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Beehive Monitoring System

BeePAD

Summary
  • Connectivity: LoRa/Sigfox
  • MCU: Arm Cortex M0 @ 16MHz
  • Memory: 128KB Flash, 16KB RAM
  • Silicon vendor: Nordic Semiconductor
Sector: Agriculture

The Bee Pad is a device that measures vital statistics within a hive to ensure optimum management and welfare for the resident bees. With precise weight measurements the beekeeper is able to service the hive at optimal times thus minimising stress on the colony and unnecessary visits. Knowing when the hive is ready for harvest allows the beekeeper to maximise yield. Alerts may also be set to notify the beekeeper of any sudden changes in hive weight which could imply the hive has been damaged, stolen or the swarm has left.

A collaborative Mbed community, rich Bluetooth APIs, ready to use industrial-grade sensors, driver software and easily accessible online IDE meant a part-time team of 1 engineer and 1 product manager could rapidly prototype their product. Once the proof of concept stage was complete, they switched to the offline tools to bring the product from concept to market in under 3 years.

Specification:
  • The Bee Pad uses a Nordic nRF51822 as an ultra-low power MCU that allows the system to consume just 9µA in standby and lasts for 1 year even when solar power is disconnected.
  • Updates are sent over LoRa or Sigfox every 30 minutes and stored in Google cloud based database.
  • Temperature and humidity sensor uses a Nordic nRF51822 Bluetooth Low Energy chipset that sends values to the main MCU to be relayed over LPWAN.
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