The Degu project sets out to standardise the core set of technologies that enable the flow of IoT data from edge devices, up to the cloud and back again.
The project strives to enable simpler, faster, and more accessible design, prototyping and validation of wireless IoT sensor based systems - while also providing a path to design and full scale manufacturing of finalised sensor hardware for those looking to deploy their IoT systems.
System Overview and Key Features
Degu IoT systems consist of two major aspects: mesh networking sensor units to interface with the local environment - sensing, feedback and actuation - plus a gateway to transfer data collected by the sensor units to the cloud for storage and processing.
Degu sensors are battery powered IoT sensor units with mesh networking support, ideally suited for factory, manufacturing, horticulture and office IoT systems.
Key features of the Degu sensors include:
Mesh networking - Low power and scalable short-range wireless networking with the Thread protocol.
Flexible sensor and actuator support - Support for the excellent range of over 200 Seeed Grove modules.
Simple programming with Python - The units can be easily programmed with custom sensor logic using MicroPython.
Secure element - Secure storage of encryption keys with the A71CH Plug & Trust secure element.
Open source - Both hardware design information and software is available as open source on GitHub.
For prototyping and development there are two Degu sensor types currently available:
Degu Base Unit - a Degu sensor with a Grove system base shield board and case
Degu Base Board - a Degu sensor with a Grove system base shield board
Degu Gateways bridge the Degu sensor mesh network with cloud services such as AWS IoT, allowing data generated by the Degu sensors to be relayed to the cloud and from the cloud back to edge devices.
To get a Degu based system up and running, all that is needed is for the Degu sensors to be registered with the Degu Gateway and then the Degu Gateway configured with the cloud service connection settings.
There are two Degu Gateways available:
Degu Gateway G3 - an ARM Cortex-A7 based Degu gateway with LTE, WiFi and LAN
Degu Gateway A6 - an ARM Cortex-A7 based Degu gateway with LAN
As a mesh networking system, Degu is well suited to environments such as shops, offices, factories, manufacturing facilities, horticulture operations and construction sites, where the network benefits from devices being aware of one another, multiple sensing points are to be deployed and it is uneconomical to run cabling to each unit.
Degu is suited to applications that require more frequent transfer of data, as well as those where environmental feedback is valuable - such as providing in field user feedback via displays and LED indicators or activation of motors and equipment via drivers and switches.
Some example use cases, along with supported Grove modules, include:
Manufacturing equipment condition monitoring in factory environments using temperature, vibration, noise and current sensing modules.
Office building health monitoring and reporting using temperature, CO2, O2, humidity, air pressure, particulate count modules.
Greenhouse environmental monitoring and nutrient control using soil moisture, temperature, soil pH, light spectrum, water flow monitoring and control modules
Manufacturing at Scale
The Degu project recognizes the need for users to be able to move beyond just prototyping their product concepts - a major hurdle for anyone involved in deploying physical IoT hardware.
Degu project partners offer full hardware customization and at-scale manufacturing services. This allows developers to migrate from prototyping to fully integrated, field ready units - in compact form factors - without having to do any hardware design, DFM or manufacturing setup themselves.
If you’d like to find out more about Degu and how to get started, you can find everything you need on the Degu project site.