Build an affordable telemetry system with Arduino

While Arduino boards are useful for simple robotics and control applications, as outlined on William Osman’s blog, they can also be employed for data tracking to help engineers verify and modify a race car’s suspension design.

In this case, Osman decided to use a Pro Mini, a three-axis accelerometer, and an nRF24L01 module to implement a vehicular telemetry system for under $ 20. A second Arduino and 2.4GHz transceiver make up the base station, which is connected to his computer via USB.

While getting the raw data is interesting, he’s able to take the project to the next level using a free software package called COSMOS from Bell Aerospace. Although not initially user-friendly, it does allow those willing to conquer its learning curve to visualize data in real-time without spending thousands on software.

Be sure to check out his blog post, Hackaday’s recent write-up, or the video below for more information on the inexpensive telemetry system!

Arduino Blog

Can USSD really make IoT more affordable?

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A use of old technology in a new way is transforming the potential capabilities of IoT.

Myriad Group, a mobile software company that originated in Switzerland in the 1990’s, have created Pressto, a connected bundle built on Myriad’s IoT platform, ThingStream.io.

The device uses the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) protocol to send 182 character messages to the Pressto server across cellular networks. Pressto bundles a connected button, GSM connectivity, and management platform in a single package which allows you to focus on building the application that the button press triggers. The press of a button transfers a small payload of information to your application which includes GPS coordinates along with time/date and simple button status information.

What is USSD?

USSD is a protocol used by Global system for Mobile Communications (GSM) cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider’s computers. It can be used to provide independent calling services such as a callback service (to reduce phone charges while roaming), enhance mobile marketing capabilities or interactive data services, people know it most commonly as a means to query a phone’s available credit.

I spoke to Neil Hamilton, VP Business of development at Myriad Group to find out more.

USSD is commonly used for mobile money transfers in developing markets such as Africa, India and Latin America where many people do not possess bank accounts. This application has allowed for payment of utility bills or money transfers. Hamilton explained that:

“If we start thinking about IoT use cases where a device needs to transmit small data payloads (not videos or big files, but kilobytes per day) then we could use the USSD network to do that…  We kind of enable a GSM equivalent of a LP-WAN because USSD doesn’t need as much processing power. It also uses far less battery power and therefore devices can be much cheaper when compared to if I’m trying to roll out on LTE where I need more expensive components model to communicate via LTE.”

Myriad Group have established global roaming network access with 600 plus carriers and through the use of supplied embedded sim cards their users can transmit data and submit signals from almost anywhere in the world.

“Then effectively we provide a small code library to whoever is making their devices. And that enables the translation of the data. If it’s a sensor with a motion control we make sure we convert that into a format that we can be transported over USSD. Don’t forget there’s no internet involved. So we kind of spoof an internet language over USSD, our gateway converts that back into internet language and it goes downstream to an application.”

What kind of use cases suit USSD?

The USSD as a conduit for transferring data works particularly well in small, fast moving, remote scenarios such as logistics and tracking, as Hamilton explains:

“Cargo companies work with different end-to-end carriers and they don’t know where cargo is going. if you want to get a heartbeat on a container from almost anywhere, it’s difficult to do. We purchase wholesale connectivity and enable GSM to compete with LPWAN services, business the carriers are missing out on.  We don’t want to say ubiquitous service at any time but it’s definitely one where things are remote or moving.”

Agricultural and environmental services companies can be faced the challenge of trying to monitor hectares of farming land or agtech solutions when they’re often near roads that get busy at certain times of day or cell base stations get really and they can’t always have ubiquitous connectivity.

See also: How to turn hardware into IoT by simplifying connectivity?

Hamilton notes that the more they discuss USSD as a data conduit for industrial applications, the more use cases emerge. Today, a number of sensor manufacturers are exploring sensing-as-a- service model. If you’re a high-value sensor manufacturer you typically sell to a distributor who sells to someone who makes something and so on.

“If you start to sell your device completely connected, then it will work anywhere. And then someone could log onto a corresponding app from the sensor manufacturer to then point the data to whatever application you want to deliver it to. It means there are potential opportunities opening up right out on the edge for people to change their markets.”

The Pressto button was originally designed for proof of concept purposes to demonstrate use cases, but it has attracted a surprising amount of interest according to Hamilton but they’ve got more in development:

“We’ve got a very interesting workflow platform coming for how to manage connected devices and that’s where we’re heading now, building up the platform side to offer some more value added and useful services for industrial companies that want to connect up their things.”

The post Can USSD really make IoT more affordable? appeared first on ReadWrite.

ReadWrite

Why IoT devices are powering affordable ‘DDoS-for-hire’ services

Opinion For as long as there has been cyber crime, there have been illegal exploit kits for sale.

