How the Odyssey X86 Elevates Industrial IoT

Odyssey X86 is a single board computer (SBC) run by an x86 processor. Based on Intel Celeron J4125, a quad-core 2.0GHz CPU, there is also an onboard ATSAMD21 Core, an ARM Cortex-M0+ MCU that allows you to program Arduino on it. 

It also comes with plenty of features such as 5G compatibility and dual gigabit ethernet! It is also compatible with our Grove Ecosystem! All of these makes the Odyssey X86 a great SBC. However, it also allows the Odyssey X86 to be an optimum addition to an Industrial IoT (Internet-of-Things) system!

In this article, we will be going through how the Odyssey X86 elevates Industrial IoT. This article will cover:

  • What is Industrial IoT?
  • Odyssey X86: IIoT Case Studies
  • Why Choose the Odyssey X86?
  • The Future of IIoT

What is Industrial IoT (Internet-of-Things)?

Before we get into what is Industrial IoT, we first need to understand IoT?

What is IoT (Internet-of-Things)?

By definition, Internet-of-Things refers to the networking of physical devices that are fitted with sensors, actuators, software and network connectivity that enables them to collect and exchange data. It is referred to as the “infrastructure of the information society”. This is because data AKA information is a key thing IoT systems are built for. The aforementioned sensors, actuators, software and network connectivity creates a system for data to be collected and transmitted to other machines or devices that allows them to use the data for their purpose. This creates an entirely autonomous system.

This system integrates the physical world into a computer-based system. The efficiency and accuracy of data collection and exchange translate into economic benefits. Therefore, IoT is a network of physical objects that are embedded with sensors, software, and various technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices.

Now that we know what is IoT, we can then move on and learn about…

What is Industrial IoT (IIoT) then?

In a previous article, we mentioned that Industrial IoT is the application of IoT in the context of transforming industrial processes such as manufacturing, agriculture, logistics etc.

Industrial vs Consumer IoT, Source: Vector Software

IIoT, as the name suggests, is used for industrial purposes such as manufacturing, supply chain monitoring, and management systems. IIoT generally uses more sophisticated devices to extend existing manufacturing and supply chain monitors to provide broader and more detailed visibility to enable automation and data collection.

IIoT sensors are more sensitive and precise as compared to consumer IoT. That is why product quality is often labelled as “Industrial-grade”, to signify that the product is suitable for industrial applications that require more precise data as well.IIoT connects critical machines and sensors in high-stakes industries such as aerospace, healthcare, defence and energy. These are the systems that cannot afford to fail as it often results in life-threatening or emergency situations. 

Industrial IoT shares similar key objectives in automation and optimisation as other IoT. However, Industrial IoT stands out as the largest growing IoT markets, with the market predicted to reach an astounding value of $123 billion in 2021. 

Odyssey X86: IIoT Case Studies

As mentioned, Odyssey X86 is packed with plenty of features that are very applicable in an IIoT system. In this section, I will share and elaborate on these features, and also some real-life examples.

Edge Computing: Cluster Computers

A significant feature of the Odyssey X86 is the ability to build Edge Computing applications with its powerful CPU and rich communication features, and one of these applications is Cluster Computing. As explained in a previous article, cluster computing is groups of computers that work together so that they can be viewed as a single system.

Data Center with big Clusters
Source: EasyTechJunkie

Cluster Computing on Edge refers to clusters that are physically located in the local space. “On the Edge” refers to the processes being handled in the local space, which is a direct contrast to cloud computing, where the processes are handled remotely. Computing on Edge brings great benefits such as little to no latency and increased data security.

A drawback of cluster computing on Edge, however, is the large physical space required. As seen in the picture above, clusters can take up a significant amount of space for the size of each computer. Clusters are normally found in data centres. However, Odyssey X86 are Mini PCs with a small form factor. Therefore, Odyssey X86 can be clustered together with a small form factor while still providing the benefits of Cluster.

Three Odyssey X86 clustered with a Wio Terminal dashboard
Source: THENEWSTACK

Clusters are usually deployed to improve performance and availability over that of a single computer while being more cost-effective than single computers of comparable speed or availability. 

