Bega Cheese to deploy IoT sensors into dairy supply chain – Projects – Hardware – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Bega Cheese is set to launch a new internet of things (IoT) service linking its farmer suppliers, milk transport and storage and processing facilities with real-time data.
The project with Germany’s Software AG and Swinburne University will involve developing a new, low-cost milk quality sensor along with the deployment of existing weather and transport-based IoT devices.
The ASX-listed dairy company is set to combine data from these devices on a ‘Dynamic Pick Scheduling and Monitoring’ tool based on Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform.
It will monitor for milk supply change events so that optimal pickup schedules are maintained.
It will also look at how capable suppliers and distributors are of adapting to the new ways of working.
Data from all of these sources will be used with long-term historical data to train a machine learning-based forecasting tool that attempts to predict milk quality and quantity – something that should also help reduce transport and distribution costs through better planning and resource management.
Bega Cheese’s supply chain general manager, Adel Salman, said the deal takes advantage of Swinburne’s experience with IoT and industrial partnerships, which has already helped the company receive IoT research funding through the government’s cooperative research centre projects.
“What we [at Bega] didn’t have was experience in setting up IoT projects, so we started looking around for a partner that could provide us with IoT expertise, resources, industry contacts and help with government backing,” Salman said.
“Swinburne University listened to what we needed to achieve and together with Software AG, developed an IoT strategy with a set of solutions that met our needs.
“We’re excited to see the benefits that IoT can bring to our company.
“By working with Swinburne University and Software AG, we hope to be able to increase our growth across higher-value premium products thus enhancing the competitiveness for both Bega and our suppliers.”
The project also complements what the company describes as an “extremely high level of automation and mechanisation” at its factory, which produces over 107 tonnes of consumables each year.
Fellow dairy producer Lion is also known to have an active IoT project it is using to address milk spoilage on farms.

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Sydney Water to deploy thousands more IoT sensors – Projects – Hardware – Networking- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sydney Water will deploy “thousands” of new internet of things sensors in the coming months, ramping up technology trials that have so far seen around 1500 sensors deployed into the field.
The utility has been running IoT technology trials since 2017, with a primary focus on detecting service faults before they can negatively impact customers.
“We are currently exploring applications, such as the detection of sewer blockages and overflows, monitoring of water pressure and digital metering of customer water usage and have identified many more potential use cases we will investigate in the future,” a Sydney Water spokesperson told iTnews.
“So far, we’ve deployed around 1500 IoT devices, including sewer level sensors in high-risk areas and digital flow meters on customer properties.
“The rollout shows some early benefits; for example, the system detected a number of blockages in sewers which our crews could clear before customers or the environment were impacted. 
“We plan to expand the IoT trial rapidly and roll out thousands more devices over the next [few] months.”
The spokesperson said the technology trials to date covered various low-power wireless networking technologies, as well as sensors, transmitters and IT platforms.
Part of its more recent work is in association with the Western Sydney Parkland Sensor Network project.
The sensing project has largely stayed out of the public spotlight but is part of the ambitious Western Sydney City Deal, which involves federal and state governments, and eight councils.
Sydney Water is supporting the Western Sydney Parkland Sensor Network project both with IoT expertise and low-power network equipment.
The utility’s spokesperson told iTnews that it “is providing each participating Council with a minimum of one LoRaWAN gateway.”
LoRAWAN stands for long range wide area network. The gateways being installed will join The Things Network (TTN) and are being installed “on Sydney Water or Council properties and offer both private and public LoRaWAN access.”
The Sydney Water properties hosting the wireless infrastructure are believed to include water reservoirs and towers.
Sydney Water’s spokesperson said the rapid expansion of IoT sensing capabilities would provide the organisation with data to aid decision-making and to progress more uses cases involving artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).
“The ability to capture more and higher frequency of data will drive predictive analytics and machine learning capability with the ultimate goal of delivering artificial intelligence to support operations decision-making and enabling cognitive automation,” its spokesperson said.
“This, along with data from SCADA, drone technologies, building information modelling (BIM), asset performance data and hydraulic models, will be utilised to deliver digital twins of assets, systems and cities that will transform the way that planners and operators of the future work in a modern utility.”
Digital twins are virtual representations of physical assets and can be used to run realistic scenario tests before making changes to production infrastructure.
“As the next step towards this goal, Sydney Water has just begun an expression of interest (EOI) process for a strategic partner in the area of AI/ML,” the spokesperson said.
The EOI notes that the utility hopes to combine real-time data flows with “a rich historical dataset gathered over more than 20 years, coupled with a wealth of internal subject matter expertise, to contribute to the desired outcome.”
It is hoping to find a third party to help it develop “water utility AI and ML models coupled with associated technologies to allow us to operate in a predictive and proactive manner.”
In addition, Sydney Water flagged broader use of AI/ML techniques in the organisation, which could be pursued in subsequent phases of work.
“Whilst the focus of this EOI aims to advance our recently implemented IoT pilot and will be primarily around customer focussed operations and maintenance efficiencies we are cognisant that there are significant opportunities for the application of AI/ML to other domains within the business such as planning, HR, safety and property,” Sydney Water said.
“It is envisaged that these opportunities would be explored as a second phase of the program.”

