Soracom’s Cellular IoT Challenge on hackster.io came to a close a few weeks ago, and we were overwhelmed with the number of varied, innovative, and creative submissions we received! Bob Hammell’s IoT River Monitoring Flow Meter took home the Grand Prize, but there were so many other impressive submissions in our Most Inspiring, Most Innovative, and Most Practical categories that we felt were also well-deserving of recognition.
Follow My Paws was awarded 1st Place in our Most Inspiring category, and its backstory is one that all pet-lovers can relate to — the stress of having to leave your pet on its own in a foreign environment. Specifically, Follow My Paws was created to monitor and combat the heinous treatment pets receive when they are transported in parcel services.
One of the key objectives of this challenge was for the contestants to learn about Soracom’s mission and gain insight and experience with our products. The guidelines of Soracom’s Cellular IoT Challenge were to create a product that did not require WiFi or Bluetooth, was powered by cellular IoT connectivity — specifically, Soracom’s 2G/3G/LTE connectivity — and made use of a Soracom IoT SIM card. Follow My Paws not only satisfied these requirements, but also incorporated AWS, Arduino, and a Seeed WIO LTE Board to create an efficient monitor that allows pet owners to ensure their pet’s comfort and well-being from miles away.
Follow My Paws’ monitor recorded four key measurements of the pet’s surroundings: ambient temperature, maximum acceleration, air quality, and air moisture. The hardware of the monitor consisted of an IoT Edition of a Grove Starter Kit by Seeed Studio, which is essentially a convenient and ready-to-go modular electronics package that allows for easy prototyping.
This package included an accelerometer that was then connected to the WIO LTE board — an open source gateway that allows for faster IoT GPS Solutions — on Arduino IDE.
The Follow My Paws project took advantage of more than just basic cellular connectivity by incorporating SORACOM Funnel — an adapter service that allows users to easily forward their device data to the cloud of their choice in a matter of minutes. In just a few clicks, the data from the pet monitor sensors was seamlessly transmitted to AWS without requiring a relay server, SDK installation, or on-device credentials.
The project also utilized several AWS services including AWS IoT (managed cloud platform to utilize other AWS services), AWS Lambda (event driven serverless computing), AWS SNS (messaging service), and AWS DynamoDB (data storage). These were combined to build both a real-time web interface and a messaging service that notified the owners of the pet’s condition.
For easy understanding and viewing of the pet’s conditions, the web interface was color-coded for easy understanding of the pet’s environment. For example, green indicated ideal range values for a pet’s comfort and well-being, while red indicated distressing conditions.
And for pet owners on the go, they were able to receive real time notifications on their mobile device updating them of their pet’s conditions.
Not only did Follow My Paws grant pet owners peace of mind during a usually stressful time, but it also gave pets a voice in a situation where they are otherwise helpless. Follow My Paws was able to successfully use SORACOM Air cellular connectivity, SORACOM Funnel, Seeed Studio LTE WIO, and several AWS services to unlock a previously inaccessible but crucial part of maintaining a pet’s well-being. It was definitely deserving of the Most Inspiring title!
If you want to learn more about Follow My Paws Hackster contest entry, click here.