AxAvior 6LoWPAN Module

$1,883 raised

of $5,500 goal

Funding Unsuccessful

Mar 31

ended

34%

funded

25

pledges

Details

A long-range (500 m) wireless modem compatible with Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

As Featured In

Atmel

This long-range wireless, Arduino and Raspberry Pi-compatible modem offers superior power consumption and indoor performance.

The AxAvior module is a secure wireless modem with superior range, power consumption, and indoor performance. AxAvior employs mesh networking - allowing you to create your optimal Internet of Things (IoT) network. In addition to being available as a modem module, AxAvior is available on a shield for Arduino/Raspberry Pi, and in a development platform for engineers looking to develop the module itself.

AxAvior Module

AxAvior Module

How AxAvior works

Wi-Fi is often not available, consumes too much power, or the range is insufficient. So the AxAvior module was designed to use the band from 868 to 915/920 MHz providing 2-way communication to sensors, actuators, pumps and lights - using the standardized 6LoWPAN protocol (IPv6 over Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Network). AxAvior can communicate over considerable distances and has excellent indoor performance. Since the 6LoWPAN protocol is based on IPv6, it is easy for modules to connect to devices on your network.

Mesh networking

AxAvior modules create mesh networks where each module can reach any other module in range. Mesh networks allows routing of messages from one unit to another far away in the network. This is accomplished by the originating unit asking other units in between to relay the message to the target unit. Each unit has a reliable range of over 500 m (1500 ft), and each unit can relay messages, even forming multiple message paths.

It’s a modem

All this is implemented as a modem. You connect the modem module to your application processor (like an Arduino) and tell it to make a connection or to broadcast information. Easy to use AT-commands are used to control the modem over a universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (UART). This makes for fast implementation and poses little overhead. The UART is complemented with flow control on a character and block basis. Supported communication protocols are: CoAP, UDP and TFTP.

Available platforms

AxAvior shield - an Arduino/Raspberry Pi add-on

The AxAvior modem can be used as is with many processing platforms. But we also created a shield add-on to the AxAvior modem that plugs into a Raspberry PI (Model B) or Arduino Uno and which works as an Internet Gateway, so you can start your applications right away. Example Arduino source code is available to run a Coab based sensor application. And for the RPi, we provide the Linux image, so that you can route the AxAvior module connections onto your network.

Arduino Uno with AxAvior Shield

AxAvior Core - a development platform

The “AxAvior Core” is a development board. The AxAvior modem module is pre-installed and all I/O is brought to flat-cable connectors. The UART is connected through an FTDI USB-serial chip, so you can communicate with it from a PC. A JTAG connection allows programming using a debugger like J-Link or ST-Link V2.

If you are experienced writing code for ARM processors, you can make use of the AxAvior module’s on-board ARM processor to execute your application code. We will provide 6LoWPan libraries with the “AxAvior-Core” development board.

The Core board can be used to write product specific firmware so that sensors and actuators can be connected directly to the AxAvior module. To connect sensors easily, the AxAvior-Core board has a ‘slot’ for a Microbus Click board. In this use case, an extra application processor is not required, lowering the total cost. This is for more advanced engineers who can write code in C/C++.

The AxAvior’s ARM Cortex-M3 (STM32F101) processor is certainly powerful enough to handle all these tasks. The RF section is built around an AT86RF212B chip.

Most spare I/O’s of the processor are available on the module pins, so you can connect to the UART, SPI, I2C, PWM, analog inputs and digital I/O directly.

We will provide 6LoWPan protocol stack as source code with the “AxAvior-Core” development board.

AxAvior Core

AxAvior Core

Note: all campaign orders will receive a PDF lecture on protecting electronic products from counterfeiting.

Application examples

  • Smart home lighting
  • Smart CO2 ventilation control
  • Smart sensor data logging
  • City lighting control
  • City environmental monitoring
  • Parking lot occupancy monitoring

Modem Module Specifications

  • Reliable range in and around buildings
  • Range: > 500 m / 1500 ft (line-of-sight)
  • External antenna (may be integrated on your carrier board)
  • Relaying / Mesh routing
  • Uses standard 6LoWPan at 868 to 920 MHz
  • Bitrate up to 250 kbits/s
  • Power supply: 3.3 V
  • Active power: 60 mW
  • Inactive power: < 0.3 mW
  • On-board realtime clock
  • On-board 32-bit Arm Cortex-M0+ processor

Who we are…

Axtrel is a subsidiary of Engineering Spirit, B.V. Engineering Spirit has been the creative partner for smart applications and electronics since 1991. We convert the customer’s requirements into specifications from which we design and produce the product.

Axtrel provides customers with full-cycle support, from development of electronics and products across a wide range of applications, to production and testing. Axtrel has many satisfied customers in the fields of industrial, medical, and laboratory equipment.

AxAvior status

We’ve already designed the modem and the supporting development boards, and we have working prototypes - so the main challenge we face is manufacturing at scale. This is not the first project that we’ve put into production, so we’re confident that our timeline and costs are accurate. Since this product requires production in volume, we need your backing to cover (some of) these costs.

AxAvior Module Panel

A Panel of AxAvior Modules

FAQs

What kind of security can the module use?

The over-the-air communication can be encrypted using a AES-128 encryption with a network key (only known by the devices) according to IEEE 802.15.4.

And at a higher level (UDP) there is the possibility for DTLS encryption. The DTLS encryption is an end-to-end encryption.

Which operating frequency should I use?

Depending on location, transmitting is allowed at different frequencies:

  • 868MHz: Europe, Africa, the Middle East west of the Persian Gulf including Iraq, the former Soviet Union and Mongolia
  • 915MHz: USA, Greenland and some of the Eastern Pacific Islands.
  • 920MHz: Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil

What about the antennas?

Ah, the magical part. You need to use a 50 Ohm antenna that is tuned to the operating frequency. Each AxAvior Shield and Core is shipped with an antenna suitable for 868 and 915-920 MHz.

Note: AxAvior modules ordered as separate units do not have the SMA connector mounted and do not come with an antenna, but you may request them as ‘extra’ with your Pledge.

Why use a ready made modem?

The design of this modem and firmware incorporates many months of labor. All essential details and many features are implemented and tested, including: security and middleware (IP-stack, UDP, CoAP, TFTP). The modem makes use of a proven standard (6LoWPAN) that has good and open support community.

What’s open source on the AxAvior?

Open source are the 6LoWPan libraries and the radio chip driver. This is supplied with the “AxAvior Core”. The code for the modem is pre-programmed and not available as source code.

How does my support help?

We are a technology-driven company with ideas that are based on the most innnovative technologies available. With the help of Crowd Supply backers like yourself, we hope to launch this wireless technology in the maker community to help makers create amazing applications for their homes or for customers.

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Credits

Axtrel - Internet of Things


Sander Kool

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