Talking IIoT vs Doing IIoT

There are many people an companies talking about the ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ and how you can do so many smart things because of it.  I have also done it – I’ve even written about how IIoT can improve factory efficiency and make predictive maintenance and failure prediction much smoother.  However, there is a difference between talking about it (Industrial Internet of Things) and doing it.

Don’t get me wrong!  I am by no means saying the people that talk about it don’t know how to do it, but they don’t always show and tell!

I have found a simple modular solution that addresses learning, making and developing.  It is called XinaBox (or X-in-A-Box).

XinaBox at Eduweek

RS Compents South Africa piqued my interest about the launch of this product earlier this year.  The people I spoke to at RS could hardly contain their excitement and I finally got to see the XinaBox in action at the 2018 Eduweek.  Here I am with the XinaBox plugged into a Raspberry-Pi Pi-Top:

XinaBox and Pi-Top at Eduweek 2018

Ben Dixon, XinaBox Chief Technical Officer, presented a quick workshop on how to get started at building a weather station with the STEM Starter Kit.  Among the participants of the workshop were interested parents, media, geeks and beginners.  At the end of the workshop, everyone was able to get real time temperature readings from the kit they assembled and programmed themselves.

The XinaBox STEM Starter Kit (XK01)

The STEM Starter Kit consist of the following:

  • WiFi Core – 1 x CW01
  • USB Programming Interface – 1 x IP01
  • OLED Display 128×64 – 1 x OD01
  • Blank xChip – 1 x MD01
  • UVA, UVB, Light Sensor – 1 x SL01
  • Advanced Weather Sensor – 1 x SW01
  • 10-Pack xBUS Connectors – 1 x XC10

Developing, Making, Learning

As mentioned before, the XinaBox comes in all kinds of kits and was designed from the word go to be modular and compatible with just about everything.  In other words, it achieves simplicity through standardization.

XinaBox requires no hardware knowledge and therefore you can just get on with the coding, learning and/or product development you had in mind.

The modules are called xChip and include cores/CPUs, sensors, power, communication, output, and storage, using a connectivity standard without the need for wires, soldering or breadboards (click on the word if you don’t know what it is).

You can choose from XinaBox’s industry standard processors running almost any OS or interface to popular single board computers. This includes Microsoft IoT Core, Mongoose OS, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Beagleboard, Dragonboard, Minnowboard, Micro:bit and many more.

What STEM education is all about

If you’ve read any other post on this blog, you will know that youth development in South Africa is a major passion of mine.  Here is a video from XinaBox’s YouTube channel that encapsulates the purpose of any STEM related program.  It is a testimonial for kids, by high school kids:

Related posts:

STEM vs STEAM: what about i-STREAM-e?

Innovation in STEM education (iSTEM)

Early childhood learning using robotics

IIoT examples: data from instruments


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