How are you finishing up the last day(s) of 2021? We’re hoping that your days are not without beauty and joy this year, in spite of everything. As for us at Seeed, we’ve been working around the clock to share with you our December monthly recap! 😀 For this blog, we’ll cover 8 breaking news that you might wanna know about, 7 awesome projects from the community, 3 stories on how to deploy AIoT solutions to solve real-world issues, 6 technical write-ups, 2 successful manufacturing cases, 1 prototyping sponsorship, and 1 Giveaway. Some hottest topics like XIAO BLE, XIAO RP 2040, CANBed, Wio Terminal, SenseCAP, Seeed Fusion, Jetson Xavier, reTerminal, and the like will be highlighted! 😉
Now, are you ready to explore the wrap-up? Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the good read, for it’s gonna be the one insightful wrap-up to remember! Last but not least, we wish you a happy, inspiring, and hopeful new year 2022 in advance! 🙂
News that You Might Wanna Know️️
01. Seeed Featured in the NHK Documentary “The Experimental City: Shenzhen”
Let’s start by sharing a piece of exciting news: Seeed has been featured in NHK Japan’s (the biggest Japanese public broadcaster) 60-minute documentary called “The Experimental City: Shenzhen”. This documentary sheds light on tech entrepreneurs of Shenzhen, and highlights the concept of “Chinese Innovation” nurtured under a unique economic system. In this documentary, Seeed has been featured as one of Shenzhen’s exemplary open tech companies to talk about the significance of the glocal open source ecosystem and bottom-up innovation. Take a sneak peek at Seeed’s office, factory, and the interview with the Founder and CEO – Eric Pan. Check it out here.
02. Seeed Product Catalog 2021 Is Here (Available for Downloads)
And now, introducing you all to the new “Seeed Studio Product Catalog”! It’s a comprehensive online catalog for you to accurately explore, locate, and discover the whole galaxy of Seeed’s products and services at a glance. Indeed, on our new catalog, you can find thousands of hardware listings from popular tags like Edge Computing & Private Cloud, AI & Robotics, LoRa, and all across our classic Grove product lines, SenseCAP, reThings (reServer, reComputer, reTerminal, reSpeaker), Seeeduino, and many more! Need I say more? Get your catalog here right now! 😉
03. Janwaar Maker Space in the Making: Seeed’s Open Source Hardware for Rural Changemakers’ Self-Empowerment and Social Inclusion in India
In an effort to assist decentralization of digital education for rural children in India, Seeed donated open hardware products to Janwaar village, where the children and youth were inspired to learn coding and programming for the first time in their lives. Through embracing the learning principle of hands-on, DIY, and collaborative learning, they were self-empowered to have the ownership of technological tools, and to tackle gender inequality and casteism at village level. On this backdrop, this “Janwaar Maker Space in the Making” Project directly or indirectly accelerates the UN’s SDGs 4, 5, 10, 11, 9, 1, 17, 8 and 16. Discover more project details here.
04. Seeed Is Now a Member of China Association of Environmental Protection Industry (CAEPI)
At the end of 2021, Seeed has become an official member of China Association of Environmental Protection Industry (CAEPI). Founded in 1984, CAEPI is a national industrial association, which has been engaging various industry sectors in production, services, R&D, management, and other activities relating to environmental protection and ecological conservation. As an open tech company focusing on designing and manufacturing high-quality AIoT hardware products, Seeed is looking forward to extensively collaborating with CAEPI, system integrators, professional device distributors, and other organizations worldwide, to serve the needs of various environmental sensing, monitoring and protection scenarios. Don’t miss out the details here.
05. A Series of Collaborations with “TinyMLedu” Is Coming Up: Get Started with TinyML4D Workshop on Wio Terminal and Edge Impulse
Finally, we’re excited to share that Seeed will have a series of collaborations with “Tiny Machine Learning Open Education Initiative” (aka, TinyMLedu). TinyMLedu is an initiative aiming to improve global access to educational materials for tinyML, which is hosted by ‘Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ with tinyML Foundation. On 10th of December, TinyMLedu organized a webinar for their TinyML4D Academic Network, in which Seeed has been invited to carry out a “TinyML4D Workshop: Get Started with Wio Terminal and Edge Impulse”. During the workshop, Seeed’s Application Engineer (Huiying Lai) went through the basics of tinyML, Wio Terminal, and Edge Impulse, followed by a step-by-step project tutorial and a tinyML-powered project demonstration. Click to learn more here!
