Hardware design | Firmware design | Prototype build and assembly
Skinspots had a great idea of publicly displaying the ultraviolet index of the sun at any point during the day so that beach goers in New Zealand can appropriately dress to protect themselves from the harsh sun. They also wanted the UV index to be displayed on their website so that people will be aware of the UV index before heading over to the beach. They had bought and installed an off the shelf UV meter on the Maunganui beach, but it was fraught with battery and communication problems. Hence, they approached us to design and build a large display UV meter which could be installed outdoors on beaches and elsewhere. They also wanted telemetry data from the UV meter to be transmitted to the cloud from where the data could be viewed on an user interface accessible through an URL.
Our scope of work involved the complete design of the electronics hardware together with embedded firmware. It also involved the selection of a suitable IP rated mechanical enclosure, a suitable large size display, establishing communication so that the telemetry data could be transmitted, build the prototype, and calibrate the device so that the UV index is correctly displayed.
The display toggles between the UV index and the ambient temperature.
The main challenge in this project was to find a suitably sized large display to display the UV index and the temperature alternately. There were no large size E-ink display available at the time we commenced the project. Therefore, this had to be specially engineered and the risk was the inability of the chosen supplier to produce the display. Having a backup supplier was not an option to mitigate this risk as it would double the engineering costs. Therefore, the only way was to be in constant regular touch with the chosen supplier and support them and help them deliver the displays, which we did.