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7 great applications of Silicon Labs Thunderboard Sense

James in Blogs on March 24, 2017

About James

Earlier this year we ran a promtion where we gave away about 25 Silicon Labs Thunderboard Sense dev kits. Part of throwing your hat in to win one was describing how you'd use the board. We got some great applications that we wanted to share. These descriptions show the versatility and range of the Thunderboard Sense. These should give you some inspiration or ideas on how you might use the Thunderboard Sense for your project. 

"My plan is to develop a unit to identify the "orientation or attitude" of an aircraft, particularly in small general aviation aircraft. Triggers and set points will determine if the aircraft has entered into an upset position of the aircraft, which could cause an accident - possibly fatal. If an upset condition does exist, alarms or indicators will alert the pilot to immediately orientation the aircraft to a safe attitude."
Mark W.

"Mini Mars Rover Prototype: collects environment data including pressure, temperature, visible and UV lights, gas and sound, while autonomous with the internal sensor. All the data transferred to a tablet through bluetooth low energy."
Chien C. 

"I plan on creating a sensor network for ski resorts for weather conditions on the mountain. The Thunderboard would be placed at the top of ski lifts in a waterproof enclosure with a solar panel. I would then use the device as a bluetooth beacon to notify the skiers and snowboarders as they reach the top. A notification would contain the current vertical height along with the temperature, relative humidity, air quality, air pressure, and UV index (Let them know if the need suncreen!). To get the vertical, I would utilize the on board pressure sensor by taking a reading during deployment at the bottom of the mountain and another reading at the final location, using the delta to equate the difference in height. I would also create my own app to generate the messages. For example, "Welcome to 9600 ft, the current temperature is 18F with a humidity of 25%, etc." I would also be curious to try to generate wind speed by using the amount of noise it creates on the microphone."
David S.

"IOT moisture sensor for Vorizon Smart Ag ecosystem. The Thunderboard is perfect for this application with industry best range and low power. It will be used with new long life Lithium Chloride AA battery and will provide years of service. It has the potential to become the defacto solution for water conservation and make a real difference!"
Keith P.

"Traditionally sensors for the Smart Agriculture industry are hard-wired into data loggers or monitoring equipment. The cables on sensors such as those buried in the ground to measure soil moisture are prone to damage from farm equipment or rodents. Protecting the cabling from damage can be time consuming and expensive. Replacing these cables with low-power Bluetooth Low Energy connections eliminates the risk of cable damage while simultaneously extending the distance from the datalogger and facilitating simplified installations. I would use the Thunderboard Sense as an evaluation platform to help demonstrate a whole new class of these low power wireless Smart Ag sensors."
Paul M.

"I recently bought a 3D printer for use at home. It's an open-frame design. I want to build a thermal chamber around it so I can better print ABS plastic. I'd like to use the Thunderboard Sense, along with the relative humidity and temperature sensor to control the thermal chamber. As an added bonus, with the humidity sensor, I can measure the amount of water evaporating out of the filament spool. ABS absorbs moisture out of the air over several weeks. When extruded, the water evaporates out at the extruder, causing uneven extrusion and poor quality prints. Measuring the water evaporated from the filament could alert me that the spool is wet and needs to be baked to dry it out again. I'd also like to stick the 6-axis inertial sensor on the top of the Z-axis gantry to tell me how much it's wobbling as the print head moves. That'll indicate if I need to shore it up some for a better print. One last thing I'd be interested in trying, although I don't have any experience there, is using the indoor air quality and gas sensor to check for off-gassing while printing. I've got the printer set up in my living room, and if it's going to kill me, I'd like to know now, rather than later."
Jason B.

"We would like to set up a wireless sensor network for both internal and external agricultural applications. We have outdoor fields where we need to know temperature and humidity to find the optimal harvesting date and time. In greenhouses we want to optimize the micro climate. We currently collect data using an UAV and an old crossbow Zigbee network, but the thunderboard module seems to be better."
Clemens W.

If you're looking for sensors for your IOT projects contact Symmetry and let us help. We'll be glad to get you going in the right direction.

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