Collect, Connect, Control
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Applications


Agriculture

An agricultural company/farm wants to make sure that all of their watering systems are working around the farm and that a specified amount of water is actually getting to the plants (they also want to make sure that certain areas aren't being overwatered and drowned out). Currently they try to keep on eye on all the sprinklers but they don't have an easy way to reduce or turn off just those sprinklers that are putting out too much water (or are broken). Usually they only find out about sprinklers that aren't putting out enough water when the plants look dry or wilting. Knowing the operational status of the sprinklers would help the maintenance personnel replace only the ones that need to be replaced and tune the ones that need tuning. The field operators want to run a quick test once a day to force each valve and check the water flow - they need to be able to turn On/Off the sprinkler valves remotely and they will measure against a predetermined flow profile to see if there are any anomalies in the system before missing any watering events.

Compliance

A landscaping company is contracted to use a precise amount of liquid fertilizer for each of their corporate clients and must report the precise usage, precise location, time, person who applied the fertilizer, etc. for compliance and billing reasons. They currently measure amounts from the side of a see-through tank. A wireless sensor inside the tank could greatly improve accuracy. Additionally, an element they have considered adding is "locking out" the valve mechanism so that if they are in a location that is not authorized for treatment that the operator is not allowed to apply it and remove the risk of making a HUGE mistake. Also, they would like the valve to be connected to a GPS location system so it that automatically locks to prevent spillage and accidental discharges – another way to use geofencing.

Factories

A factory wants to make sure that their powdered supply of additive doesn't ever fall below a certain level, or their factory might have to shut down until additional additives are brought in to refill the container in which the additive is stored and fed into the process. If the level falls below 20% then there is only one day's worth (assuming the additive level is uniform across the top surface, and doesn't have empty pockets that might cave-in at some point). Currently the foreman bangs a stick on the container a couple times a day and if he/she thinks it is lower than 50% calls for a refill of the container. Shipments that are brought in come in increments of 20% of the capacity of the container - so the foreman usually requests 3 increments so that there is minimal waste if the container is overfilled by mistake. Some of the tanks have a motorized "shaker" to vibrate the tank and make sure that all of the "pockets" are eliminated and the readings are as accurate as possible - so they need to be able to remotely turn ON and OFF the remote motor/ultrasonic shaker.

Fleet Services

• Fleet Services - A taxi company wants to know where all of the cabs are located, if the Taxi light is on, that the taxi is taking the best route to destinations, and whether there is a passenger in the cab or not. Currently, the main office counts on the reports from the driver as to where they are, where they are going, if their light is on or not, and if they have a passenger. Additionally, the taxi company wants an indicator panel in the vehicle for the driver to let them know if there is an issue and they need to check their messaging system for details about the alert.

Food and Beverage

A beverage company has C02 tanks throughout their delivery area and can't afford for the tanks in any given location to go empty, or they will lose revenue (not many people like to drink "flat" sodas). In most locations there are 5 to 10 tanks of C02. Currently, they try to guess the consumption from previous records and in some cases just put a couple extra tanks in the more popular places, just in case. Additionally, the company has determined that releasing a small amount of CO2 leads to a more accurate measurement. They would like the ability to "pulse" the valves to get as accurate a measurement as possible.

Logistics

A full service delivery company wants to know as soon as anything is placed in a bin for delivery (they are required to pick up the items for delivery within 24 hours of the item being placed in the bin). Currently they simply drive to each location once a day whether or not there is something for pick up. Additionally, they are also interested in a display on the bin that could let the person placing things on the bin know how long it will be until the delivery pick up is made.

Oil and Natural Gas

In an oil field in Texas, an oil company is interested in tracking all of the operational factors of a pumping station to make sure that the output rates help them stay on quota and producing at planned rates. There are opportunities to turn off the pumps as as soon as quotas are reached, whereby they can save substantial amounts of money in electricity and wear and tear on the machinery. They also want to keep track of those machines that have issues and those that are OFF. Currently they keep a whiteboard with hand-written notes in the main office that is updated when field personnel radio in with pump updates. Additionally, the main office would like the ability to cut power to any of the wells should they detect a situation in which they don't want the well to continue pumping.

Transportation/Trucking

A trucking company wants to make sure they know where all of their 1,000 trailers are located AND whether the trailer is empty or not (so that they can find the trailers that are closest to the location where the trailer is needed). Ideally, they'd like to know what is in a trailer that isn't empty. In addition, there is a benefit to know the temperature and humidity in the trailers for conditions where mildew/mold might affect the cargo. They'd also like to know if a trailer is connected to a tractor. Currently they just don't know where all the trailers are and they count on the drivers to report where they put the trailers, left the trailers, or if they are hooked up. Additionally, in some cases, if they can't find a truck, they want to set off an alarm buzzer on/in the trailer so that if it is in a big lot, they can find the trailer they are looking for by listening for the alarm.

Waste Management

A trash collection company only wants to collect trash bins that are more than 40% full, and want to make sure they collect trash bins immediately once they reach 90% full. Currently they need to physically visit all trash bins every day, twice a day, to make sure that none of the trash bins are overflowing. This is a big waste of time, manpower, and fuel. They would also like to control an indicator LED on the trash receptacles to show users that the bin is "empty" or that it is "full" and someone is going to be coming soon to empty. An optional indicator would be a "level meter" that would show the user the level of trash without having to lift the lid.

Zoos

A zoo that is interested in tracking the habitats and feeding of all of their animals wants to know environmental factors that affect the health of the animals, water levels/purity/pH in certain habitats, relative sunlight, and other factors. They will use the data to make sure that the animals are exposed to the appropriate factors necessary for their wellness against profiles the zoo keepers have established and address those habitats that go outside the bounds (hopefully before they go out of bounds). Currently the keepers keep paper logs and take readings a couple times a day and fill in for missing data between the times they check. Collating all the data across the zoo is quite time consuming and many habitat corrections are reactive. The keepers also want the ability to be notified as they walk around the zoo if there is an issue that needs to be immediately addressed in one of the habitats based on an indicator LED panel - red would be the alarm condition, green would be the "all clear" condition.