Benefits that come with clusters:

  • Allows easy data recovery in event of data corruption or loss,
  • Allow parallel data processing,
  • High processing capacity,
  • Low frequency of maintenance routines,
  • And reliable.

You can read more about Cluster Computing here!

Kubernetes Cluster with Odyssey X86

Three Odyssey X86 clustered with a Wio Terminal dashboard
Source: THENEWSTACK

Janakiram MSV from THENEWSTACK used three Odyssey X86 to run a Kubernetes cluster based on K3S 1.19. 

Kubernetes is an open-source platform for managing containerised workloads and services. It is one of the most popular ways to deploy clusters in 2021. Think of it as an interface that helps you manage your clusters; scaling resources for each computer, making the most efficient use of your hardware.

There are different distributions available for Kubernetes, and Janakiram MSV plans to use his Odyssey X86 cluster to test and evaluate the different distributions available. 

Read more of his tutorial on Kubernetes Cluster with Odyssey X86 here!

Edge Computing and Cluster Computing for IIoT

There are various uses and benefits of using Cluster Computers on Edge for IIoT. 

Self-Hosted Private Cloud Server

You can do it with a single computer setup, but using a cluster allows you to scale this project up indefinitely. You’ll be able to host more data and applications to meet any kind of needs that you or your organisation have!

Your IIoT system collects many data blocks every day. Having your own cluster computer server to store that data is more cost-effective than a cloud server, or a traditional full server rack! In addition, you will have added security with your own internal network.

Maintenance Automation (Predictive Maintenance)

Example of Predictive Maintenance
Source: ScienceSoft

Edge computing allows systems to have automated maintenance procedures. IIoT sensors and actuators can be remotely monitored and repaired without human intervention with Edge computing. Edge computing can enable several corrections actions on IIoT equipment such as running diagnostic checks, reporting to a charging port, initiating replacement component purchases, and raising maintenance work orders. 

Autonomous Orange Juice Dispenser by Seeed

At Seeed, we have helped our client build their smart juice machine based on the ODYSSEY X86J4105

Source: Coconuts Hong Kong

The smart vending machine automatically squeezes juice from orange for the customer upon order, a brilliant example of field manufacturing enabled by industrial IoT. The machine is controlled by its mainboard, the Odyssey X86, which is used to control its actuators. The whole system is also connected to the cloud for easy monitoring and maintenance.

Autonomous Juice Machine with ODYSSEY x86

From here, the Odyssey X86 is proven to be powerful enough to be controlling a screen, several actuators, and connecting to the cloud with utmost reliability.

5G Connectivity with Odyssey X86 and its benefits for IIoT

Odyssey X86 comes with an onboard Sim card slot. A big difference between this mini PC and its peers is the ability to use 5G cellular network!

5G availability has increased a lot during the past year. The number of cities with 5G networks is 1,336 globally, a 350% increase since 2020. This is how fast 5G networks are advancing around the world, and it is a very good thing for IIoT.

The main advantage to 5G compared to its predecessors is its speed! It has low latency and greater bandwidth which accelerates the rate of data download, enabling the use of real-time data in industrial operations.

Proven Results

Here at Seeed, we have tested the 5G connectivity speed on the Odyssey X86, and the results are astonishing. 

We first test out the 4g speed on the Odyssey X86 and it shows a 40.35Mbps download speed and 39.00 with 43ms of ping.

Next, we tested the wireless wifi speed on the Odyssey X86 and it shows a 250.73Mbps download speed with 71ms of ping.

For the star of the show, we tested the 5G speed on the Odyssey X86 and the results shown 315.26Mbps download speed with 25ms of ping!

It is inevitable that 5G is superior in speed and latency and Odyssey X86 is able to provide that. Having 5G will greatly benefit IIoT operations

Source: Siemens

Enhanced Process Efficiencies

5G enables superior and enhanced process efficiencies on the shop floor. For example, 5G will be able to enable visual robot systems in real-time through advanced visual recognition and deep learning neural networks. With a real-time data source provided for these quality checks, there will be more efficiency.

Superior People and Production Tracking Facilities

5G technology can enable easy mobility within the plant, even at the periphery of the premises. The high speed and low latency of 5G allow flexibility and agility to track staffs, logistics and also supply chain management. This can allow better workplace safety across the plant, and any problems arising in any parts of the plant can be taken action upon as soon as possible.

