“IoTizing” Retro Data Loggers

Why. By creating a small LoRaWAN radio device (shown in images above) that plugs into the back of expensive Rotronics data loggers, we were able to enhance the Rotronics loggers with IoT capabilities so that sensed data is automatically sent to the cloud for analysis and storage rather than being logged locally. As such, we repurposed retro data loggers (which were expensive and accurate) as IoT devices, potentially lengthening their useful lifespan.

What. Rotronics data loggers are accurate reliable devices for monitoring the environment including temperature, humidity, and CO2 sensors. However, sensed data is only held locally in the device and needs to be manually downloaded. In todays world of wireless technologies, IoT and cloud this approach is archaic and rendering these expensive devices increasingly obsolete. We developed a LoRaWAN radio device that plugs into the back of Rotronics loggers and automatically transmits collected sensor data to the cloud over LPWAN networks, thus giving the Rotronics logger additional IoT capabilities and potentially extending its useful lifespan.

We developed the LoRaWAN radio device as a kit and ran a workshop where participants could assemble their own device, attach it to a Rotronics logger, and view the sensor data online. This workshop also helped to teach the basic concepts of IoT, LPWAN and cloud computing.

How. Physical prototyping, digital fabrication, electronics, cloud computing, workshop

Who. In collaboration with James Hare.