Robots to braille — interesting exhibits @ IESA Intelligent Electronics pavilion
By Aanchal Ghatak & Pradeep Chakraborty
The recently-held IESA Vision Summit 2019 hosted an ‘Intelligent Electronics (IE) Pavilion’. There were some interesting exhibitors and their offerings–from robots to rural broadband systems, from Braille learning system to IoT products, and so on.
Anoop Dutta, Founder and Director, EmuPro Consulting Pvt Ltd, said: “EmuPro displayed the RISC-V Core at the IE pavilion. It is a 16-/32-bit configurable, small footprint, IMC core proven on the FPGA with excellent compute power.”
Saankhya Labs was another exhibitor. Hemant Mallapur, Co-founder and VP Engineering, Saankhya Labs, elaborated on the products exhibited at IESA Vision Summit this year. These were:
- Saankhya’s third generation SDR (software-defined radio) chipset: Pruthvi3 (SL3000/SL4000), a 28nm FD-SOI-based chip that supports a variety of wireless communications applications, from broadcast, satcom, broadband and tactical radio equipment.
- Saankhya’s rural broadband system products such as the Meghdoot base-station and Dhaval modem, which provides cost-effective solutions for wirelessly connecting sparsely populated rural areas. They require fewer number of installations to cover a given geographical area, have cheaper antenna mounting, instead of expensive towers, and have solar-powered/backed-up network. They are based on Saankhya’s first generation chipset SL1000/SL9000.
- Satellite IoT system products, such as ship satellite-based SoS system for fishermen’s rescue and railways locomotive real-time tracking modem solutions. These were developed in partnership with ISRO for GSAT-6 satellites. They are based on Saankhya’s first generation chipset SL1000/SL9000.
- Satellite sleeve is a satellite modem that attaches to an Android phone and converts it into a satellite phone that works with ISRO satellites. It has been developed in partnership with ISRO. It is also based on Saankhya’s first generation chipset SL1000/SL9000.
- Satellite portable broadcast receiver terminals for educational and other broadcast applications that use video or data, using a built-in antenna. These can be powered using a USB connector.
IIT Madras displayed a host of items. These were: a musical robot, developed using FGPA ported with Shakti E-class processor, home automation solution with IR controlled lights, fans, AC and home equipment, developed using FGPA, ported with Shakti E-class processor, real-time OS ZEPHYR ported on Shakti E-class, floating point, which was tested on Shakti 180nm processor (at SCL) and board RIMO, and running LINUX on 22nm Shakti processor on RISECREEK board, designed and developed at RISE Lab.
Prof. Kamakoti Veezhinathan, IIT Madras, said: “We demonstrated the Shakti processor, India’s first indigenous RISC-V-based processor, at the IESA Vision Summit. We had a prototype on the FPGA. We made two chips. One chip was developed at 180nm at SCL, Chandigarh, and the other chip at 22nm at the Intel foundry in Oregon, USA. We did both ends of the spectrum — one with very advanced technology and the other with relevant technology.
“We showcased a variety of applications, starting with a small, robot-based application, to a large robot, that was roaming around, singing ‘Vande Mataram’. This was to demonstrate the control type of applications.
“We also did a home consumer electronics system, interfaced with Wi-Fi, infrared remote, etc. We also showed a Linux boot, a real-time OS boot. We also showed our embedded class of processors. We showcased the ability of systems to actually do complicated programs. They were also interfaced with a lot of peripherals.
Thinkerbell Labs exhibited a Braille learning device. Ms Sanskrit Dawle, Founder and CEO, Thinkerbell Labs, and co-founder, Project Mudra, said: “We displayed Annie, a Braille learning device for the visually impaired. It is an audio-tactile teacher that teaches children Braille from scratch, and is aimed at addressing the abysmal literacy rate among visually impaired children globally.”
Annie is packed with gamified and interactive content, Annie makes learning Braille fun. The tactile hardware modules tailored to teach, coupled with a soft human voice guiding students through lessons eliminates the need for handholding and constant supervision. Annie evaluates answers given by the students instantly and gives smart corrective feedback.
Cirel Systems Pvt Ltd was present with its active capacitive stylus IC and digital pen prototypes. Sumeet Mathur, CEO, Cirel Systems, said: “We demonstrated our next-generation, multi-protocol active capacitive stylus IC and digital pen prototypes based on our IC. The CSAA2001 supports Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) protocol backed by Google, as well as Microsoft Pen Protocol Pro (aka MPP2.0). Cirel’s is a single-chip solution for either of these protocols, and can support digital pen powered by any kind of power source, like AAAA alkaline battery, or super capacitor Li-ion battery.
Lastly, Zephee displayed a range of IoT products. Amol Balaso Kamble, Founder Chairman and CEO, elaborated: “We displayed Zephee IoT products and platform @ IESA Vision Summit 2019. Zephee provides the first of its kind end-to-end IoT solutions, working with a range of sensors and transmitters to enable applications for security, monitoring, efficiency and automation.