Sure, these vary from the elementary to the advanced, but the malicious tools needed to commit cyber crime, theft, hacktivism or participate in run-of-the-mill online havoc are only a click away.

But the raw power, scale and sophistication for sale via those clicks is growing at unprecedented rates. The catalyst for this momentum is, yet again, unsecured Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This is known as the DDoS of Things (DoT).

Selling ‘stressers’

Capitalising on the ease of building global botnets via new strands of publicly available malware (e.g., Mirai, Leet), threat actors, criminals and hackers are marketing DDoS-for-hire services to anyone with a few dollars in online currency.

While all manners of online weapons are available for sale, DDoS-for-hire services are typically labeled as ‘stressers’ or ‘booters.’ Regardless of nomenclature, they’re the same thing. Some criminal outfits like to use the ‘stresser’ term to thinly veil their service as a legitimate testing tool.

My colleague,A10 Networks’ Networks Director of Cyber Operations Dr. Chase Cunningham recently said: “Basically everything is for sale. You can buy a ‘stresser’, which is just a simple botnet type offering that will allow anyone who knows how to click the start button access to a functional DDoS botnet.”

From there, the user has access to massive global botnets capable of launching global DDoS attacks at organisations, online services, gaming platforms, etc.

Crime-as-a-service

Most of these services use SaaS-based subscription models, wrote journalist Ryan Francis. His story notes that most services cost about £25-£35 a month and include tools and 24-7 support. Prices go up based on attack duration, throughput, subscriptions length and tools included.

Cunningham predicts that cyber criminals will soon give everyday buyers options to specifically purchase IoT-based traffic to push their DDoS attacks to greater capacity thresholds.

He said: “I haven’t seen many yet that specifically include the option to ‘purchase’ an IoT-specific traffic emulator, but I’m sure it’s coming. If it were me running the service, I would definitely have that as an option”.

DDoS protection solutions

To prevent large-scale DDoS attacks, enterprises, service providers and security-conscious organisations can implement threat protection systems that detect and mitigate multi-vector DDoS attacks at the network edge, functioning as a first line of defence for your network infrastructure.

Some of the best protection systems enable DDoS mitigation against attacks up to 300 Gbps with a single appliance; scaling to 2.4 Tbps when deployed in a cluster.

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Affordable LoRaWAN Cloud Platform from Simfony Mobile

sponsored iconAmong the emerging technologies that bring the hope of an even better Internet of Things world, LoRaWAN is one of the most promising.

Simfony Mobile Cloud Service brings a secure backend infrastructure with exciting features and benefits.

Simfony LoRaWAN Solution cover image

LoRa is a spread-spectrum modulation technique which allows sending data at very long ranges using low data-rates – down to just few bytes per second. Through extremely low receiver sensitivity combined with an output power of +14 dBm, users can get large link budgets: up to 150 dB. That is over 22 km in LOS links and up to 2 km in NLOS links in urban environment, going through buildings.

With LoRaWAN, modules we can send the data directly to any Base Station (BS) that is LoRaWAN compatible, but in order to visualize the information we will need also a Cloud platform where the data has to be sent. Infrastructure is still a major issue when trying to deploy LoRaWAN devices.

Here is where the Simfony’s LoRaWAN Cloud Service comes into play. The service was built to enable customers or service providers to rapidly deploy gateway and devices without the need for a costly backend infrastructure. The solution connects LoRa gateways to Simfony’s LoRaWan infrastructure using secure mobile data connections or the existing internet provider.

Simfony Platform is packed with features available to all LoRaWAN customers. It instantly receives the data sent from devices in the cloud service’s Application builder. Users can forward it to existing external applications or store it on the cloud and use it with the reporting and analytics engine. One of the most important service features is the IoT VPN which helps users securely connect the gateways to the cloud.

LoRaWAN deployment can be streamlined allowing rapid network growth, as the Simfony’s cloud based Network Server can be used without worrying about device provisioning or management. Network owners can focus on their needs through the end application and forget about the backend infrastructure needed to deploy and run it. This approach almost eliminates costs for buying and managing software like the Network Server and provisioning applications. Customers only pay for active devices and they can add as many gateways as they like, as there are no software license fees. The Cloud Service benefits from integration with major LoRA gateway vendors such as Kerlink, Cisco, MultiTech, Link Labs.

Flexible and open to new customers, Simfony Mobile offers everyone the chance to use the platform for a trial period, so why not give it a go?

The post Affordable LoRaWAN Cloud Platform from Simfony Mobile appeared first on IoT Business News.

IoT Business News

Smart technology : Building a more affordable home

The UK government has unveiled a new strategy to build 250,000 more affordable homes, following an admission in February 2017 that England’s housing market is “broken.” With the continued growth of connected technology, the new households will likely be ‘smart homes’. Residents will be able to remotely control connected ‘things’ around their homes to make […]

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