Enterprise Europe Network

Quick deployment wireless sensor network for roaming monitoring tasks

Country of origin:
Country: 
SPAIN
Opportunity:
External Id: 
TOES20200302002
Published
02/03/2020
Last update
12/03/2020
Expiration date
13/03/2021

Keywords

Partner keyword: 
Automation, Robotics Control Systems
Digital Systems, Digital Representation
Internet of Things
Quality Management System
Maintenance Management System
Communications/networking
Manufacturing/industrial software
Other electronics related equipment
Industrial measurement and sensing equipment
Process control equipment and systems
Manufacture of communication equipment
Other telecommunications activities
Computer programming activities
Other information technology and computer service activities
Data processing, hosting and related activities
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Summary

Summary: 
A Spanish ICT research center has developed a system to facilitate a rapid and easy deployment, configuration, commissioning, usage and maintenance of wireless sensors networks. Based on proprietary algorithms, toolkits and a patented technology to monitor the quality of the nodes’ communications in a meshed environment, it guides during the deployment stage based on the quality of the connectivity. They seek partners for a license agreement that leads to commercial exploitation.

Description

Description: 

Usually robust and wired sensors that provide data acquisition are found in the industry. These systems require a complex installation, being an invasive system in industrial facilities and involving additional costs of communications networks and intermediate equipment.

The state of the art shows the absence of a plug and play type wireless sensing solution for the industry. In addition, the complexity of deployment and maintenance remains one of the main barriers that the industry finds for the introduction of such solutions.

A Spanish ICT research center offers a new system to facilitate and extend the use of wireless sensor networks. This implies the rapid and easy deployment, configuration, commissioning, usage and maintenance of a wireless sensors network.

The system is based on proprietary algorithms, toolkits and a patented technology to monitor the quality of the nodes’ communications in a meshed environment. This technology guides the user during the deployment stage, indicating through a visual notification if the node is correctly connected to the network under construction, and the quality of this connectivity. Each wireless node includes a set of embedded sensors and different interfaces to connect commercial probes and sensors for different applications. Most of the complexity is managed by the nodes, giving the user simplified tools to configure and start the system. Then, the network can start working unassisted and self-managed to comply with these reliability requirements, and sending data to a local datalogger, an industrial network, or an IoT/cloud infrastructure. By providing these features, the system avoids the need of specialized personnel and equipment for using wireless sensor networks and opens the door to use these systems in itinerant applications.

Furthermore, the deployment complexity is drastically reduced by a quick and assisted deployment method. This system indicates if the node will operate according to the required guarantees, facilitating system configuration and commissioning. In this way, the deployment procedure is greatly simplified and avoids the need for specialized personnel.

Based on the final application, different types of nodes are available (energy measurement, vibration analysis, industrial sensors and probes). This enables a full range of applications for the wireless sensors network, which can be used as a wireless self-managed infrastructure to connect commercial sensors without the need of cabling, integration in field buses, I/O space in PLC (power line communications), etc. Once the nodes and sensors are physically installed, the user can configure the operation of the node under deployment using any equipment compatible with NFC (near-field communication).

A central software allows the user to configure operation features for the network, in terms of guaranteeing communication parameters, to enable the “high reliability” behaviour of the network. The protocol stack used by these nodes is based on a frequency-hopping interface, which optimizes the connectivity in harsh industrial scenarios, offering a higher robustness and scalability. This system can then be integrated in industrial networks and IoT platforms, through standard protocols.

Laboratory prototypes have been developed and validated, followed by real-environment tests, with positive results, performed for water management tasks, energy measurement in offices, and contextual for Industry 4.0. Now, its development is advancing from TRL 6 to TRL 8 (at the end of 2020).

Looking for a collaboration leading to commercial exploitation of the invention. The ideal scenario would be to reach a license agreement in order to transfer the technology where the Spanish centre works as an R&D center that evolves and improves technology and the partner markets it. However, the form, terms, and conditions of the collaboration can be openly discussed if the presented technology is of interest.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The system presents multiple and different benefits depending on the application/industry where a wireless sensors network is to be deployed: • Simple and quick deployment and configuration system • Allows non-specialized personnel to deploy, use and maintain a wireless sensors network (WSN) • Avoids the need of using specialized equipment • Opens the door to new applications where WSN must be deployed quickly; this is of especial importance for itinerant applications • Offers a known quality of service to ensure the data reception and its frequency • Standard industrial sensors and probes (0..10 V, 4..20 mA) can be used • Easily integrated in networks and data platforms based on standard protocols It allows using IoT solutions for static and temporal applications, and by people without technical skills for its deployment. Some examples of temporal applications that it can benefit are: • Auditing (energy, productivity…): the auditor can deploy the system and collect the required data during the required time (hours, days, weeks…), avoiding manual data collection and making operations much easier and more efficient • Field research: researchers can easily deploy a WSN to capture the required data during a wished period in remote areas and focus the analysis • Prototyping tests: both, for IoT companies that want to prototype or deploy a quick pilot in a client facility, gathering data to help them in the project execution, as well as for DIY (“Do It Yourself”) kits or companies that need simple deployment technologies for developing their WSN systems • Exploration for data analytics: a set of different sensors can be deployed in a system to hyper-sensorize it and provide a large range of variables. This can be studied by an exploratory analysis, to decide the best-fitted sensors to integrate in the system and enable an application of artificial intelligence on it (predictive maintenance, parameters reconfiguration, anomaly detection, digital twins…)

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Type of partner sought: - Technology provider or solution providers from different application sectors such as auditing (energy, productivity…), field research, prototyping tests, exploration for data analytics, manufacturing industry, etc. - End-to-end solutions providers that are industry agnostics. Activity of the partner: commercial exploitation and manufacturing of industrial equipment. Role of the partner: implementation of the product into industries via a license agreement, in which after the product is industrialized it will be commercialized and deployed by the same or a different partner.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500