensors

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.



Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) brings savings and efficiency

The main difference between well known Industry of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the place of application and approach to the role of user. IIoT focuses on increasing the profit, efficiency and safety of data used in any industrial application. Company’s main investment into IIoT is made to ultimately lower the global cost of bussiness activity and avoid any unnecessary maintenance costs.

The basic Internet of Things (IoT) objectives include management of facilities for User’s greater convenience and time saving. Smart homes, health monitoring and almost every aspect of human life is = covered more and more by IoT accessories and applications, but they mainly focus on end-user experience. The Industrial IoT looks far beyond that and brings profits and savings to manufacturing and maintenance level.

Companies can also benefit greatly by seeing it as a tool for finding growth in unexpected opportunities. In the future, successful companies will use the Industrial Internet of Things to capture new growth through three approaches: boost revenues by increasing production and creating new hybrid business models, exploit intelligent technologies to fuel innovation and transform their workforce.
© Accenture

The benefits of using  IIoT devices and complex solutions improve bussines efficiency (e.g., improved uptime of systems and remote monitoring of parameters) through easy maintenance and cloud management.

The new means of control are called Ecosystems, entwining the whole structure of industrial installation and software platforms to unleash unimaginable powers of existing industries. Coexistance of human controlled, cloud management utilities and devices, result in unprecedented levels of productivity.

The IIoT is defined by Accenture as “a universe of intelligent industrial products, processes and services that communicate with each other and with people over a global network”. This connected web is becoming increasingly ubiquitous across a wide range of industries, from oil and gas, utilities and transportation through to the medical field.

While these devices can be very beneficial for organisations and consumers every day, even greater value may be derived by using analytics to generate insights from the vast datasets generated by IIoT.

Research by Accenture and General Electric found that industrial organisations see a considerable upside in IIoT as a complement to big data analytics. More conservative forecasts in this research estimate that this activity could be worth $500bn by 2020.
© ComputerWeekly

See also:

ModBerry 500 M3 with Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 out now!

We are proud to announce that our newest device ModBerry 500 M3 is now available to order. ModBerry 500 M3 is an upgraded ModBerry 500 industrial computer series, using latest Compute Module 3 from Raspberry Pi. Used module increase the device’s performance up to ten times, maintaining low power consuption and optimal price of this solution. ModBerry features industrial protocol support, e.g. Modbus, M-Bus, SNMP, MQTT and more. Read full specification in ModBerry 500 M3 datasheet below:

Download ModBerry 500 M3 Datasheet

Main features of ModBerry 500 M3:

  • Quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Videocore IV GPU
  • 4GB eMMC Flash
  • Full Modbus/M-Bus/SNMP/MQTT protocol support
  • Wide range of wired and wireless communication protocols (Wi-Fi, 3G/LTE, GPS, Bluetooth, ZigBee, etc.)
  • Industrial-grade components and casing with DIN rail mounting

Compare with other solutions

Watch ModBerry website for upcoming updates. More industrial solutions coming in 2017!

IoT Market growth in 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT), constantly develops in many fields, such as everyday objects, wearables, appliances, and vehicles in the cloud. The enormous growth is also expected for industrial applications. Industry 4.0 Ecosystems bloomed over last year, and upcoming 2017-2020 will be the years of further IoT expansion.

Increased sales of IoT processors and the expansion of IoT ecosystems fuel market growth in IoT analytics, which organize the information gathered from those devices into actionable data. Two key companies to watch in this field are networking giant Cisco and Amazon.

Cisco, one of the largest networking equipment companies in the world, started integrating analytics services into its hardware in 2014 through its “Connected Analytics for the Internet of Everything” initiative. Since then, the company has acquired numerous cloud and IoT companies to bolster that effort. In February, Cisco announced its intent to acquire Jasper Technologies, a leading IoT service platform for businesses and service providers.

Amazon owns AWS (Amazon Web Services), the largest cloud-based platform as a service in the world. AWS is generally known for hosting websites and data, but the company has been aggressively adding new analytics services for businesses. One such service is AWS for IoT, a new platform which enables Amazon to collect and analyze data from IoT devices for a fee.
© The Motley Fool

The annual growth in IoT fields multiplies the number of IoT devices used. It might be a huge opportunity for IT companies, but also a massive challenge for fog and cloud integration of IoT ecosystems. The fast development of these solutions and it’s influence on the market carries potentially unimaginable benefits of using Internet of Things Ecosystems.

The above summary and forecast was made in 2014. Since then, the rate of growth has increased so rapidly, that current Intel predicitons quadruples the number of connected IoT devices.

