The NODE is a low cost, GSM/GPRS enabled, Arduino based, ruggedly designed, universal data monitoring unit. Inspired by a research trip through Southern Africa working with organizations engaged with the “last mile” of vaccine cold chain delivery, a key realization for our team was that lack of real time field data was not just an issue for the vaccine space or even the health space more broadly, but rather a challenge that was and is affecting organizations in all fields.
However, with our engineering hats on, we realized that a solution to all these challenges could be achieved by combining a few “maker” level technologies – an Arduino, and a cell phone. We further realized that this one device could be tailored to many different fields through the addition of different sensors and attachments: a rain gauge and soil moisture sensor for the farming collective, a GPS unit and set of temperature probes for the blood bank shipment. This would simultaneously present one low cost and rapidly scalable solution to many fields, in place of the previous standard of highly specialized devices.
With that concept, a year of effort, and a trip around the world, the NODE was born. We have now piloted our device in Zimbabwe and prepared for manufacturing in Shenzhen, China. Specifically, we have been fortunately to work with the EcoFarmer division of Econet Wireless, in addition to local farmers in the Chinhoyi area on how to adapt the NODE to help with storage and processing of agricultural products. After receiving direct feedback from farmers in February, we look forward to making our first installations of the NODE in the agricultural space in May. While working on further piloting and an initial rollout of the NODE, we also look forward to refining our device and use case through the OpenIDEO process, and hopefully with IDEO in the future. Thank you for your consideration.
For more information on the NODE, in addition to live NODE data streams from around the globe, please check out our webpage here.
April 18, 2016 - Conversation with Ashley @ Markit Opportunity. Clear opportunity for initial NODE pilot with MO team in storage phase for red onions when moving to market. Would want to track temp/humidity along with weight of onions to measure water absorbtion rates and onion quality. Would also want to consider moving NODEs into market setting to measure loss of quality in that phase.
April 18, 2016 - Conversation with Eric Hager about ISABEL. Realized facing many similar challenges in really nailing down key use cases for our technologies. Clear room for collaboration between the Data Vis/Analytics focused ISABEL team and hardware focused NODE team.
June 13, 2016 - Example Sensors for use with the NODE: https://www.adafruit.com/category/35