High-end connected plug

High-end connected plug

A multi-skills trainee team was set up to design a high-end connected plug. In addition to the basic functionalities like the manual/planned control or the electrical consumption measurement, the connected plug can be used as a thermostat or a pilot light, can be switched on/off by clapping hands and allows to obtain the temperature and brightness of a room over several months.

Let’s discover this ambitious project and its importance from a technical capitalization point of view.

The IoT Market

In short, the Internet of Things (IoT) describes a concept where the everyday life devices are connected to the Internet and can share information.

If market forecast numbers make you dizzy, just know that according to Idate DigiWorld think tank, the 2015 installed base of 42 billion objects will grow to 155 billions in 2025!

Therefore, it is obvious that the IoT will massively impact a range of industries like medical, smart city, energy and so on.

Preparing the IoT Revolution

For the ADVANS Group, beyond the internships themselves, there is a major interest in terms of technical capitalization.

According to Philippe Bourgault, the technical director of ELSYS Design :

“Behind each of my hardware internship topics, there is one or more technologies we need to reinforce our expertise on.

With regards to the connected socket, on the hardware side, we had targeted 2 technologies: high-performance AC/DC conversion, and the implementation of a Wi-Fi SoC. The later technology was also very interesting from a firmware point of view.”

The Project Team

The project team was divided into 3 pairs (hardware part, firmware part, mobile app & web services platform), each composed of an intern and a supervisor.

Work Accomplished: Hardware

On the hardware side, Jérémy implemented all the steps of a V-cycle project leading to the design of a power supply board and of a Wi-Fi board. Both boards were manufactured and mechanically integrated into the prototype socket. Jérémy also dealt with electrical testing and safety.

Jérémy comments: “This internship was an excellent professional experience, not only on the technical level but also on the project management side and for the work within a multi-skills team. These abilities will be useful for my future projects as an ELSYS Design engineer.”

Work Accomplished: Firmware

On the firmware side, Vanessa defined the functional requirements, proposed a software architecture and developed the corresponding embedded software. She validated her code and provided support to the two other pairs for their validation tasks.

Work Accomplished: Software

On the software side, Thibaut developed an Android app enabling several features like activating/managing a variable number of nodes and sensors, or providing notifications when given power consumption thresholds were passed.

He also set up a server enabling the communication between plugs and Android clients, the processing, and storage of measurements 24/7 and the transmission of operating modes from clients to sockets.

Thibaut concludes: “As Software intern, this was a great experience to carry out a project with both Hardware and Firmware. We created a complete solution from scratch, it’s really nice to see it working using our 3 technical parts.”

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