“Zephee provides a range of proprietary, state-of-the-art, communication sensors called SATs (sensor analytic technology) connected to Zephee cloud using patented RF technology iCue, which transforms a passive premise to a live and actively monitored system on finger tips.”
The Zephee solutions can help with monitoring, security, process automation, control systems and many other applications. The Zephee applications helps with the easy adoption of the miraculous IoT technology to help feeling connected with your valued ones more than ever before.
Zephee also provides an IoT platform as a service with loads of integrated features. It displayed eight IoT products:
- Zephee Bot – Zephee bot communicate is a gateway between cloud and devices, and works on the iCue wireless protocol.
- Zephee contact SAT – Wireless contact SAT detects whether door is open or closed works on RF
- Zephee Kinetic SAT – Kinetic sat detects motion and alert to the connected users.
- Zephee temperature and humidity SAT – Wireless temperature and humidity sensor senses the environment temperature and humidity and send it to cloud.
- Zephee chiller temperature SAT – Wireless temperature sensor senses -40 to 100 degree C temperature of any system and sends it to the cloud.
- Zephee energy monitor and controller – Wireless energy monitor and controller, works on RF, range -15Amp.
- Zephee SOS SAT – Wireless panic on presses sends immediate alert message to loved ones so that you can get easy and quick help.
- Zephee IoT platform – End-to-end IoT cloud platform with mobile and web applications, in depth analytics of IoT sensors and much more.
IIT Madras’ Prof. Kamakoti Veezhinathan said that their product is India’s first indigenous processor. It is customizable. One can add a new peripheral, or delete any peripheral, as required.
“It also comes with a lot of security, especially with IoT. He wants to see a lot more security features built in. It can also help you with indigenous manufacturing. We can verify the complete source code. The industry can get a cost-competitive processor. It is also a production-ready processor that developers can play with, and reconfigure, if needed.”
Anoop Dutta, EmuPro, added: “The RISC-V core is one of first indigenous commercial core, a core, which can be a replacement to the other commercial cores presently available/used from other countries. Also, this means a lot in-terms of security to the indigenously-built products in India for local consumption, which may be strategic to the country also to the very IoT products being developed in India.
According to Hemant Mallapur, Saankhya Labs’ the Meghdoot base-station and Dhaval modem are ideally suited for lower ARPU rural markets in developing countries.
As per Ms Dawle at Thinkerbell, Annie is the world’s first self-learning Braille device and ecosystem that teaches students how to read, write and type in Braille. Braille literacy is a strong predictor of future employability and independence for visually impaired children.
Sumeet Mathur, Cirel, added: “With digital inking solutions gaining market traction, and all three major tablet/PC OS (Windows, iOS and Chrome OS) supporting inking, there is a need for low power digital pens that can work across platforms and devices. Cirel’s mission is to continue to drive innovation in this domain by bringing the industry first solutions that exceed the user’s needs. Cirel’s CSAA2001 supports the USI protocol, which has the promise of enabling the same stylus to be used across platforms, from cell phones to two-in-one tablets and big screens for electronic whiteboards, while keeping power consumption and BoM cost to a minimum.
“In addition, being a low power and single chip solution, Cirel’s IC enables a ‘garage-able’ stylus that can be stowed in the device, thereby enabling the user to quickly access the pen when needed.
“We believe that the stylus is just one instance in the vast domain of smart devices, which will need application specific solutions combining various functions like communication, sensors, processing and power management in a single IC.”
Ganesh Shankar at FluxGen elaborated: “The AquaGen is the most suited water management solution for industries dealing with large quantities of water. With this product, we have been successful in saving millions of litres of water in our previous installations in campuses and townships like Electronics City Industrial Township Authority (ELCITA), jewellery manufacturing and dairy industries with simultaneous reduction in the expenses incurred for water by nearly 30 percent. Our customers have successfully saved more than 15 million litres of water.”
Amol Balaso Kamble at Zephee, noted: “Zephee provides affordable and adaptable range of products that helps the public to solve the last-mile connectivity with their premises or assets. Zephee platform helps to use an unique set of IoT products. These products provide end-to-end capability to enable homes and businesses to adopt IoT, for security, monitoring, or to make their operations efficient with rich set of sensors (SATs) in the offering.
“Zephee provides the first of their kind wireless, reliable range of sensors which cater to wide range of needs like, motion detection, door or contact monitoring, help/SOS buttons, environment parameters monitoring (temperature, humidity, CO2, gas, smoke, etc.) designed to keep your valued and loved ones safe, healthy and secure.
“The Zephee products works with voice assistant’s like Alexa to enhance the rich experience of connected homes and premises. Our IoT platform helps small- or mid-range or start-up semiconductor companies to get IoT fired with quick use of the Zephee cloud connect module.
“With our platform, hardware companies/OEMs can focus on developing newer products without worrying about the cloud, applications, analytics, machine learning insights and connectivity to the cloud. Zephee connect module is a licence-based platform as a service module, easy to use with secure OPEN API’s and pay as you use business model.”