06. Seeed Featured in Sensirion’s Partner Spotlight: Launching Open Source Hardware for Real-World Sensing Applications
Over the last few years, it’s been a great journey for Sensirion and Seeed on working together to democratize more sensing technologies for a wider global developer community through launching a variety of open source hardware for real-world sensing applications. In recent years, we’ve launched growing portfolios of collaborative products, including but not limited to, Grove – SCD41 CO2, Temperature and Humidity Sensor, Grove – I2C High Accuracy Temperature and Humidity Sensor (SHT35), as well as Grove – VOC and eCO2 Gas Sensor. Seeed’s Founder and CEO – Eric Pan – quotes: “We are looking forward to further collaboration with Sensirion in the future to bring about a pervasive digital transformation of industries.” Read more about the partnership here.
07. Seeed Partners with Mender.io: Integration of Mender Client & Mender Server with Seeed’s ODYSSEY-X86, reTerminal, and Dual Gigabit Ethernet Carrier Board for Raspberry Pi CM4
We’re happy to announce the partnership with Mender.io a few weeks ago to offer developers more remote management capabilities including OTA software updates, configure, troubleshoot, and remote terminal access. By this joint-effort, developers are not only able to explore the integration of Mender Client and Mender Server with Seeed ODYSSEY-X86, but also to tinker with integration reference for reTerminal and Dual Gigabit Ethernet Carrier Board for Raspberry Pi CM4. Explore more here.
08. Recap: Azure IoT Solution Application & Practice Seminar in Shenzhen
Digitization has become an inevitable trend, within which IoT technology plays a huge role in accelerating the digital transformation. In order to share knowledge and expertise on how to apply IoT solutions to diverse vertical sectors has attracted avid attention from global developers. Thereby, on 17th of December, Microsoft Greater China Team and Seeed co-organized “Azure IoT Solution Application & Practice Seminar” at Chaihuo x.factory (a maker space owned by Seeed) in Shenzhen. The total turnout of the seminar was 50+ developers, who gathered to explore Microsoft’s Azure IoT, Azure Stack HCI, Azure IoT Plug and Play, and Azure IoT Edge. In the end, all the participants were facilitated to build up 2 prototypes for smart agriculture and smart office scenarios through hands-on learning. Get more seminar insights here!
Community Project Spotlight
（based on our LinkedIn impressions）
01. Using Seeed Jetson Mate as a 4 x Jetson Xavier NX Cluster for Machine Vision Laboratory
Dr. Robert B. Trelease (Professor Emeritus @UCLA Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine & UCLA Brain Research Institute) had a sharing session on his project, which used Seeed’s Jetson Mate with 4 Xavier NX modules to create a laboratory computing environment (aka, ‘edge appliance’). This project is keen on assisting AI research, development, and deployment of microscopic gears through 3D imaging applications. Look for more here.
02. Wio Terminal Project: A Monitor for Raspberry Pi
@The Craft on YouTube made a monitor for Raspberry Pi from the Wio Terminal controller. It shows us how to download a special program in the Wio Terminal and configure the Raspberry Pi. There’s a step-by-step wiki documentation on how to make a HMI Display for Raspberry Pi using Wio Terminal here. For those of you not familiar with Wio Terminal, Wio Terminal is an ATSAMD51-based microcontroller with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, powered by Realtek RTL8720DN. Wio Terminal itself is integrated with a 2.4” LCD Screen, onboard IMU(LIS3DHTR), microphone, buzzer, microSD card slot, light sensor, and infrared emitter (IR 940nm). All of these practical add-ons are carefully housed in a compact enclosure, making it an efficient and product-ready product. Discover the project details on Youtube here.
03. Wearable Sensor-Embedded Wrist Watch for Identifying Symptoms of Substance Use
How can AI and Machine Learning can assist people recovering from substance use disorder (SUD)? Researchers at UMass Chan Medical School found out that a wrist watch with embedded wearable sensors can help detect and differentiate certain periods of stress and craving, as the 2 indicators are possible triggers of substance use. This wearable sensor-embedded wrist watch was able to measure locomotion, heart rate, skin temperature, and electrodermal activity of 38 people with SUD. With more technological advancements in the least developed medical areas like SUD, global innovators are ceaselessly advancing the United Nations’s SDG 3 on Good Health and Well-Being. Take a deep dive into this project here.
