Zigbee Wireless Sensor Network - RTLS and Automation


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ZigBee technology provides unique features for the deployment of RTLS systems in certain segments and markets. The added possibility of management of all kinds of sensors (temperature, humidity, presence and movement, dangerous gases, electricity consumption,...) and actuators (air conditioning, valves, opening and locking of doors and windows, alarms, control lights and appliances, ... ) enables to provide a complete solution under a single, robust technology
This document briefly describes what is ZigBee, their main characteristics and its implementation as an RTLS system. It includes a description of specific use cases for hotels, supermarkets, healthcare, police, security and vigilance, industry and miners.
In particular describes the n-Core® platform, under ZigBee technology, which supplies a complete development and production environment both for automation services as well for location (RTLS) services.
As always, any comment will be welcome. If you wish to learn more about the n-Core® platform please contact me or send me an email.

Published in: Technology, Business

Zigbee Wireless Sensor Network - RTLS and Automation

  1. 1. What is ZigBee?• ZigBee is a wireless communication standard and a set of specifications for wireless personal area networking (WPAN) or WSN (Wireless Sensor Network) for the radio communication (RF) between computers and other devices• ZigBee has been developed to meet the growing demand for wireless network capacity between several low-power devices.• In the industry, ZigBee is being used for the next generation of automated manufacturing, with small transmitters in each device which allow communication between devices to a central computer.• More than 10 years ago the ZigBee Alliance was launched by major companies including, amongst others, Philips, Freescale, Texas Instruments, Atmel, LG, Samsung and Sony.• Under the standard IEEE 802.15.4, ZigBee Alliance has created a open standard system for wireless communications,, It is effective, safe, low cost and low power for use within home automation, buildings (building automation), industrial control, PCs peripherals, medical sensors and many other devices in what has been called Internet of Things (IOT).
  2. 2. ZigBee Main Characteristics ZIGBEE FEATURES
  3. 3. Type of Devices Coordinator (Queen Bee) • Master Node per network • Configure and establish the network • Determine the access channel • Provide routing services • Mains or battery poweredRouters (Drones)- Allow the interconnection between nodesto extend the network- Participate in the multi-hop routing- Provide I/O data services- Mains or battery powered End-Device (Worker) - Connects with a Parent-node. - Doesn’t have specific tasks - Can act like a sensor & actuator node or like a locatable tag - Wakes up periodically to check pending messages and sleeps the rest of the time - Usually powered by batteries
  4. 4. Network Topologies• Unlike other wireless technologies, ZigBee supports and allows multiple network topologies : • Star: Central node and N devices connected to it. • Tree: Each parent node can have N child nodes based on the depth of the network. • Peer To Peer • Mesh: This topology allows the interconnection between routers nodes ensuring there are always alternative paths in the event of the failure of any node in the network.• The flexibility and scalability of these network topologies allow ZigBee technology to be deployed in any type of venue - whether its indoor or outdoor - covering very large areas with one single network.• ZigBee has higher tolerance to obstacles (i.e. walls, metallic surfaces) than other technologies and can avoid them easily by setting optional routes
  5. 5. Security & Vigilance Information & control of energy usage Building Access Control Automation Consumption & Retail Environmental Data Health Care Monitoring Patterns analysis Services User/Asset ZigBee Health Mgmt & Location - RTLS Patient Monitoring Applications & Smart Home Markets Energy Personal AutomationIdentification Presence & MEMS Sensors Industrial & Domestic Telecom Remote automation Services Control Light, Heat, Cool & HVAC Geo-fencing
  6. 6. n-Core® Platform N-Core® is a powerful platform - hardware and software - that allows you to develop, integrate and deploy, easily and quickly, a wide variety of applications over wireless sensor networks based on the IEEE standard 802.15.4/ZigBee. Applications/Services n-Core® offers a complete set of services API (dll libraries) to create applications quickly from any environment and any language (.net, Java, Python, C/C++,...) allowing: Admin & Conf Tool Autom Network Mgmt RTLS • Network Management: Creation, node Polaris Tool configuration, monitoring, etc. automation Location Engine Engine • Automation: Control and monitoring of sensors/actuators, collection and transfer of Hardware – Sirius Devices data, definition of behaviour, rules, etc. (802.15.4/Zigbee) • Location: It provides powerful algorithms to determine the position of devices in real time.n-Core® offers a low cost infrastructure with quick return on investment (ROI), it minimizesdramatically efforts/time in development, installation and implementation of automationsolutions and location logic under a unique single platform.
  7. 7. n-Core® Platform – Sirius Devices (I)Sirius A •It enables connectivity with any sensor/actuator of the market •Complete set of I/O ports (digital outputs relay, SPI, I2C, ADC, RS-232, USB,...) • Full solution for any type of automation/sensing applications • Measures: 111.8 x 107.7 x 26.3 mmSirius D •With a versatile design, it is the ideal device to create extensive networks under any type of application •Interfaces: Digital inputs, SPI, I2C, ADC, UART • Under RTLS systems, it acts like a router/sensor and can be installed under the ceiling. Line of sight is not required. •Measures : 65 x 53 x 23 mmSirius B •Same size as Sirius D with programmable buttons for specific actions (i.e. alarms). • It acts as a end user device (locatable tag).
  8. 8. n-Core® Platform – Sirius Devices (II)Sirius RadIOn • Equivalent to Sirius D • Less size and versatility both for networks of sensors and for location infrastructure • Measures : 22x 32.7x 5mmSirius Quantum • The smallest ZigBee tag in the world specifically designed for RTLS systems. • It includes accelerometer and configurable buttons •Measures : 22x 32.7x 5mmSirius IOn • Expansion card that offers all the possibilities of I/O programming (sensors, actuators, PCs,...) being compatible with all Sirius devices. • 3 versions with multiple sensors: Development, Motion (accelerometer, compass) and Environment (light, temperature, humidity, relay). •Measures : 41 x 42 x 15 mm