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Belgian rail tests sensors to keep workers apart during COVID-19 – Software- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Belgium’s railways are testing smart cameras with sensors to ensure its workers wear masks and maintain their distance to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
From next week, so-called intelligent cameras will be installed in five strategic points in the offices of Belgian rail infrastructure operator Infrabel, where technicians would normally come together, such as the cafeteria.
A warning will sound if people are too numerous, do not have a face mask or get too close.
“We must ensure that our staff complies with the various social distancing guidelines. This is why we are setting up a number of devices based on artificial intelligence,” Benoit Gilson, Infrabel’s strategy director, told Reuters on Monday.
Using AI software available online, Infrabel said it had developed a way to interpret camera images for the purpose of COVID-19 protection, using the technology to calculate if workers are too close or wearing a face mask.
In a demonstration on Monday, staff seen on camera were shown on a giant screen as stick figures whose distance apart could be measured in metres.
On another screen, a camera detected if a worker entering a room was wearing a mask.
“The whole issue of distance (between individuals) is (managed by) a mathematical model that we developed,” said Daniel Degueldre, head of Infrabel’s information technology team.
The company, which has 11,000 employees, said it had already been working on ways to use sensors to protect technicians working on the Belgian railways by placing cameras on helmets that would alert staff in an accident.
That know-how was reappraised to fight coronavirus.
Responsible for Belgium’s 3,602 km of rail lines, Infrabel manages one of the world’s most dense rail networks.

