iController, a hardware/Cloud-based system providing the ability to monitor and control any sensor equipped process or device.
Our Sensor Network - iController™
iController is a hardware/Cloud-based software system providing users with the ability to monitor any sensor equipped process, appliance, equipment or device and to remotely control systems in response to that sensor data. Because the user interfaces to the iController through the Internet, data and control are always within reach.
Access Any Time, Any Where
What is iController?
iController is a versatile hardware platform that works together with our powerful Cloud-based, RSVPsoftware. Together they collect sensor data and provide the user with remote system control.iController collects data from connected sensors and uploads that data to our web server. Our RSVP (Remote Sensor Viewing Platform) software running on our secure web server processes, stores and displays the sensor data.RSVP also permits the user to define sensors, determine how frequently those sensors are read, select the format of the data display, establish data limits, and define actions to be taken when those limits are breached.RSVP also allows users from any browser to remotely control switches, relays and digital devices connected to the iController.
iController - The base iController includes an internal power monitor, a dedicated temperature sensor, three general purpose analog inputs, and two digital inputs.Outputs include two filtered power supplies, two digital outputs, and a switch closure output which holds the selected state if the system loses power. The iController sends the sensor data to the secure server using the user’s choice of Ethernet, WiFi, cellular modem or satellite link. More sophisticated iController systems provide more inputs for more sensors to manage much larger, more complex systems. Regardless of the iController system complexity the system interface is provided through the RSVP software.
RSVP – RSVP provides the interface for iController remote monitor and control capabilities. RSVP presents live and archived sensor data in a user selected format and provides user control of iController outputs. RSVP allows sensor data to be viewed on any browser on any MAC, tablet, smart phone, or Windows PC hardware that provides Internet access. The choice of data display formats help RSVP simplify analysis of collected sensor data and assists in assessing trends and determining corrective actions. RSVP offers the user the ability to activate and deactivate remote devices, set alarm conditions, and receive notification when preset operating conditions are breached.
VIEW 24/7 FROM ANY BROWSER
CH2178 Development History
Spring 2009: Concept developed for using Cermetek's knowledge of communications technology to develop a web-based system which allows growers to actively monitor field conditions to insure scarce water is used as efficiently as possible.
Winter 2010: Our AquaMon system is introduced at the World Ag Expo. While we received the expected interest from farmers we were surprised by interest from other industries.
Spring 2010: The AquaMon concept is expanded to include non-agricultural applications. AquaMon becomes a universal sensor node with the goal of connecting any type of sensor to the web-based Cermetek RSVP (Remote Sensor Viewing Platform) software.
Spring 2012: Input from customers shows the need for a simpler, lower cost sensor management system which can utilize the existing RSVP platform. Summer 2012: Final definition of the
CH2178 is complete, including inputs for 3 Analog Sensors and 2 digital sensors, 2 digital outputs, a switch closure output, an integrated temperature sensor, and Internet connection via Ethernet, Cellular, Wifi or Satellite link.
Winter 2013: Prototype design of iController complete.
Spring 2013: Kickstarter project launched to support putting the CH2178 in Production. Funds raised will pay for tooling on indoor and outdoor enclosures and final redesign of prototype circuit board.
Benefits of iController
· Minimal Investment – low initial cost, easy to install, and easy to use;
· Convenient – makes sensor information available at anytime from anywhere using any browser equipped tablet, smart phone, or personal computer;
· Flexible - works with almost any sensor, provides the user a choice of Internet communications technologies, and is available to run on AC or battery power;
· User Control – allows user to select the data display, set data limits, determine how frequently sensor data is reported,program alarm responses, and remotely control equipment ;
·Protects Equipment and Facilities - provides emergency notification, by Email or Text when user programmed data limits are breached;
·Minimizes Downtime – transmits alerts whenever programmed sensor data limits are violated allowing notice before system failures occur;
· Maximizes yields – availability of sensor data 24/7 allows immediate adjustments to keep processes in balance;
· Avert fines from regulatory agencies – sends alerts to notify operators when critical safety parameters are approached;
· Water and Electricity Conservation – monitor power and water to permit optimal use of those resources;
· Secure Access – gives the user control over all account usernames and passwords for multiple simultaneous users;
· “Belts and Suspenders” Protection – provides an independent sensor network and communications path for monitoring system integrity ;
· Reduces Trips to Remote Sites -controls remote equipment through RSVP software eliminating the need to send someone to activate equipment;
Applications Indoors/Outdoors Large and Small
iController supports a variety of communications technologies to move data between the iController and our RSVP platform.Outdoor applications typically require cellular or satellite links for effective communications. However, cellular and satellite connections can be costly. To reduce communications costs when many sensor nodes are required, the iController offers low power radio networks to link independent wireless sensor nodes to a single network hub.Only the hub maintains a link to the Internet.Indoor applications usually connect to the Internet using Ethernet or WiFi.Once the sensor data reaches the secure web server, RSVP handles data without regard to the communications path.
