Innovative and Durable Telemetry Monitor

Digi International PR has been working overtime sending news to me. This news regards remote monitoring and control.

Digi International introduced Digi Connect Sensor XRT-M designed to deliver reliable and seamless remote monitoring and management. It offers customers both edge and cloud-based control options, with a management platform equipped with an intuitive interface for streamlining data management and enhancing operational efficiency.

Infrastructure monitoring applications include:

  • Critical infrastructure and civil engineering projects
  • Water/wastewater monitoring and remote management
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Industrial automation and control

Key Features of Digi Connect Sensor XRT-M include:

  • Extended battery life with lightweight cloud connection and dual 14.5 Ah batteries
  • Rated for industrial environments with wide temperature range, C1D2 certification with NEMA enclosure
  • Device health and sensor data stored in Digi Axess
  • Configurable read and report intervals
  • Connect to and power multiple sensors
  • Compatible with a wide range of industry-standard sensors
  • Modbus protocol support
  • Global cellular coverage

System-on-Module for Next-gen Computer Vision Applications

Computer vision technology and application seemed to have been in a long lull until semiconductor advances of the past few years. Now companies are unleashing new products at an astonishing pace. This is an updated product from Digi International—a company I covered a long time ago who became less interesting to me and now has returned to my view.

Digi International introduced the wireless and highly power-efficient Digi ConnectCore MP25 system-on-module (SOM) at Embedded World 2024. Featuring AI and machine learning capabilities, with an integrated neural processing unit and image signal processor, Digi ConnectCore MP25 is designed for next-generation computer vision applications in critical sectors such as industrial, medical, energy and transportation. The module provides highly reliable wireless connectivity and time-sensitive networking (TSN) making it perfect for smart portable devices and Industry 4.0.

Based on STMicroelectronics’ STM32MP25 MPU processor, Digi ConnectCore MP25 is engineered to streamline application development under demanding requirements to improve efficiency, reduce costs, boost innovation and improve end-customer satisfaction.

With an innovative architecture, Digi ConnectCore MP25 features two Cortex-A35 cores operating at 1.5GHz supplemented by a Cortex-M33 core and a Cortex-M0+. Enhanced with an AI/ML neural processing unit (NPU) delivering 1.35 TOPS and an image signal processor (ISP), the SOM provides accelerated machine learning capabilities for advanced applications. Its comprehensive connectivity options include 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2 wireless technologies, along with seamless cellular integration for expanded possibilities. The ultra-compact Digi SMTplus form-factor (30 x 30 mm) and industrial temperature ranges (-40 to +85 °C), ensure reliability in the harshest environments, making it an excellent choice for a wide variety of IoT applications.

Compression Brings Bandwidth Boost to Vision Applications

As long as I have been working with and covering vision technology in manufacturing bandwidth has been the constraint to robust applications. A Canadian company called Pleora Technologies has introduced a patented lossless compression technology called RapidPIX that is said to increase data throughput by almost 70 percent while meeting the low latency and reliability demands of machine vision and medical imaging applications.

RapidPIX is initially available on Pleora’s new iPORT NTx-Mini-LC platform, which provides a compression-enabled drop-in upgrade of the widely deployed NTX-Mini embedded interface. With added compression, designers can deploy the iPORT NTx-Mini-LC to support low latency transmission of GigE Vision compliant packets at more than 1.5 Gbps throughput rates over existing 1 Gb Ethernet infrastructure. Manufacturers are designing the iPORT NTx-Mini-LC embedded interface with RapidPIX compression into X-ray panels for medical and dental imaging, contact image sensors (CIS), and industrial camera applications.

Pleora’s RapidPIX compression is now available on the iPORT NTX-Mini-LC embedded interface to support low latency transmission of GigE Vision compliant packets at more than 1.5 Gbps throughput rates over existing 1 Gbps infrastructure. To speed time-to-market, the iPORT NTx-Mini-LC with RapidPIX Development Kit helps manufacturers develop system or camera prototypes and proof-of-concepts easily and rapidly, often without undertaking hardware development.

Telit Cinterion and Alif Semiconductor Unveil the Vision AppKit: A Postage Stamp-Sized, Intelligent Connected Camera Platform

I began working with vision applications in the 1980s and sold and installed a few in the 1990s before the technology went bananas and prices dropped precipitously. Companies have begun investing in vision systems again with new technologies now available. This new app kit from Telit Cinterion is interesting.

  • Vision AppKit utilizes the Alif Semiconductor Ensemble® MCU family of industry-leading Edge ML MCUs and Telit Cinterion’s power-efficient LTE-M and low-power Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology modules
  • Ultra-compact camera design can perform on-device AI use cases like face and object detection, image classification, and more at a significantly lower power consumption than previously possible for these use cases

Telit Cinterion, an end-to-end IoT solutions enabler, and Alif Semiconductor, a supplier of the most secure, power-efficient Edge AI-enabled MCUs and fusion processors in the market, have announced the Vision AppKit — the world’s smartest and most efficient connected camera reference design. The Vision AppKit combines Telit Cinterion’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology or LTE-M communication modules in an ultra-compact camera design together with Alif Semiconductor’s Ensemble E3 series MCU, capable of performing on-device AI use-cases like face and object detection, image classification, and more at significantly lower power consumption than previously possible.

