This family of 20+ wireless sensors enables Makers to devise their own connected solutions.
Recently launched on Indiegogo, Aistin is a small, lightweight and modular sensor platform for the Internet of Things. The brainchild of former Nokia R&D team members who together make up iProtoXi, these low power, wireless devices are helping Makers bring their ideas to life by focusing on three main elements: compactness, expandability and mobility.
“Instead of functionally limited ready-made IoT sets, or flexible but unpractical self-wired desktop hassles, we wanted to inspire people to create new mobile products by providing the best that can be achieved with current technology,” the Finnish startup shares.
Aistin is comprised of various sensor heads including environmental, motion and passive IR modules, as well as programmable LEDs, switches and other dev boards suitable for a wide range of IoT projects. Makers can choose from Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, wireless LAN and IQRR radios for connectivity, while example firmware, a web-based interface and a mobile app are provided to accelerate development.
“You can setup the logic how your Aistin sensor node works, what is the sensor reading interval and what is the trigger to start the sensor readings. You can also read the stored sensor data from the sensor node internal memory, if you have left your sensor node alone and connect it afterwards. Mobile application visualizes the sensor data. Sensor data can be stored in the application and then forwarded for further use,” its creators explain.
What’s nice is that the sensors can be used either as a standalone, a smartphone accessory or attached to anything to become part of a complex IoT solution. The fully expandable Aistin family currently has about 20 members and comes housed inside a variety of 3D-printed covers. At the core of every unit is an open source Bus24 interface, which is a combination of standard I/O buses (like I2C, SPI and UART), along with intelligent power management signals to enable long battery life. Development kits with the Bus24 provide a low-cost, easy-to-deploy series of sensors for developing IoT nodes and corresponding applications.
“Aistin wireless sensor nodes are connected to a gateway. GW provides connection to Internet/intranet. Typically WLAN or USB is used. Sensor GW/nodes makes TCP connection to an Aistin server that is located in laptop, Raspberry Pi or other computer which has Linux, Windows or MAC operating system. Aistin server (SW) provides a web socket interface for web client. Web socket is used to carry sensor data from the server to the visualization page,” the team writes.
To really make use of the revolutionary Bus24 connector, Makers have the option of selecting from a comprehensive set of add-on MCUs. Among those already compatible is the popular ATmega32U4. Meanwhile, iProtoXi hopes that the number of available expansion boards will continue to grow exponentially in the future.
As for the sensors — each of which are named after the owl, an extremely intelligent and intuitively knowledgable animal — are compact enough to fit on just about anything, from a milk cap and a sink faucet to a power outlet and inside the refrigerator door. One device in particular, the Owl Brain, measures 36mm x 18mm in size and is based on the ATmega32U4, allowing it to be easily programmed using the Arduino IDE.
Depending on the version, Owl Brains are equipped with several Bus24 connectors, a microUSB port, controllable RGB LEDs, a Li-ion battery charger, current and battery measurement circuitry, a real-time clock and a multi-functional button. The board also packs an accelerometer, a barometer, a humidity sensor and 256KB of EEPROM. Beyond that, two of its models (the CPU242 and 252) include an integrated Wi-Fi module, making it what the iProtoXi team calls “probably most feature-rich Arduino conformant board ever created.”
Those wishing to explore Aistin’s entire lineup can head over to its official Indiegogo page, where the team is currently seeking $56,000. Delivery is expected to begin later this year.