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Wearables, Sensors and Chatbots to help fight Covid-19 post lockdown- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Many industries across the world have shut down normal operations and others have significantly scaled back activities in efforts to keep workers safe and prevent COVID-19 from further spreading. But as various regions experience a “flattening of the curve” and in some areas, a decrease in new cases, companies are now beginning to evaluate how to progressively and safely return employees to their various places of work.
As the COVID-19 virus can spread through asymptomatic people who might not realize they are sick, researchers stress that testing and health monitoring is a crucial step as we gradually start the process of resuming our daily work routines. To gather that necessary data, technology is going to continue to play a pivotal role in providing us insights on the current state of our own health.
Numerous practices and technologies are being explored as ways aid in understanding employee and workforce health:
1. Wearables Wearables and smart watches have become popular because they inform us about health vitals like biometrically tracking unusual spikes in heart rates, and monitoring sleep and weight. These same technologies may have the capability to monitor and track COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever or increased heart rates.
“Integration of biomedical sensors on employees’ arms through smart watches, which can be connected through dedicated analytic servers, can help to test if employees are sick or not,” explains IEEE member Ramneek Kalra.
2. Sensors Another way to track employee health is through the use of passive sensors.“The passive data gathering happens when the sensor obtains information without the user intentionally providing it,” says IEEE Senior Member André Leon Gradvohl. “For example, airports are using infrared [technology] to calculate the temperatures of passengers passing through the lobby — this capture was done passively. By combining the data obtained from these different sensors, it is possible to infer the health status of employees.”
IEEE Senior Member Paul Kostek envisions corporations installing sensors in break room and restroom entryways to determine if employees are running a temperature throughout the day. But Kostek does warn that this type of passive data gathering “will raise privacy issues that employers and their employees will need to address.”
3. Chatbots Another way to understand and monitor employee health is through the use of online chatbots or robot doctors. “Online chatbots or ‘robot doctors’ will eventually be able to collect information, advise on certain conditions and forward cases to medical professionals,” says IEEE Member Antonio Espingardeiro.
“These technologies will recreate virtual assistants through natural language processing, image recognition and machine learning techniques.”
By plugging in or virtually discussing symptoms with a chatbot, employees may be able to seek better guidance on whether or not they should consult a doctor.
In the future, employers face hard decisions about when and how to safely bring remote employees back into offices and facilities. Technology could be a key in helping to monitor companies and workers that need to remain healthy in the age of COVID-19.

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The 5 Best Smart Flood Sensors – Blog – 10 minute

Few things in the world can cause as much damage to a home as water, especially if that water goes undetected for nearly any length of time. Water leak sensors offer a solid solution that can alert you in the event of any leak. 
The best place to install these sensors is under the bathroom or kitchen sink or near the hot water heater in your home. 
There are a lot of different types of flood and leak sensors on the market and it can be hard to narrow down which one is right for your home. This list will cover the best flood sensors on the market to help you make the right decision. 

The Fibaro Flood Sensor stands out for several reasons. One is that it is HomeKit compatible, unlike many of the competing sensors on the market. It’s equipped with a leak and temperature sensor to help detect and identify problems before they happen. 
It also has an audible alarm that triggers along with the push notification on the app. You can also attach other devices, such as safety valves, to automatically turn off the flow of water. 
You can also program the Fibaro Flood Sensor to trigger the lights in your home to turn a specific color if a leak is detected. Finally, it also has a tamper-proof alarm that triggers if anyone tries to remove the sensor from where it’s installed. 

The leakSMART Starter Kit is more than just a flood sensor—it’s an entire kit designed to combat water damage inside the home. The leakSMART Starter Kit comes with a one-inch automatic water shutoff valve. 
It stands out from the crowd because it doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi; instead, it uses smart home protocols that ensure your home stays protected even when Internet and power are down. It integrates with Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, and Wink smart home hubs. 
leakSMART sensors will automatically shut off the water within five seconds of detecting a leak. This ensures minimal damage from unrestrained water. You might even qualify for discounts on your home insurance premiums, depending on your insurance company. 
The leakSMART Starter Kit includes the automatic shutoff valve, the water leak sensor, and the smart hub. 

The Ring Alarm Flood and Water Sensor ties into the same system as other Ring products. If you already own a Ring video doorbell or another device from the company, you can easily tie them together within the same app. 
The Ring Alarm Flood and Water Sensor can be installed within minutes and has a battery life of up to three years thanks to the 3V lithium battery. 
The sensor works by notifying you of any sudden, unexpected drops in temperature. If the temperature plunges below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you will receive a warning and have time to take action before the pipe freezes. The sensor also comes with a one-year warranty in case something goes wrong. 
You can connect the Ring Alarm Flood and Water Sensor to any point in your home as long as it is within 250 feet of the base station. 