Intel estimates that the number of connected devices worldwide will surge from 15 billion in 2015 to 200 billion in 2020. That comes out to about 26 smart devices gathering data from every person in the world. Intel’s optimistic forecast could certainly be tripped up by issues with conflicting standards, privacy, and security, but investors should still keep an eye on these key companies as the overall market expands.
© The Motley Fool

See also:

Industries where smart M2M solutions can help with efficiency

Smart M2M Solutions can be applied through a whole host of industries. Our team at Techbase, have put this series of articles together to highlight some of the industries where Smart M2M solutions can have a direct positive impact.

Energy & Utilities

The energy and utilities sector dominates globally. The energy industry is transforming rapidly due to the inclusion of innovative technologies, varied regulations, changing price models and decentralized power generation.

Smart M2M solutions come in to play to help users and energy companies better manage and track energy consumption through all areas in the “energy cycle”.

Smart Grid

A smart grid is an “intelligent” electricity distribution network that uses smart M2M solutions to enable the automated interaction of intelligent devices to react to critical events or motorize all electricity flowing in the system, helping to improve efficiency and reliability in energy distribution and optimize the allocation of resources and the usage of assets.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficiency is becoming a factor in business success, as is planned energy management in the public and private sectors, allowing for reduced energy consumption. Smart M2M solutions can help improve energy efficiency by remotely monitoring and controlling the consumption of powered devices and tracking usage for billing and reporting.

Smart Metering

Automated meter readers (AMR) are an innovative and advanced utility meter that records a business or consumers energy, water or gas usage in real time. Smart M2M solutions enables customer relationship management, demand-side management and value added services, helping to provide a more reliable and sustainable supply.

Renewable Energies: Solar & Wind

Managing solar and wind farms that are sited offshore or on remote locations is a challenge. Smart M2M solutions provide a simple, cost effective solution for retrieving assessment and monitoring data to maximize energy production and reduce the need of other sources by enabling real-time response to output changes caused by changing weather, failure or maintenance issues.

Oil, Gas & Petroleum

In oil, gas and pretoleum industry, production and distribution systems can span hundreds of kilometers and suffer inclement weather. Smart M2M solutions allow to centralizes monitoring and access, helping controllers to communicate with instrumentation at wellheads, pipelines and other remote sites.

Techbase is very proud to be at the forefront of the Smart M2M solutions evolution. If your firm would like to know more about our solutions. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our consultants today!

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Smart M2M Solutions are here to stay!

The world is just becoming more connected. The internet of things and machine-to-machine communication ( Smart M2M solutions) are set to revolutionise our day-to-day lives. Techbase is at the forefront of Smart M2m solutions. Our team has put this article together to explain how smart m2m solutions are here to stay.

The internet of things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (Smart M2M solutions) still sound a little bit too much like a sci-fi movie for some people. We’ve been hearing talk of fridges ordering your milk since the early-1990s, but we’re still making panicked runs to the corner store when we run out.

Fewer than one in four European companies have any smart M2M solutions in place, according to Vodafone’s recent market survey, while in the United States it’s fewer than one in five. And yet, for those companies that do know what’s coming, there are literally billions of pounds to be made, here and now.

Take the recent Apple purchase of Beats headphones, founded by hip-hop producer Dr Dre. The $3-billion price tag seemed excessive to many observers, but people close to the deal say it’s the M2M/IoT future that prompted Apple to dig so deeply into its wallet.

“The future of music is live streaming anytime everywhere over 4G and 5G,” according to one insider. “The idea of owning a song is going to be history. Beats has great relationships with labels and a very strong curated streamed playlist offering. The deal means Apple can play tracks through your headphones whenever you want to hear them. It saves iTunes basically.”

“We have to be clear about what the internet of things – or smart M2M solutions – means,” says Jim Tully, chief of research at Gartner. “At one level its all around us already – point-of-sales handsets at your table in a restaurant, ATMs, smart TVs with a set-top box, these are all physical objects with embedded chips that communicate with other machines without human commands.

“There are huge sales opportunities and cost-saving possibilities for business, but they come with certain risks, including job losses and security implications”

“The future is more complex; there are huge sales opportunities and cost-saving possibilities for business, but they come with certain risks, including job losses and security implications.”

In cost-saving terms, Mr Tully cites the Big Belly bins in Bath. These solar power waste bins on the streets of the city have trash compactors and alarm sensors that report when they’re three-quarters full. In Philadelphia the bins are credited with saving the city $1 million a year by reducing the number of bin lorries previously on constant patrol.


At MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, meanwhile, director Carlo Ratti is planning a version of this beneath the streets with Underworlds, a near-real-time network of biosensors, automata and purpose-built labs to decode the biological signature of cities and help plan public-health strategies.

