Here's a fist glimpse of the not-yet finished THING of our ongoing Internet of Things project. There's a lot of talk going on out there - we got tired of just reading the buzzwords and are developing real things instead. Our principle is to really understand concepts and technologies to be able to provide our customers with best advice and proven solutions.
What is it?
It's a model of an offshore crane with a King, Main- and a Knuckle-Jib. Until now, it's capable of the following:
- Rotate the whole crane 360 degrees.
- Move Main-Jib up and down.
- Move Knuckle-Jib up and down.
- Move the wire up and down using the installed winch.
The model is built with Fischertechnik components and is connected to a control-PC using 2 Fischertechnik Intelligent Interfaces. In total we have 8 Directional Outputs, 4 Analogue Inputs, and 16 Digital Inputs. The control system is written in C# and log messages are sent to and retrieved from a connected Microsoft Azure IoT Hub.
How is it controlled?
Right now, the cranes' movements are manually controlled with a joystick allowing control of all 4 motors and their 8 directions. This joystick has 4 directions on two levels.
In the future, there will be step-counters and parking-position sensors for all moving elements. Then it will be possible to determine the position of the crane elements at any time. We will then also be able to control the actual movements in more detail using advanced code from an application running on a connected PC.
How is the THING becoming part of the "Internet of ..."?
We will connect the control system with Microsoft Azure IoT Hub and actively log all movements and conditions in short intervals. The positioning of the crane will then be monitored on a dashboard. The dashboard will also allow users to send messages to the crane to move its elements to new positions.
Stay tuned for more updates coming up on this blog...