  9. 9. n-Core® Platform – Configuration Tool
  10. 10. n-Core® Platform – Polaris Web Tool
  11. 11. RTLS System - Installation and Deployment• Installation of sensors/routers in the target area (Sirius D and/or Sirius RadIon devices) • Extremely fast and easy process • It only requires power outlet (3.5 volts) • No wiring is required between nodes or with the central system. • They can hide in false ceilings. It does not require line of sight with the target tags.• Indoor/Outdoor location: • The sensors can be placed in outdoor areas covering not only the indoor environment but also other areas like, for instance, campus, parking areas, access to the facilities, etc. • To cover large distances (e.g. set of buildings), the ZigBee network is easily extensible through 3G/WiFi connectors.• Calibration (Site survey) is not needed.• If necessary the installation can be modified or expanded without problems at later stages (e.g. by requiring accuracy improvements in certain areas).• It requires indoor plans to establish the exact location of each sensor - x/y/z coordinates.
  12. 12. RTLS System - Accuracy• The network supports multiple configurations depending on the structure and distribution of cubicles in the target area as well as the required precision.• Can be achieved within 2 meters of precision with an adequate number of sensors• These deployments are easily tested - using battery operated sensors – checking best positions before moving on to the final installation.Contour-based deployment: Precise Area-based deployment: Precision at roomlocation of the target object is possible level (1 sensor/area) that can be enough inwithin the room, corridor and hall. many cases (hospital, hotel, office, …).
  13. 13. n-Core® Platform – Location process Id_TAG RSSI /LQI Rx Level GetNodePosition GetNodeParams ID_ROUTER GetTagsTable SetNodeParams RTLS/Location API Location Engine Network DB• The ZigBee Tags - locatable objects - periodically send a broadcast message to all the closest sensors. This period is configurable by each device depending on the time required to inform the end-application.• The routers (sensors) collect the information for each tag in an internal table that the node periodically transmits to the Collector node (TagsTable message)• The Collector node sends a complete data table to the Location engine module (n-core system) that obtains the X/Y/Z position of each tag.• The API allows you to easily obtain the coordinates of any node in the network as well as obtain or modify all the configuration parameters involved in this process.
  14. 14. Potential Use Cases HOTELS• ZigBee tags for clients • Room Automation (light, music, air condition, …) • Control of energy consumption • Presence detection: Inside/Outside of the room • Panic button• Check-In/Check-Out management• For workers (employees, security, cleaning, …): • ZigBee Bracelet/Tag • Location and tracking within the hotel including outdoor areas such as parking or swimming pool. • Access Control mgmt. SUPERMARKETS• ZigBee tag attached to the shopping cart.• Continuous monitoring within the supermarket and surrounding areas• Analysis of preferred routes and consumers’ behavior• Consumption Statistics - management of employees and demand of products.• Accuracy: At area level may be sufficient.• Optional: Mobile application with indoor maps to guide the customer, show discounts, search for products, ….
  15. 15. Potential Use Cases VIGILANCE & SECURITY• ZigBee tag for security personnel• Automatic presence control: check-up of regular rounds in both indoor and outdoor areas.• Precise location in the event of any alarm• Configurable Alarm buttons with programmable events• Access control mgmt POLICE• ZigBee Tag for police stations and departments• Temporary ZigBee bracelet for detainees and visitors• Tracking and/or on-demand location of detainees• Geo-fencing capabilities• Access control mgmt
  16. 16. Potential Use Cases HOSPITALS AND HEALTHCARE CENTERS• ZigBee bracelets for patients and, optionally, for visitors. • Configurable alarm buttons • Continuous tracking – Routing statistics and Behavior analysis • Detection in the event of a patent falling • Management of restricted areas by user (indoor geo-fencing)• ZigBee Tag for hospital members/employees including, optionally, security and cleaning personnel. • On-demand location • Access control mgmt• ZigBee Tag for instruments and value objects • Inventory management • On-demand location: spatial layers of objects for example grouping of critical machinery in a hospital PERSONAL ASSISTANCE• ZigBee Tag for patients assisted at their homes • Alarm/panic button • Detection of entry/leave (geo-fencing in home area)• ZigBee Tag for the assistant • Ensuring their real and effective assistance at home
  17. 17. Potential Use Cases Storage and goods/equipment control• Indoor and Outdoor location of any object• Inventory Management• Theft detection & alarms Mines• Secure location and tracking of miners• Panic button
  18. 18. Conclusions• Many LBS applications require the incorporation of sensors and automation. ZigBee provides both location management and integration with any type of sensor/actuator. E.g. access control applications.• ZigBee is the right choice for many cases where safety and reliability in communications is required and it does not require high data transfer.• ZigBee network topologies can be adapted to any type of environment and distribution both inside and outside.• ZigBee is not present on mobile phones so the object (user, resource) to be located must carry a ZigBee Tag: • Many cases are oriented to specific and controlled user groups so the additional use of a mobile phone is not required. • Mobile phones can be used as an Input/Output channel to send or receive data based on the position of the associated ZigBee tag. • In other cases the ZigBee tag will operate to locate objects in indoor (and, optionally, outside of the facility) while outdoors, users may be located by cell/GPS or WiFi using their mobile phone.• The ZigBee device can include high quality motion sensors (MEMS) which can be independent or cooperative to obtain the precise position of the target object.
  19. 19. Any questions? I’m happy to help you!