Zero-configuration platform for wireless sensing and actuation: Page 2 of 6

July 13, 2017 //By Nelson Matthys, VersaSense and Jackie Rutter, Linear Technology
Creating, deploying and configuring applications for Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios remains complex and costly for many users. VersaSense’s Micro Plug-and-Play (MicroPnP) platform addresses this complexity problem and provides a zero-configuration and fully standards-based solution that radically reduces the cost of acquiring, building, and operating wireless sensing and actuation Internet of Things systems at scale. MicroPnP combines true Plug-and-Play integration of sensing and actuation peripherals with Linear Technology’s SmartMesh IP, providing ultra-low power and reliable wireless mesh networking.

True plug-and-play integration of peripherals is realized by means of passive electrical components that are used as efficient mechanism to detect and identify newly connected sensing or actuation peripherals over time. MicroPnP’s software stack, in turn, implements solutions for secure device commissioning, automatic over-the-air firmware updates and APIs for integrating sensed peripheral data with online cloud services. Finally, MicroPnP employs SmartMesh IP from Linear Technology, providing best-in-class wireless mesh networking technology, achieving over 99.999% network reliability even in harsh RF environments, while offering a decade of battery lifetime.

MicroPnP is the result of a decade of academic research and has been awarded in the 2015 international IPSO Challenge, an annual global competition organized by the IPSO alliance. The IPSO alliance actively promotes the use of open protocols and standards (e.g. the Internet Protocol (IP) and associated IETF protocols) for building the next generation of Smart Objects. Today, MicroPnP is being successfully applied in industry scenarios across the world, ranging from data center monitoring, precision livestock farming and monitoring in the oil and gas industry.

 

The MicroPnP in a nutshell

MicroPnP offers a coherent hardware and software toolkit that combines automated detection and configuration of embedded sensing peripherals into the IoT, with extreme wireless networking reliability and battery lifetime. Key differentiators include:                

1) Zero-configuration Plug-and-Play peripheral integration. MicroPnP automatically identifies all connected embedded sensing and actuation peripherals and installs their corresponding device driver software. The approach relies on low-power passive electrical components and identifying a peripheral consumes 1 million times less power than traditional solutions like USB or FireWire. Moreover, the approach is very cheap and flexible, allowing any existing IoT sensor or actuator to be immediately repackaged as a MicroPnP-peripheral.

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