The Vision AppKit is a reference design for ultra-low power, small form factor AI-enabled camera that can capture images and/or video, perform AI-based processing in real-time on captured data, and deliver the results wirelessly to a display or other external system. Alif’s E3 Series MCU — known for its EdgeAI capabilities in battery-operated IoT devices — powers this groundbreaking design. Telit Cinterion supports communication in the Vision AppKit with the ME310 LTE Cat-M and WE310 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy 5.0 modules.

SiLC Technologies Unveils A Leap in Precision LiDAR Technology

CES rolled into Las Vegas this week. Many companies with technologies relevant to the area I cover have significant news. Lately there has been a lot of activity in vision generally. LiDAR has many industrial applications. SiLC Technologies has launched its Eyeonic Vision System Mini (Eyeonic Mini), a “groundbreaking” advancement in LiDAR technology. This system integrates a full multi-channel FMCW LiDAR on a single silicon photonic chip and an integrated FMCW LiDAR System-on-Chip (SoC).

Utilizing the industry’s first purpose-built digital LiDAR processor system-on-chip (SoC), the iND83301 (“Surya”) developed by indie Semiconductor, the Eyeonic Mini achieves an unprecedented level of detail, delivering an order of magnitude greater precision than existing technologies while being one-third the size of last year’s pioneering model. This latest innovation builds upon the success of SiLC’s first commercial FMCW LiDAR system, the Eyeonic Vision System, founded on an integrated silicon photonics chip and designed specifically for machine vision applications.

SiLC’s Eyeonic Vision Chip, central to the system, amalgamates all essential photonics functions into a coherent vision sensor, delivering a compact solution that meets the demands for performance, affordability and low power consumption. The system’s exceptional accuracy is driven by a 4-channel FMCW LiDAR chip, complemented by indie’s innovative Surya SoC, and equips robots with sub-millimeter depth precision from distances exceeding ten meters.

This level of precision opens new doors in automation, particularly in warehouse logistics and AI machine vision applications. For instance, AI-driven palletizing robots equipped with the Eyeonic Mini can fully view and interact with pallets, optimizing package placement and loading onto trucks with efficiency and safety. In the context of the U.S., with its over 13 million commercial trucks, this technology promises to revolutionize warehouse operations and the broader trucking industry, significantly boosting efficiency in loading and unloading processes.

Giving robots the intelligence to see, move, touch, think and learn, Dexterity is working on incorporating SiLC technology into their robot autonomy platform. “At Dexterity, we focus on AI, machine learning and robotic intelligence to make warehouses more productive, efficient and safe,” remarked CEO Samir Menon. “We are excited to partner with SiLC to unlock LiDAR for the robotics and logistics markets. Their technology is a revolution in depth sensing and will enable easier and faster adoption of warehouse automation and robotic truck load and unload.”

WePower Demos Energy Harvesting Generator Prototypes at CES 2024

WePower introduced itself to me (and the world) at CES 2023. Way back when process instrumentation companies were developing wireless sensors (remember the “wireless wars”?) the big question was battery life. I was just searching for the first energy harvesting company I interviewed. I guess it was published at Automation World rather than my blog.

Technology progresses. WePower unveiled some cool energy harvesting generator (EHG) tech last year. They are back at CES this year with three additional products.

Wireless, batteryless Gemns EHGs from WePower harvest energy from motion and convert it into usable electricity for small-scale data transmission devices like sensors across a wide range of applications. This waste-free transient power generation is critical to the growth of the IoT, especially in the United States where consumers throw away more than three billion batteries a year.

  • G100 Push-Button Switch: This 22mm push-button switch uses permanent and oscillating magnets to capture kinetic energy at a rate of more than 30 times that of the competition, and convert it to usable electricity, enabling a transmission output exceeding 8 dBm. This extra power enables data transmissions of significantly larger size, complexity, and distance across most advanced communication protocols, including ISM, Bluetooth, LoRa, Z-Wave, Thread, and Matter. The G100 push-button has been tested for a lifespan of over one million activations and is ideal for applications in industrial settings, smart home, and smart building environments.
  • G150 Vibration-Activated EHG: This continuous operation EHG component draws power from vibrations to drive its functionality as a sensor. WePower will demo this component using a speaker with variable vibration to showcase the product’s ability to harvest energy continuously while also registering and communicating the vibrations’ magnitudes. This combination of functionalities make the G150 EHG an ideal solution for applications in the mining and automotive industries where any variation in production line performance must be caught and communicated.
  • Industrial Limit Switch with G200: Designed to integrate seamlessly with industrial limit switches, the G200 EHG powers secure wireless transmissions across a diverse range of chips and is compatible with most advanced communication protocols. The principal unique benefit of the G200 is its substantially higher power output compared to current market offerings, enabling a game-changing two-way communication in industrial settings. This capability allows networks to confirm the receipt of safety-critical transmissions, ensuring that vital communications are both uninterrupted and verified, wirelessly and without the need for batteries—ultimately streamlining operations, reducing risk, and cutting down on waste.

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