It’s Really Up To You, and It Might Be More Flexible Than You Think
We here at Device Solutions are passionate about IoT – and equally as passionate about our oft stated Cellio design philosophy: “make it as easy as possible to connect almost any sensor or sensor instrument and controller to back-end data systems to make sensing and control as easy, affordable, and scalable as possible”. Cellio’s ability to be flexible – from sensor to dashboard – allows you to configure and control your end-to-end solution at multiple stops along the eco-system to best fit your needs.
Caption: Flow of data from sensors mounted on real world assets to back end data storage and dashboard view, through user interaction and ultimately back to indicators and systems on real world assets – all under your control
So just what are Cellio’s “Control Indicators”, “Control Systems” and what is your ability to control the power of Cellio? Let’s explore the meaning of “Control” and place it firmly in your hands.
The Cellio Universal Protocol – CUP
To achieve our goal of providing an affordable, flexible, low power, controllable / programmable IOT device, the smart folks in R&D created the “Cellio Universal Protocol – CUP” specification to help minimize the need for custom SW / HW while still maintaining a high degree of flexibility in most Cellio applications. Servicing a plurality of interfaces between node (sensors, transceivers, gateways, local radio links, wireless links to the cloud, servers and dashboards, protocol standards, and hardwired I/Os to name a few) could be daunting and create multiple avenues for error introduction (and excessive current drain if not optimized). Minimizing this risk was achieved by establishing a proprietary thin layered message exchanging protocol that allows for easy programing and adaptability to make for easy installation and execution.
Caption: Cellio Universal Protocol – CUP, enables control and configuration at virtually all points of the IoT eco-system allowing easy and efficient customization and deployment
Many factors have been considered to allow devices supporting different protocols to successfully communicate. CUP must be:
- Generic enough to run over a number of different transport layers
- Capable of sending multiple messages in a single server transaction
- Both forward and backward compatible
- Capable of receiving messages in a continuous stream
- Able to recover from lost data
- Able to connect to most any front-end and most any back-end
Different physical media are also supported by the Cellio architecture including (to name a few):
- TCP Sockets
- 900 MHz RF radios
- Serial Links
- Digital and analog connections
- Control signal outputs
- SMS Text / Email
It Starts With the Sensors
Cellio Wireless Transceivers are designed to support as many as 16 General Purpose Inputs and Outputs (GPIO) supporting most any of the various sensors, sensor instruments, indicators and/or controllers. The transceivers communicate with the sensors and controllers via a direct connection – either physical wires or physical cables. The importance of controlling sensor behavior is not lost with Cellio’s ease of use philosophy. The CUP will ensure the programmable control of the sensors are accurate while at the same time maintaining the goals of your Cellio deployment. Examples of Sensor control programming include:
- Scheduling wake up / reading / polling times (between 2 seconds and 24 hours)
- Sensor trigger points – interrupt driven sensor wake up conditions / ranges
- Scheduling sensor data reporting / check in times
- I/O pin configuration / voltage levels
A wide variety of off the shelf and custom sensors / transducers are supported by Cellio today. The flexible design of Cellio allows Device Solution to work together with our customers and eco-system partners to expand the interface protocols supported (ex: Modbus RTU/ASCII/TCP, BACnet) to ensure the Cellio solution meets sensor protocol requirements in a wide variety of applications.
Transceivers, Gateways, and Server Controls
Transceivers are also controllable via the CUP. They can be controlled to provide their data to Gateway(s) on a regular basis or based on specific events. In the case where an event triggers an immediate reporting of data to the Gateway, the Cellio Wireless Cellular Gateways can be programmed to transmit the data to a backend server (check in trigger, rate, or time) or transmit an immediate SMS message to get the alert out as quickly as possible. Transceivers transmit data to the Gateways, and receive information from the Gateways as well to control devices that in turn control equipment, machinery and other sensors. Gateways are designed with internal modules and antennas to support both the 900MHz LoRa transmissions to communicate with the Transceivers in the network, as well as options to communicate with cellular networks and Wi-Fi networks.
CUP provides a means for controlling the Gateway configuration, including: Server IP and port address, transmission reports, location data, modem capabilities, channel status, FW version, HW configuration, time of day requests, and SMS destination.
From the Gateways, data can be sent over cellular networks and/or local Wi-Fi networks to local facility networks and data storage (as simple as updating an internal spreadsheet) or they can be sent over the internet using public and private (VPN) networks to third party cloud storage vendors, IoT platform vendors, or back-end enterprise corporate data systems (CRM, ERP, PIM, etc.).
From the data store, dashboards can be created and utilized to visualize the information, analytics can be performed on the data, external data can be augmented to inform a bigger picture, and inferences/insights/recommendations can be generated to either automate other processes or inform users on conditions and opportunities of interest. From here, control data can be send back to Transceivers via the CUP interface to turn on indicators for users or communicate with control equipment.
In summary, the Cellio eco-system is conceptually simple, yet highly flexible, configurable, and controllable. To achieve our goal of providing an affordable, flexible, low power, controllable / programmable IOT device, the Cellio Universal Protocol – CUP specification was created to help minimize the need for custom SW / HW while still maintaining a high degree of flexibility in most Cellio applications. Let Device Solutions help you meet you IoT/M2M/IIoT objectives in an efficient manner with the Cellio line of products.