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Hungarian Innovation Aiming to use M2M Technology to Improve Data Collection

A growing level of connectivity, where machines communicate not only with us but with each other, brings about solutions that previously could only have been done by people. The Budapest Business Journal looks at a couple of examples being developed in Hungary.

Counting the eggs laid in a large chicken farm on a daily basis can be challenging in its own right. Yet the data obtained this way can provide farmers with vital feedback, for example, on the health status of the chicken. So how to go about it? Cubilog, a Hungarian ICT startup, offers a solution for the problem that uses a camera-based sensor to count the number of eggs rolling off the assembly line. But it also gathers data on the temperature and humidity, which can be used when comparing daily egg count. 

The startup has experience in devising solutions for farmers. Last year it created a remote monitoring solution for Gallus Kft., a large chicken breeding, hatching and manufacturing company. The system provides 24/7 remote surveillance at five sites. Should the quality of the air within the breeding facility deteriorate, or should the doors open outside shift hours, an immediate alert is sent to the security service. All the historical monitored features (such as temperature) can be obtained from a laptop or a mobile device. 

Humidity and Temperature 

A similar Cubilog solution is used at the Budapest Zoo. Some rare species, such as the leafcutter ant or the naked mole rat, are extremely sensitive to changes in humidity and temperature. Prior to introducing the system, keepers had to check on conditions hourly. Now they receive a message on their mobile devices in the event of any change.

Both solutions were created using Vodafone’s M2M system. Cubilog is now working on a system that is able to integrate any type of sensors used, say, in greenhouses, and communicate the data (pH, UV radiation, humidity, etc.). “What makes our system better than similar solutions in the market is that it can be tailor-made, and you can still connect any type of sensor to it,” János Huszár, project manager of Cubilog Kft. told the Budapest Business Journal. So, there is no need to change the existing devices, the start-up offers ready to use plug and play solutions.

While personal computers and mobile devices benefit from frequent software updates in terms of new functions and bug fixes, vehicles can only be updated in the workshop, which makes the software update process slow, and expensive. This can be really time-consuming, especially for those with new cars that have several on-board connectivity features such as online traffic information collection. Steering systems manufacturer ThyssenKrupp Presta has a solution that would allow software update on the go. “Installing/integrating certain features in the steering unit will make it possible for the system to download a new software version of, for example, navigation systems (maps) or even self-driving features,” András Balogh, head of platform and software development at ThyssenKrupp Presta Hungary told the BBJ. The development is in the pipeline, yet the final solution is always tailored to the certain carmakers needs. While the main idea is updating software while driving, it is also possible to update the system while parking (at home using a Wi-Fi connection) or with electric cars during charging.