The Wzzard™ Wireless Sensor Network Platform
Advantech B+B Smartworx developed the Wzzard Intelligent Wireless Sensor Platform to facilitate the Internet of things (IoT) world of connected intelligence, where machines and systems will collaborate, inform and make decisions based upon sensors data. These smart networks will have the ability to run efficiently and autonomously, sometimes for years, with little human intervention other than needed maintenance. Advantech B+B SmartWorx Wzzard anticipates this coming connected world.
Wzzard is an easy to use, complete wireless sensor connectivity platform for the rapid deployment of scalable, intelligent, reliable IoT networking in remote and demanding environments. Wzzard was designed to help integrators, VARs and service providers efficiently develop and deploy secure, smart, self-powered, and scalable IoT applications.
Why Is Wzzard Exciting?
- Allows WSNs to scale to hundreds of of nodes which was previously cost-prohibitive.
- Promotes connectivity from the edge (sensor) through to a gateway and then up to the application.
- Intelligent data collection, processing and transmission enables migration beyond today’s descriptive analytics, which can only reactively describe what happened and why, towards predictive and prescriptive analytics that can derive meaning from intelligent data and proactively prescribe actions to increase efficiency and reduce unplanned downtime.
- Allows monitoring in remote and demanding locations at a much more reasonable price point per node than forerunner wireless technologies such as WirelessHART, WiFi, and Proprietary RF.
- More knowledge at the network edge allows remote nodes to make intelligent decisions without having to involve upstream resources, resulting in a more efficient, reliable network and cost savings.
- Advanced power-saving features and low power consumption caters to today’s and tomorrow’s smart networks deployed across difficult to reach and often power-less locations, so they may run efficiently and autonomously.
Wzzard Platform Technologies
The Wzzard platform’s technologies, protocols and hardware work together to reduce the expertise and time it takes for integrators to develop scalable IoT connectivity solutions. They include:
- Wzzard Intelligent Edge Nodes, which connect to industry-standard sensors.
- SmartMesh IP wireless sensing technology which enables auto-forming, self-healing, self-sustaining networks that are also highly scalable.
- MQTT – a simple messaging transport protocol for M2M/IoT applications over wireless networks.
- Spectre Network Gateway which serves as the gateway, connecting equipment and devices to the Internet or Intranet over either wired Ethernet or wireless cellular connections.
The Wzzard Platform provided the ability to gain access to sensor data in many different applications and Internet of Things solutions. The Wzzard system is a market-horizontal platform that enables vertical solutions with addition of specific sensor types. The platform can be customized to support many different industrial remote monitoring applications including:
- Energy Consumption
- Condition Based Monitoring
- Water Level, including irrigation systems, tank level, and flood control
- Structural Systems Monitoring
- Perimeter Access Control
- Agricultural, including silo monitoring
- Smart Parking Systems
- Temperature and Environmental Monitoring
B+B chose SmartMesh IP® wireless sensing technology from Linear Technologies Dust Networks. SmartMesh IP is based upon the wireless IEEE 802.15.4e standard and creates full-mesh networks, sometimes referred to as “mesh-to-the-edge” networks. SmartMesh IP networks use a triple-play of wireless mesh technologies—time diversity, frequency diversity, and physical diversity—to assure reliability, resiliency, scalability, power source flexibility, and ease-of-use. Wzzard’s nodes attach automatically, and the SmartMesh IP technology dynamically self-configures to re-form the mesh network. To ensure data always reaches the gateway, nodes will determine their optimal RF paths to other nodes and back to the gateway providing up to five 9’s 99.999% data transmission reliability.
Robust Wireless Mesh Communication
MQTT MESSAGING PROTOCOL
Wzzard uses the lightweight, publish/subscribe messaging transport MQTT protocol for sensor communications. MQTT is an extremely simple messaging protocol created for M2M and IoT applications over wireless networks. Because of its efficient distribution of information to single or multiple receivers, it is ideal for wireless connection to remote locations. Another benefit is low power usage, making it ideal to provide long life on batter power. MQTT is now supported by most platform system providers making integration with the Wzzard system quick and simple.
In The Field
The traffic experts at INRIX report that British drivers spend 30 hours per year in traffic jams. For German drivers it’s 35 hours. In the USA, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says that 30 percent of the city’s traffic congestion is caused by drivers looking for a place to park. And the Texas Transportation Institute estimates the annual cost of traffic congestion in the United States alone adds up to $87.2 billion in wasted fuel and lost productivity. Much of this congestion could be addressed with smart Internet of Things technologies that already exist.