There are many more advantages of 5G. However, the best thing about 5G is that it allows flexibility and agility for manufacturers to indulge in new technologies with ease!

Odyssey X86 Dual Gigabit Ethernet

Odyssey X86 comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports. With two network interface, you are able to “bond” them together, which allows your Odyssey X86 to use one ethernet to send and the other to receive. This will double your internet speed. This also makes it perfect for pfSense and OpenWrt applications. 

However, the biggest advantage of Dual Gigabit Ethernet for IIoT is the ability to connect to different networks remotely. For instance, the computer can be connected to a network for cloud computing, while also being connected to an independent internal network for troubleshooting and security purposes.

This can be seen as very useful in situations where you do not have easy physical access to the computer but still need to access it remotely or via the internet. 

Why Choose the Odyssey X86?

Simplicity

The latest Odyssey X86 sports not only an Intel Celeron J4105, but also an ATSAMD21 Arm Cortex M0+ that is able to run the easy-to-use Arduino IDE. Both the x86 CPU and the MCU and also work simultaneously to do different tasks such as machine learning, or even interpreted languages like MicroPython or JavaScript! This is a significant feature for IIoT applications. All of these is packed into a single mini PC for easy usage, without the need for different technologies making the system complicated

Go here to learn how to connect use your Odyssey X86 with Arduino IDE!

Multifaceted Advantage

All the aforementioned features in the previous section show how much the Odyssey X86 can do by itself. With its availability of I/O ports and the x86 CPU and MCU, the possibilities are endless. The X86 is no challenge to complicated tasks. When you use them as a cluster, the increased performance brings its versatility to a whole another level.

Easy Accessibility

Features such as machine learning and Edge computing were previously reserved for companies with high finances. However, the Odyssey X86 is now able to bring these ‘futuristic’ features to everyone with its easy availability on our website. The Odyssey X86 runs fast, and keeps processing on the device with its Edge computing technology allowing companies to greatly increase their ability to collect and analyse data with ease and security.

Go to our store to learn more about the Odyssey X86!

The Future of IIoT

In the past, manufacturing was limited to single machine controls with no network to work them autonomously. Right now, most companies are adopting smart IIoT networks to interconnect their sensors and actuators to create a fully autonomous system. This brings better efficiency and reliability, also reducing labour costs.

IIoT is always on the path to improving its efficiency with smart and more effective solutions. The future of IIoT will include more emphasis on enhanced device communication and predictive maintenance for all IIoT systems. It will be moving into the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

Enhanced Device Communication – Better connectivity between sensors and actuators

Enhanced device communication, as its name suggests, refers to devices in the IIoT system being able to transmit and receive data faster, and more reliably. With faster data transmission and receiving rate, it can provide more versatility as to how the system is being used. For example, faster data transmission can allow real-time tracking of fleets of delivery trucks or supply chain management. 

A step that IIoT is moving into is to use 5G to allow enhanced device communication. As mentioned previously, 5Gs availability is increasing at 350% on a global scale, and it offers much faster speed and lower latency. 

Predictive Maintenance – To be able to fix before the issue arises

As mentioned, Predictive maintenance is maintenance that monitors the performance and condition of equipment during normal operation to reduce the likelihood of failures. The goal of predictive maintenance is the ability to first predict when equipment failure could occur, followed by preventing the failure through regularly scheduled and corrective maintenance. 

It has been utilized since the 1990s, though not many people know what it is. Currently, as technology is advancing at a very high rate, many companies that adopted IIoT is looking to go one step further into implementing predictive maintenance systems for their system. 

The Odyssey X86 has the features available to meet all these requirements. For instance, the Odyssey X86 has 5G, and edge computing capabilities. With these, implementing the Odyssey X86 will allow your IIoT system to be future-proof for many years to come. 

Summary

The Odyssey X86 is a Mini PC that can elevate and be your next Industrial IoT Solution. It is packed with future-proof features, with many capabilities that can allow you to work with even the most complicated of systems.

You can read more about it here and purchase one here! Do leave any questions you have in the comments.

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