Using Avimesa Enterprise grade development tools for a small air quality project to measure pollutants created by resins and related toxins.
-- With a user story featuring our very own Collin Hinson, VP Technology.
Avimesa has an extensive set of developer tools and an API to enhance Avimesa.Live or even build your own custom application. Tako, an Avimesa Master VAR, has spent millions building their enterprise-level application and its support systems are designed to meet the needs of asset managers and maintenance technicians for some of the largest companies in the world. They used the Avimesa Client API and the Avimesa IoT cloud superstructure to build their own application that also integrates workflow, which is a key requirement for many of their corporate customers. Additionally, Tako is an OEM for Avimesa 1000 hardware to support their use of heavy duty 4-20mA industrial grade sensors. And, Avimesa Gadget is an essential component of several Tako integrations.
But wait -- what if you don’t have Tako level budgets and just want to build a simple prototype? What if your parts budget is only $100? You can do that with Avimesa too. Before going on to the story about Collin, it should be noted that Avimesa provides support for “hobbyist” parts because there are many industrial, corporate, and agricultural developers that use these parts for prototyping. As a matter of fact many of the suppliers have corporate divisions to sell these parts for prototypes. Most of the components in these parts are the same that are used in their industrialized counterparts.
So now, about Collin, our VP tech, and his air quality project. Collin surfs often and, on a bad day, has to repair surfboard dings using toxic resins that can become airborne. Collin’s roommate also makes stuff with plastics and resins in the garage to boot. The garage is easy enough to ventilate: just open the garage door. Problem: they also workout in the garage. Exercising usually requires greater than average amounts of oxygen so Collin and his roommates definitely want to make sure that the air is clear of pollutants before they start pumping iron. Here are a couple of pictures:
Obviously, as VP Technology, Collin can make Avimesa do anything he wants. But, Collin likes to do projects using only the tools that Avimesa makes available for free to all developers. In this case he had two goals: (1) Phone alerts to himself and his roommates on extremely poor air quality in the garage, and (2) a real-time air quality graph to gauge dangerous levels of aerosolized resin particulates while they are working out.
Collin used Avimesa.Live as the front end, and focused on integrating the sensor. He chose the CCS811 indoor air quality chip which was available pre-packaged on a board with leads that hook to a Raspberry Pi microcontroller. He easily did this project for less than $100 in parts. But, unlike a typical hobbyist project, his air quality project is connected using Avimesa Gadget with the Avimesa IIoT cloud superstructure providing all of the industrial grade benefits, provisioning, and context awareness.
While Collin’s project is a home project, it demonstrates how simple hobbyist parts can be used by large or small customers to cheaply build prototypes that have industrial grade features and scale. Once a system is prototyped, then the parts can be upgraded to an industrialized counterpart with, oftentimes, few other changes. A developer who works for a hotel could easily commercialize Collin's project with sensors relevant to the location of the hotel gym. Easy prototyping is essential to proper IIoT planning and deployment.
Integrating new sensors into an intelligent IoT network can be challenging. Actually hooking the sensor up is usually easy but the rest of the integration can be time consuming. Collin used Avimesa Gadget, freely downloadable by any developer, to hook the sensor to the Avimesa cloud. Avimesa Gadget makes the authentication, digitization, transmission, and messaging pain free for both prototyping and final integration. It also has a Command Line Interface (CLI) which is highly useful for both development and technical issue problem solving.
To handle the CCS811 air quality chip communication and data acquisition, Collin wrote a simple Python script that does just so and also pushes the obtained data to Avimesa Gadget for relaying to the cloud. Avimesa Gadget then uses a “heartbeat” for cyclic, time interval based communication with the cloud to transmit the air quality data to Avimesa.Live along with Raspberry Pi health metrics.
The rest of the setup was done using Avimesa.Live in a browser to setup the alerts. Readings from areas and setups in new installations can take a while to calibrate which is simplified by using the built-in graphing in Avimesa.Live and the CLI in Avimesa Gadget. Next week Avimesa will be delivering its regional climate feeds to customers. Because Avimesa provides context awareness, Collin will be able to upgrade the rules for his air quality alerts to include wind conditions and pollutants in the climate -- all from within Avimesa.Live with point-and-click changes.
If you or your developers want to integrate a sensor of your choosing with Avimesa, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the sensor and we will provide you with technical support on your integration. If you need help finding a sensor then email us with your requirements and we will help you with your search. If you need full professional services for integration, we can do that too and also have several development partners that are absolutely expert in IIoT projects.
Extensive and detailed developer documentation about all of the Avimesa developer tools, API’s, and interfaces can be found here:
The Avimesa Team