RuuviTracker project is back!


#1

Do you remember RuuviTracker, the first open-source project we started back in 2011?

Now we have decided to continue the project and create a totally new hardware + other services around it.

Some of its many features will be:

  • LTE-M and NB-IoT (Cat-M1/NB)
  • GPS
  • 2.4GHz (Bluetooth, Wirepas, Thread, Zigbee, other)
  • Sensors
  • Long lasting battery
  • Support for external power.

Main components will be:

Note that this is just a pre soft-launch of the project and more info will be coming a bit later. We’re already designing the electronics part but more specific info about it cannot be shared yet because in-depth nRF9160 specs are still under NDA.

Note that RuuviTracker will not replace RuuviTag but will complement it. RuuviTracker will be also capable to listen nearby RuuviTags and act as a cellular gateway.

Let’s discuss. Any comments, ideas, suggestions?


Ruuvipenkin tulevaisuudensuunnitelmat. Mielipiteitä?
#2

I’d love to see possibility to connect easily any (at least I2C) sensor to RuuviTracker and send the data to user defined endpoint.


#3

Yah, the Grove sensor connector is an attractive standard. Re external power - a common port (micro USB, USB-C) would be great for powering it from both wall and automotive sources, though I bet y’all have that covered.

Will we be able to swap SIM cards to the provider of our choice / need?

Hm, and what programming environments will be supported?

I’m looking forward to a cellular gateway with Ruuvi quality behind it.


#4

Yeah, Grove compatibility is a good idea.

What kind of common port do you mean @mikewhitten ?

Eventually, we’d like to have eSIM and an integrated global data plan but global Cat-M and NB-IoT plans are still not widely available. Also because NB-IoT roaming functionality is not yet fully standardised, user changeable SIM card is the best way to start with.

Both of the main chips are from Nordic Semi, so similar programming tools are supported than seen on RuuviTag. @otso will dive into the software side. Maybe Zephyr would be one option?


#5

Re the common port, @lauri, I was thinking of the external power port. Micro USB is perhaps the most common. USB-C is up and coming; don’t know if it’s overkill. I’m thinking USB because there are adapters to get USB power from just about everywhere; most flexible.

Yay on the user changeable sim.

Re software… for utter maker friendliness Arduino comes to mind. I see Sandeep Mistry has a port to Nordic going; don’t know if that’d apply. MicroPython? Amazon’s FreeRTOS? Truth be told I’m out of my depth here; just coming at it from a “what’s popular in the maker world” POV. For hardcore deployments I assume one would want to go native Nordic.


#6

Ah yeah, my bad. USB is definitely the way to go. I thought you were talking about a combined port. I otherways would prefer USB-C but it may not fit the board and it’s more complex and expensive part compared to the micro.


#7

I just went through RuuviTracker project history and realised there has been 5 different (!) PCB designs. And now we’re working with the sixth one :sweat_smile: I need to write a comprehensive blog post about the project and its history…

A historical video clip (2012) of the first RuuviTracker revision:

This is second generation board:

Third one (Rev.C1):

Fourth (Rev.C2):

Fifth (Rev.C3):


#8

Thanks for sharing thoughts and progress.

Yes, an easy connection as @aapris suggests would bed great. I’m missing this on the ruuvitag.


Zephyr RTOS on nRF52832 and nRF52840
#9

This is the chip we’re using:


#10

General nRF9160 sampling starts 12.12.2018


#11

What kind of integrated features would you like to see on RuuviTracker?

These are on the list but more can be added:

  • Temperature sensor
  • Relative air humidity sensor
  • Air pressure sensor
  • VOC gas sensor
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Powerful RGB and IR LEDs
  • Light sensor
  • Push button
  • PIR sensor
  • Multi-use Grove compatible expansion port for prototyping purposes

We’re going to keep BOM cost low and PCB’s size small so these have to be considered when adding features.


#12

A gyroscope would be nice, that combined with the accelerometer and magnetometer would allow some really interesting motion tracking


#13

Audio recording or Desibelmeter would propally drop to the “interesting prototyping” feature bucket and not to the features integrated right on board.


#14

A gyroscope is definitely something I’ll consider to add. Today, those don’t even consume enormous amounts of power :metal:

@mikko_petajaniemi This is something we’ve considered but it’s probably not something many would need. But a buzzer or piezo element would be. Does someone has (SMD) sound elements with tiny footprints to suggest?


#15

STMicroelectronics has interesting Time-of-Flight sensors we’re aiming to support on RuuviTracker. Having a ToF sensor onboard would enable many fill-level uses. For example intelligent bins: RuuviTracker could inform when a bin is full and should be emptied.

https://www.st.com/content/st_com/en/products/mems-and-sensors/proximity-sensors.html


#16

How about a CAN Bus ?
It will be quite interesting to connect to automotive or industrial systems.


#17

There are grove-compatible CAN extension boards


#18

Is it possible to have some sort of pluggable sensor interface (Sensor modules)

Would keep the BOM low and customers could add what they need.


#19

An expansion port will be included, yeah. But even the device will be open-source and can be used to build many different things, our aim is to keep different product variants as minimal as possible and but have many features onboard by default. Even it would mean a few euros higher price tag. Then for those who would like to purchase larger quantities and price optimisation will be needed, unnecessary components can be left unassembled.


#20

Very great to see this project. I’m looking forward to it! One thing I think would be cool: LoRaWAN connectivity.

Keep us posted about the progress :+1: