All posts by Thomas Holthöfer

19 Aug 2019

MICA Container Development Video Tutorial

HARTING’s Edge Computer MICA® is a pioneer in virtualization for embedded devices and compact IoT gateways. On a very slim base system, the system uses Linux containers to virtualize applications on a field device. Each application can be isolated and encapsulated in its own container. Since MICA is designed as an open source IoT device, containers can be configured or developed by the user.

In a video tutorial, the MICA development team shows the individual facets of container development. The tutorial in English is a basic training for container development by users. The entire tutorial is built as a playlist of individual chapters; This makes it possible to selectively select individual modules.

10 Steps (Chapters) to develop your own MICA Container

  1. Introduction
    A quick overview of the MICA system architecture and the busybox and Debian development containers.
  2. hosts and resolv.conf entries
    Every MICA container has its own network settings. This video shows how to configure the container network settings and how to authenticate the container with the MICA single sign on service.
  3. Helper Libraries
    For C and C++ developers, HARTING provides some helper libraries that facilitate making calls to the JSON RPC interface. This video shows how to integrate them into your projects and how to work with JSON RPC calls.
  4. README
    Even the most intuitive software needs documentation. This video demonstrates how to create an online help file for MICA containers using Markdown.
  5. Diagnosis Container
    In this video we demonstrate how the MICA container lifecycle works by building a container that starts, monitors, and shuts down another container.
  6. Additional Network Container
    This video demonstrates how to get information about a container and reconfigure it by adding an additional network interface to a container.
  7. Get State JRPC
    This video demonstrates how to get information about a container and reconfigure it using the micarpc libray.
  8. Configure Callback Script
    In this video we demonstrate how to use callback functions to interactively pass parameters to a script running inside a container.
  9. Frontend Development
    MICA user interfaces use a mix of Javascript, CSS and HTML. This video shows you how to edit the web UI using the Mozilla code inspector and how to add and connect new UI controls.
  10. Cross Compile
    The last video in this playlist guides you through cross compiling C++ code for the MICA from a PC using the gcc-linareo toolchain.

You can find the complete MICA Container Development Tutorial Playlist here on YouTube…

19 Aug 2019

MICA Road Test with Swimming Exam

Gough Lui from electronics distributor element14 has put the MICA Industrial IoT Kit to a practical test that has it all. First of all, say: MICA can not swim, but dive for a long time.

For two and a half weeks, the setup consisting of MICA USB and Bosch CISS sensor had to withstand the weather with temperature differences of more than 30 °C, including morning dew and blazing midday sun. Detailed information on the prevailing weather conditions during the course of the test is provided by the Node-RED Dashboard, which visualizes the values ​​measured by the CISS sensor such as temperature, humidity, pressure and brightness in a time curve. Power comes from a car battery, but only if the 15 watts solar panels cannot deliver.

Final Exam: Can MICA Swim?

As a final practice exam, the MICA was subjected to a swim test in a simple plastic tub filled with water. A quick check of the PushPull USB and M12 connectors and then the “jump” into the cold water. The result: Although MICA cannot swim, it can deliver data properly for over an hour under water. Exam passed!

In a second test, Gough demonstrates the functionality of the GPIO interface and the operation of the MICA in the higher temperature range up to the permissible 75 ° C limit. Again, MICA shows that it is “made to survive”.

23 Mar 2018

MICA.network at HANNOVER MESSE 2018

The network showcases solutions for machine data pooling and ERP applications based around the MICA® Edge Computing System on the HARTING stand (hall 11/C15) at this year‘s HANNOVER MESSE. The “last mile” – access to process data from the shop floor – is often the biggest hurdle for Industry 4.0 concepts. Network partners can provide the right kind of solution expertise through cooperative projects.

Assystem uses a demonstrator to show how data science and machine learning can be used to identify new connections and optimise operating processes, thereby reducing production costs. Machines communicate with each other, accessing internal and external data. In doing this, Assystem is able to demonstrate its huge depth of experience in the field of M2M communication with OPC/UA. The Assystem solution is a flexible system that works independently of the manufacturer‘s automation technology and can be retro-fitted to existing plant.

Machine data for a transparent value creation chain

SDI Innovation introduces its new Bluebox.SDI software tool for the monitoring, visualisation and analysis of actual and target conditions for production equipment such as CNC processing tools, injection moulding machines and production lines. The tool features pre-built applications such as TPM, OEE calculations and trend analysis. When installed on a MICA®, Bluebox.SDI can be deployed in a production system quickly and easily in decentralised mode. Dashboards with display, entry and selection options also make the solution ideal for fitting to assembly plates.

The SIEVERS GROUP also presents an IoT solution HANNOVER MESSE that has been developed with HARTING. Users can use it to link machine data with other information throughout the production process. MICA® captures the operating data from individual machines and equipment. The SIEVERS GROUP combines this with ERP and business intelligence applications.

Processing digital and analogue sensor values in real time

“From sensor to cloud” is this year’s headline theme from akquinet. The Hamburg based company is on the HARTING stand, using transparent applications to demonstrate how digital retrofits can be carried out with MICA®, modern sensor technology and open source solutions. akquinet uses the new CISS sensor from Bosch, which records physical factors such as temperature, humidity, vibration and incline. This is offered as an Industrial IoT kit alongside MICA® from HARTING. With the addition of analysis and visualisation services from akquinet, machine operators can implement efficient, comprehensive condition monitoring across different machinery already in place.

Trade visitors can also explore another application – where MICA® converts analogue signals from an angle transmitter into digital condition monitoring. akquinet uses MICA® with an IO Gateway function circuit board from DWave for this. The Italian hardware specialist is one of the latest partners to join the MICA.network. DWave’s special function circuit board for modular hardware processes analogue and digital signals in real time.

HARTING also introduces a Modbus RTU based solution for monitoring wear in automobile production. The sensor unit provided by MICA.network partner Forms Media records and monitors vibrations and three-dimensional movement in slowly rotating and moving objects. This solution can also be combined with the new MICA® Wireless. Sensor data can be transmitted via WLAN or mobile telephony for intralogistics applications, for example. HARTING also exhibits a MICA® version for IO link developed in collaboration with TEConcept.

“Tapping” Industrial Ethernet communications

A HARTING collaboration with the German Research Center for Artifical Intelligence (DFKI) shows how accurately machine data can be logged with the example of a MICA® based PROFINET sniffer. Any automated industrial system with SPS and the Industrial Ethernet Standard PROFINET can be passively “tapped” with it. The existing process is not interfered with at all. By “tapping” the communications with MICA®, all exchanged data (e.g. sensor values and actuators) can be made available to Industry 4.0 applications via open standards such as MQTT and OPC UA.

21 Aug 2017

Blogger Peter Oakes to test MICA

Peter Oakes is a technical blogger living in Canada. With his YouTube channel he offers “a place to learn new things related to electronics, test and measurement and programming of micro-controllers” to more than 15000 subscribers. In this video he puts MICA to the acid test.

 
02 Mar 2017

MICA certified for “Microsoft Azure for IoT“

HARTING MICA® zertifiziert für Microsoft Azure for IoT

Microsoft’s certification process places certain demands on end devices which work with Microsoft Azure services. As a result, the MICA went through a series of tests provided by Microsoft in order to evaluate the functionality of the hardware. The results validated by Microsoft mean MICA meets the requirements of the “Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT” programme.

The “Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT” programme is also intended to help speed up IoT projects with Azure by providing a set of available sensors and devices that are tested for usability and compatibility with the Azure IoT Suite. 
More information can be found on www.azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/marketplace/certified-iot-partners/.

With Azure, Microsoft provides a collection of integrated Cloud services to create, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of data centres.