RSVP permits the primary user to control access to his sensor data and equipment controls. Within RSVP the primary user designates each user name and password to authorize other users. The primary user can add or delete users at any time.
iController supports virtually any sensor allowing collection of a wide range of sensor data including temperature, pH, pressure, power, current, voltage, flow, weather, fluid depth, on or off, air speed, ozone, humidity, open or shut, soil moisture, etc..We are developing interfaces for sensors to measure light, noise (to monitor bearings in rotating equipment), motion, vibration, presence, video, and gases (methane, carbon dioxide, oxygen). Other sensor interfaces can be developed as requested.
Choice of Data Display Formats!
Where can iController be used?
There are thousands of installed sensors that generate useful data but are not easily accessible. Users of these sensors do not have access to their data at anytime from anywhere as RSVP provides. In addition thousands applications that could benefit from 24/7 monitoring are unmonitored because of the lack of a convenient sensor platform.Industries including energy, manufacturing, transportation, security, agriculture, and health care would see a rapid return on their investment.Homeowners monitoring water pipes, water heaters, furnaces, doors, equipment cabinets, or other places where valuables are stored would protect their homes, belongings and families with only a small investment.
One iController application now being evaluated protects systems from cyber intrusion.In this application the iController provides a completely independent sensor network and communications path to monitor critical systems.This system supplements existing security measures.If a cyber-intruder cracks the primary network security and attempts to disrupt system operation, the iController sensor network detects the changes and issues alerts notifying system operators so they can take immediate action to prevent damage.Because the iController sensor network and communications path is fully isolated from the primary systems, the intruder cannot compromise the iController sensor network.We call this “belts and suspenders” because the suspenders deep the pants up if the belt fails.
With your help we are now ready for volume production
We’ve been working on the design of the iController family for approximately 3 years. We have installed multiple generations of the iController in a number of industries at various locations around the U.S.
We’re now ready to move the iController out of an engineering environment into manufacturing for low-cost volume production, and that’s why we need Kickstarter and you for support.
Cermetek currently manufactures a variety of electronic devices. The iController has been designed to work within our existing manufacturing flow. The flow chart below shows how the iController build will move though our process.
The primary hurdle to iController production is the requirement for new enclosures for indoor and outdoor installations. We intend to use the funds generated through Kickstarter to purchase the tooling for these enclosures.
If you’d like to help us you’ll get a discount on the version of iController that provides you with the information you need to manage your assets, decrease operating costs, or simply provide you with peace-of-mind knowing that iController will alert you whenever your operating parameters or standards are not being met.
We have worked together at Cermetek Microelectronics on this and other projects for a number of years. We are a small, experienced group that has successfully brought many complex products to market. Our key team members include:
Henry Roskos: Chief Technical Officer, over 30 years, experience in developing products using state of the art communications technologies
Zhifen Lu: Software Engineer, 15 years, experience developing everything from embedded code to web based applications
Robert McKay: Hardware Engineer, more than 25 years designing communications hardware including wired and wireless products
Jim Hansell: Business Unit Leader, Certified Public Account by training over 40 years developing Silicon Valley businesses
Steve Clary: Project Manager, more than 25 years, experience leading successful project teams in Silicon Valley
Khanh Pham: Manufacturing Vice President, has directed hi-tech manufacturing operations for more than 20 years
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The goal of our Kickstarter project is to permit the iController to move from the prototype stage to production. Among other tasks, this involves establishing a network of component vendors. We believe we have established a reliable vendor network, but we have not yet reached production volumes. As production ramps-up, delivery issues can still arise. Delivery issues of key components could delay some reward deliveries. If these delays do occur, we will work with our vendors to expedite delivery and keep contributors informed of our progress.
