IoT solutions are everywhere today. Be it Warehouse Management, Agriculture, Industrial Automation or Logistics everything is getting smart by communicating among the things and the Internet itself. Any IoT Solution would include a sensor node, which measures a specific parameter using a dedicated sensor and then sends the information to could. In a typical solution we will require more than one of these sensor nodes deployed at different locations to work collectively to provide useful data. Most of the time these nodes need to be portable and will be powered by a battery hence they have to work with Low Power and still communicate with the could.
To know more on how these Sensor nodes work and how an IoT solution is implemented we approached Mr. R.Ashok who is a Senior Embedded Engineer in a company called Wisense Technology. Wisense Technology offers easy to use wireless mesh network solutions for sensing and control applications. With their expertise in wireless communication, sensors and electronics design they have implemented many IoT solutions using a wide range of sensor nodes. Our Q&A Exchange is documented below
Q. How has Wisense Technology evolved over the year? How does it differ from other IoT solution providers?
WiSense provides low power mesh network in sub1GHz frequency. We have worked in the industrial and agricultural domain. We develop both hardware and software which enables us to build products according to the use case.
Q. What is your responsibility and nature of job at Wisense?
As Senior Embedded engineer my job is to take care of product development from end to end, right from initial design to support the customer in the field.
Q. How does Low power Wireless Mesh Networks increase reliability?
Low Power, which increases battery life
- We operate at Sub-GHz frequency band(865-867 MHz) which is free from data traffic
Q. Wisense has provided a long range of solutions for different sectors, which project was the most challenging one and why?
WiSense has provided solutions in all the verticals from Industrial to AgriTech. The most challenging would be in the agriculture field, considering the harsh environment in which everything is put to test, right from Enclosure to power management of the device.
Q. Why do all sensor nodes from Wisesne operate on the 865-867 MHz band?
The major reason for operating in the 865-867MHz band would be
- Less air traffic
- Long Range
- Low power for same range at 2.4GHz
Q. Where do you spend most of your time in Wisense and how does your work environment look like?
Most of the time is spent on a messy table which is covered with PCBs and development boards. We are incubated at NASSCOM CoE-IoT Bengaluru, where other IoT startups are incubated as well. This would be the perfect place for the development of hardware product
Q. What is your preferred wireless protocol for sensor nodes and why?
The protocol for sensor node application should be lightweight as the sensor data is a very small packet of data. This would be one of the important factors during the initial stages of development.
Q. What are the different types of sensor nodes that Wisense has deployed so far?
WiSense has worked on 50+ Sensors. Temperature, Humidity, Soil Moisture, Soil Temperature, pH, Dissolved Oxygen in water, Rain, Proximity, Pressure are some of the sensors we have deployed till date.
Q. What things should be considered while building a firmware for a battery operated RF sensor node?
There are many things which need to be considered while building firmware for the wireless devices.
- Reliable software
- Low power during non-operational mode
- Information about all the components used in the product.
Q. What Microcontroller do you prefer for Nodes and gateways and why?
We use microcontrollers from MSP family. The main reason for using MSP family is low cost and low power, which is critical for sensor network application.
Q. How does the WPSU3001 Power module from Wisense use Solar cell and Super Capacitor to power sensor nodes? Where is it effective?
Solar Cell and Super Capacitor is for the installations which need to be maintenance free. Agriculture field is an example where the replacement of batteries for a large number of units is difficult.
Q. Tell us about your team and your work environment?
We are currently team of 5 Members. The team is led by Mr.Ramkrishnan who has 20+ years experience in Embedded system.
Q. Is Wisense currently looking for fresh talents? If yes how could one apply?
Yes, we are looking for freshers who can work with minimal observation. They can send their resume on firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. What would be your word of advice for upcoming aspiring Engineers?
Work hard to improve Linkedin profile instead of Facebook profile. Friends can wait but career will not.