Honeywell is one of the most well-known companies for smart home technology. Though Honeywell has spun their smart home lineup out into a different company called Resideo, the Honeywell name still carries weight. 
The Honeywell flood sensor uses a flexible cable that can detect moisture over a larger area, and that is also ideal for placement along walls or near washing machines, areas where other leak sensors may not perform as well.
The Honeywell Wi-Fi Water Leak and Freeze Detector is battery-powered, so you can place it without worrying about its proximity to a power outlet (or the inherent risk of water near a live wire.) The sensor is reusable, so even if it is triggered by water you can use it over again. 
While it may not have as many bells and whistles as competing sensors, the Honeywell flood sensor is a solid choice that gets the job done. 

The Zircon Leak Alert Water Detector is a budget-friendly option. At just $15 per sensor, these flood detectors are ideal for placement throughout the home. If the Zircon flood sensor detects water, it will trigger an 85 decibel alarm that can ring continuously for up to three days straight. Unless you live far out in the countryside, away from anyone else, someone will hear the alarm and know that something is wrong. 
The tradeoff, however, is that these leak sensors do not have any smart capabilities. You won’t receive a push notification or anything else to indicate that the sensor is going off. 
The Zircon Leak Alert Water Detector does not require any wiring. A 9V battery is all you need to keep the sensor working for months on end. Due to the low cost of this sensor, it’s an ideal choice if you have a larger home with numerous risk areas. It also works great as a supplement to a smart home sensor if you want coverage in a lesser-used area, like around a leaky window. 

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Watch a Waymo self-driving car test its sensors in a haboob – gpgmail


Waymo, the self-driving car company under Alphabet, has been testing in the suburbs of Phoenix for several years now. And while the sunny metropolis might seem like the ideal and easiest location to test autonomous vehicle technology, there are times when the desert becomes a dangerous place for any driver — human or computer.

The two big safety concerns in this desert region are sudden downpours that cause flash floods and haboobs, giant walls of dust between 1,500 and 3,000 feet high that can cover up to 100 square miles. One record-breaking haboob in July 2011 covered the entire Phoenix valley, an area of more than 517 square miles.

Waymo released Friday a blog post that included two videos showing how the sensors on its self-driving vehicles detect and recognize objects while navigating through a haboob in Phoenix and fog in San Francisco. The vehicle in Phoenix was manually driven, while the one in the fog video was in autonomous mode.

The point of the videos, Waymo says, is to show how, and if, the vehicles recognize objects during these extreme low visibility moments. And they do. The haboob video shows how its sensors work to identify a pedestrian crossing a street with little to no visibility.

Waymo uses a combination of lidar, radar and cameras to detect and identify objects. Fog, rain or dust can limit visibility in all or some of these sensors.

Waymo doesn’t silo the sensors affected by a particular weather event. Instead, it continues to take in data from all the sensors, even those that don’t function as well in fog or dust, and uses that collective information to better identify objects.

The potential is for autonomous vehicles to improve on visibility, one of the greatest performance limitations of humans, Debbie Hersman, Waymo’s chief safety officer wrote in the blog post. If Waymo or other AV companies are successful, they could help reduce one of the leading contributors to crashes. The Department of Transportation estimates that weather contributes to 21% of the annual U.S. crashes.

Still, there are times when even an autonomous vehicle doesn’t belong on the road. It’s critical for any company planning to deploy AVs to have a system that can not only identify, but also take the safest action if conditions worsen.

Waymo vehicles are designed to automatically detect sudden extreme weather changes, such as a snowstorm, that could impact the ability of a human or an AV to drive safely, according to Hersman.

The question is what happens next. Humans are supposed to pull over off the road during a haboob and turn off the vehicle, a similar action when one encounters heavy fog.  Waymo’s self-driving vehicles will do the same if weather conditions deteriorate to the point that the company believes it would affect the safe operation of its cars, Hersman wrote.

The videos and blog post are the latest effort by Waymo to showcase how and where it’s testing. The company announced August 20 that it has started testing how its sensors handle heavy rain in Florida. The move to Florida will focus on data collection and testing sensors; the vehicles will be manually driven for now.