Cermetek designed the iController to accommodate a wide variety of sensors; however, contributors may elect to use sensors which require special calibration or a unique interface. Cermetek will apply additional engineering development time to adapt the iController to these sensors where possible. If support of the contributor's desired sensor is not possible Cermetek will recommend an alternative sensor for the application.
Cermetek has made the iController function with as many different types of sensors as possible. This permits it to work with whatever sensor the customer selects. We can supply the sensor of the customer's choosing, or if the customer isn't sure what type of sensor to use, we can supply one we know fits the application
It its most basic configuration the iController includes three analog inputs with a 0 to 3.3 volt input range. Sensors meeting these specs are available from a wide variety of vendors. If you woudl like Cermetek to recommend a sensor, please contact us with details on what parameters you want to monitor we would need to know what parameters you wish to monitor.
The RSVP software performs a variety of functions for the iController user.It collects data uploaded from sensors and creates a data base. It allows the user to define the sensor values in the way that means the most to their application. It also controls access to the data so only authorized individuals have access to the sensor data or control outputs. It presents the data to the user in his desired format; chart, table or dashboard. It allows users to establish limits to the data and to transmit alerts and alarms by Text or Email if those limits are crossed. It allows control of equipment connected to the outputs of the sensor node; turning them off or on manually, by scheduled time or in response alarm conditions.
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RSVP demonstration account allowing you to experiment with flexibility and power of RSVP for 30 days..Estimated delivery:
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Indoor iController system with an Ethernet link to the Internet. System accepts up to 4 hardwired sensors. This offer includes a 12 month RSVP subscription; a value of $9.95 per month. Example Application: Monitor assets around the home such as jewelry boxes, windows doors, cabinets, water heaters Example Application: Vacant buildings are vulnerable to break-ins, broken pipes, and damaging temperature fluctuations. Use iController to monitor power, temperature, water flow or activity to protect the building.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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Indoor iController system with a Wi-Fi link. System accepts up to 4 hardwired sensors. Includes a 12 month RSVP subscription; a value of $9.95 per month. Example Applications: Monitor and control operation of systems within the home including HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems, water heaters and purifiers. Example Application: Monitor equipment health including power consumption, motor performance, operating temperatures for equipment which operates 24 hours per day. Example Application: Monitor and control operation of equipment including manufacturing equipment, test equipment and HVAC systemsEstimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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Outdoor iController system with a cellular Internet link, AC power only. System accepts up to 4 hardwired sensors. Includes the first 12 months RSVP subscription; a value of $12.50 per month. Example Application: Monitor critical systems or those using hazardous materials. iController independently monitors key parameters. Nodes send sensor data to the webserver over the independent cellular communications channel. Anomalies trigger RSVP to issue alerts to system operators. Example Application: Monitor power in vacation homes or vacant buildings. IController will send an Alert if power is lost and also report when power returns.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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Outdoor iController system with a cellular Internet link. System uses battery power with a Solar charging system. System accepts up to 4 hardwired sensors. Includes the first 12 months RSVP subscription; a value of $12.50 per month. Example Application: With appropriate fluid level, flow and pressure sensors this system provides an ideal pump control, sewer monitoring or flood control system.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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Outdoor iController system with a cellular Internet link and two RF wireless sensor nodes. Up to 16 wired and wireless sensors supported. The system hub and wireless system nodes use battery power with a Solar charging system. Includes the first 12 months RSVP subscription; a value of $13.95 per month. Example Application: When equipped with soil moisture sensors, weather station and pump controls, this would make an ideal precision agriculture system for a small grower.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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Contact us! We will assist in the design of a water management system for irrigation and water transportation for a village in rural India or Africa. This offer includes the iController nodes necessary to implement the design.Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)