Closer to home 24eight slippers have pressure sensors in the sole, which enable health professionals to see if an elderly person has failed to put their slippers on or has fallen over. Analysing the data, 24eight found they could also identify wandering patterns that predict the early onset of Alzheimers.

“The big privacy question we’ll have to deal with is how much of our lives we’re prepared to have monitored,” says John Coates, senior research fellow at Cambridge University and former Goldman Sachs trader, who’s pioneered bio-feedback monitoring of dealers on trading floors to spot rogue behaviour.

On the sales side, smart M2M solutions allows companies to keep a sales relationship with customers long after initial purchase. In 2013, for instance, the Audi S3 was launched with an integrated 4G-capable “infotainment” system, offering streamed movies and music, speech activated social networking and Google Earth GPS sat nav. Downloaded movies offer an untapped revenue stream for car companies. From 2015, most Audi cars will come with an embedded SIM enabling similar connectivity. Having your car online, of course, makes it vulnerable to hackers.

“Part of what will happen over the next five to ten years is that the very virtual concept of a firewall will less apply to a desktop computer than it will apply to the house or office,” explains Jonathan Bell, technology consultant and former architecture editor of Wallpaper* magazine. “With all these machines, like vending machines or fridges streaming data traffic, you’ll need virtual security bars around the whole building.”

If that all sounds a bit scary, perhaps you’re ideal audience material for the world’s first M2M theatre production – Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from Bristol-based pervasive games theatre company Slingshot. Director Simon Johnson uses body sensor vests to monitor audience members breathing or heart rate as they move around buildings trying to open doors or turn lights on by controlling their fear. Over time, he hopes, players will feel increasingly alienated from their own body, recreating the horror of Dr Jekyll with a beast inside. What could possibly go wrong?

If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more about how Techbase can help your firm with all its smart m2m solutions. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our consultants today!

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What are M2M embedded devices?

Our team at Techbase are always trying to keep our clients abreast of new changes in technology and design. We have therefore put a series of articles together that explore the world of IOT (Internet of things) and M2M embedded devices (Machine to Machine embedded devices).

Machine-to-machine (M2M embedded devices) are really just starting to come into its own, At the recent Oracle conference, the company was touting “an ecosystem of solutions” that uses embedded devices to facilitate real-time analysis of events and data among the “Internet of Things,” according to the Dr. Dobbs website.

M2M embedded devices communicate in the form of sparse data, which can come from sensors and other non-IT devices. The data may itself be only a couple kilobytes and wouldn’t make much sense out of context. But there is so much of it being generated and taken together it can create a full picture. Applications are needed to not only enable devices to talk with others using M2M embedded devices, but also to collect all the data and make sense of it.

Pretty much any device can be connected with M2M embedded devices. In fact, Machina Research,  a trade group for mobile device makers, predicts that within the next eight years, the number of connected devices using M2M will top 50 billion worldwide.

That connected-device population will include everything from power and gas meters that automatically report usage data, to wearable heart monitors that automatically tell a doctor when a patient needs to come in for a checkup, to traffic monitors and cars that will by 2014 automatically report their position and condition to authorities in the event of an accident.

Although M2M embedded devices have actually been around since the early days of computing, it has recently evolved to where devices can communicate wirelessly without a human or centralized component.

The most popular M2M embedded devices thus far has been to create a central hub that accepts both wireless and wired signals from connected devices. Field sensors would note an event, be it a temperature change, the removal of a piece of inventory or even a door opening. They would then send that data to a central location where an operator might turn down the AC, order more toner cartridges or tell security about suspicious activity.

The model for M2M embedded devices in the future, however, eliminates the central hub and instead has devices communicating with each other and working out problems on their own. So M2M embedded devices will be able to automatically turn on the AC in an overheated space, order more toner when it senses that supplies are low or alert security if a door opens at an odd hour.

Many M2M embedded devices rely on cellular technology to get their messages out, which is why mobile companies such as Verizon and Sprint are ramping up their M2M efforts. Devices don’t have to communicate over the cell network, as many still use land lines. But the ability to do so, especially if they also have an independent power source like a battery for backup, untethers the devices from the organization they are assigned to. And the more the machine can operate independently, the more work it can do without human intervention.

Humans probably will still need to be in the chain to oversee the different processes, but they will become more of a second pair of eyes and less of a direct supervisor. If everything goes well, the machines will do all the work, and the humans will only need to step in if a machine reports a problem, like a communications failure.

With 50 billion connected devices coming online soon, the need for applications (and developers) to manage all of that, to make the connections between devices work and to make sure it all runs smoothly will be tremendous.

Techbase is at the forefront of the M2M embedded devices revolution. If you would like to know more about how our firm can help your business thrive with our smart solutions. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly consultants today!

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