Working with sensors and controllers in IoT projects

Working with IoT Sensors

IoT is all about sensors and controllers. Let me elaborate – before the internet was introduced people were not fully connected with each other. Now the internet makes it possible for everyone to stay connected via a network all around the world. In the same way, machines and things are also connected through IoT i.e. Internet of Things. 

Let’s take an example from the consumer world. NEST temperature controller at home, Fitbit, Smartwatch; all of these are connected via a laptop or a phone. These are quite well known, but there are so many industrial machines out there with billions and billions of sensors and controllers in the industrial world which have a very hard time participating in the Internet of things. These machines were designed before the Internet or modern security were designed without taking connectivity into account. The complex nature of these machines has held them back from being part of the communication network.

To pinpoint the exact reason for this exclusion, we need to look at their interfaces. The consumer market has a healthy environment which is developed in a very orderly fashion, keeping the end result in mind. In a very standards-based way which happened side by side along with the internet and the web. On the other hand, industrial systems have existed for more than a century, and they have very fragmented and multitudes of interfaces and standards that are quite complex and tedious to link together. This is why enabling them to participate in IoT is quite cumbersome. 

Let’s take another example, most of the sensors today have analog output such as 4-20 mA or 0-10V. Which first has to be converted into a digital signal. And after that, it has to be converted into a data format and language the cloud can understand. Often that’s a challenge and one of the problems Machfu solves.

Working with different sensors and machines is definitely a complex task if done manually. But with IoT applications, it becomes a much easier process. Application of the same also helps in making the process easier and smarter. This makes IoT projects a favorable choice since smart work is always faster, cheaper and better. 

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