Waymo also tests (or has tested) its technology in and around Mountain View, Calif., Novi, Mich., Kirkland, Wash. and San Francisco. The bulk of the company’s activities have been in suburbs of Phoenix  and around Mountain View.


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Flexible stick-on sensors could wirelessly monitor your sweat and pulse – gpgmail


As people strive ever harder to minutely quantify every action they do, the sensors that monitor those actions are growing lighter and less invasive. Two prototype sensors from crosstown rivals Stanford and Berkeley stick right to the skin and provide a wealth of phsyiological data.

Stanford’s stretchy wireless “BodyNet” isn’t just flexible in order to survive being worn on the shifting surface of the body; that flexing is where its data comes from.

The sensor is made of metallic ink laid on top of a flexible material like that in an adhesive bandage. But unlike phones and smart watches, which use tiny accelerometers or optical tricks to track the body, this system relies on how it is itself stretched and compressed. These movements cause tiny changes in how electricity passes through the ink, changes that are relayed to a processor nearby.

Naturally if one is placed on a joint, as some of these electronic stickers were, it can report back whether and how much that joint has been flexed. But the system is sensitive enough that it can also detect the slight changes the skin experiences during each heartbeat, or the broader changes that accompany breathing.

The problem comes when you have to get that signal off the skin. Using a wire is annoying and definitely very ’90s. But antennas don’t work well when they’re flexed in weird directions — efficiency drops off a cliff, and there’s very little power to begin with — the skin sensor is powered by harvesting RFID signals, a technique that renders very little in the way of voltage.

The second part of their work, then, and the part that is clearly most in need of further improvement and miniaturization, is the receiver, which collects and re-transmits the sensor’s signal to a phone or other device. Although they managed to create a unit that’s light enough to be clipped to clothes, it’s still not the kind of thing you’d want to wear to the gym.

The good news is that’s an engineering and design limitation, not a theoretical one — so a couple years of work and progress on the electronics front and they could have a much more attractive system.

“We think one day it will be possible to create a full-body skin-sensor array to collect physiological data without interfering with a person’s normal behavior,” Stanford professor Zhenan Bao in a news release.

Over at Cal is a project in a similar domain that’s working to get from prototype to production. Researchers there have been working on a sweat monitor for a few years that could detect a number of physiological factors.

SensorOnForehead BN

Normally you’d just collect sweat every 15 minutes or so and analyze each batch separately. But that doesn’t really give you very good temporal resolution — what if you want to know how the sweat changes minute by minute or less? By putting the sweat collection and analysis systems together right on the skin, you can do just that.

While the sensor has  been in the works for a while, it’s only recently that the team has started moving towards user testing at scale to see what exactly sweat measurements have to offer.

RollToRoll BN 768x960“The goal of the project is not just to make the sensors but start to do many subject studies and see what sweat tells us — I always say ‘decoding’ sweat composition. For that we need sensors that are reliable, reproducible, and that we can fabricate to scale so that we can put multiple sensors in different spots of the body and put them on many subjects,” explained Ali Javey, Berkeley professor and head of the project.

As anyone who’s working in hardware will tell you, going from a hand-built prototype to a mass-produced model is a huge challenge. So the Berkeley team tapped their Finnish friends at VTT Technical Research Center, who make a specialty of roll-to-roll printing.

For flat, relatively simple electronics, roll-to-roll is a great technique, essentially printing the sensors right onto a flexible plastic substrate that can then simply be cut to size. This way they can make hundreds or thousands of the sensors quickly and cheaply, making them much simpler to deploy at arbitrary scales.

These are far from the only flexible or skin-mounted electronics projects out there, but it’s clear that we’re approaching the point when they begin to leave the lab and head out to hospitals, gyms, and homes.

The paper describing Stanford’s flexible sensor appeared this week in the journal Nature Electronics, while Berkeley’s sweat tracker was in Science Advances.


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