04. Wio Terminal Project: Smart Weather Station with TinyML-Powered Prediction Capability
In Jonathan Tan’s tutorial, he explained how to use Wio Terminal to build a smart weather station with TinyML-powered prediction capability! More specifically, he shared a smart version of this weather station project that he created by adding the capability for Wio Terminal to predict current weather conditions. With an onboard TensorFlow Lite model, the Wio Terminal has been enabled to use real-time temperature and relative humidity data to make half-hourly weather predictions. Get your brain excited to find out how he did it!
05. reTerminal Project: A Simple Home-Automation Graphical User Interface
Graphical User Interface (GUI) can simplify the way of data demonstration, inspiring us to live a better and more convenient life. Indeed, to do just that, Ferdinand Stueckler created and shared his simple home-automation GUI project on YouTube, which deployed Seeed’s reTerminal. FYI, reTerminal is the next generation of Human Machine Interface (HMI). This future-ready HMI device can easily and efficiently work with IoT and cloud systems to unlock endless scenarios at the edge. Any questions? Click here to solve your curiosity.
06. Object Detection Algorithm with Deep Learning Applicable for Various Cameras
Qifeng Lu, one of our certified members at Chaihuo x.factory, developed this object detection algorithm with deep learning that can be applied to different kinds of cameras. In his demo video, it uses the camera of a DJI Mavic 2 to monitor, recognize and locate objects that the drone “sees” (=identifies). For reference, object detection has applications in many areas of computer vision, including image retrieval and video surveillance, that can even be applied to face detection and pedestrian detection scenarios. By adding flying cameras, object detection will definitely unlock more possibilities. Get inspired for more here.
07. Cardiac Operating System: Smart Telemedicine Platform Based on Wio Terminal and Amazon Web Services
The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything, especially the way we approach doctors to take care of our health. This made telemedicine a preferable option. Telemedicine software such as Electronic Health Records (EHR) makes it easier to work with patient’s health records, as well as to diagnose and treat medical conditions. However, some systems are cumbersome and are not sophisticated enough to provide useful and real-time data. To solve these challenges, one of our community members, Victor Alonso Altamirano Izquierdo, proposes a meaningful and smart approach. He makes a Cardiac Operating System, which is a smart telemedicine platform based on IoT devices like Wio Terminal, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), that provide vital signs and historical values, and adopt 5G to materialize real-time data collection and medical consultation. As a result, real-time heart rate and oxygen saturation level were shown on Wio Terminal’s screen, and it became much more accessible for the patients to check the data via healthcare APPs. Take a deeper look at Victor’s project on GitHub here.
New Open-Source Products & Updates
01. Seeed XIAO BLE: Tiny and Powerful nRF52840 Bluetooth 5.0 Board with IMU Sensor and Microphone
CNX Software featured Seeed’s recently launched XIAO boards on its website: Seeed XIAO BLE and XIAO BLE Sense boards (equipped with Nordic Semi nRF52840 Bluetooth 5.0 microcontroller, and an optional IMU sensor and microphone on the “Sense” model). The tiny and powerful Seeed XIAO BLE board can be programmed with Arduino, MicroPython, and CircuityPython, while providing two headers with 7-pin each for GPIOs. What’s really new is the wireless connectivity, the sensors, and a battery charging circuitry. Discover more about Seeed XIAO BLE products here.
02. Free Online Tutorials on Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino with 10 Sensors
“How to Electronics” is an online electronics engineering community, which is operated by enthusiastic electronics engineers. On this platform, they made an easy-to-understand and free online tutorial on learning Seeed’s Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino. This Grove Beginner Kit is composed of 10 sensors, and makes our life more convenient as it doesn’t need any breadboards, soldering, and external wires. They highlighted that, this Kit comes in handy for Arduino beginners since the gear makes it possible for them to solely concentrate on coding, programming, and Arduino learning. Start your DIY lessons on the Kit here.
03. New Product Release: CANBed, a Development Kit Containing Raspberry Pi RP2040, CAN Controller & CAN Receiver
About a week ago, Seeed has released “CANBed”, which is a development kit that comes with a Raspberry Pi RP2040, CAN controller, and CAN receiver. While CANBed’s CAN Bus development board equipped with powerful RP2040 has high-performance, CAN controller and receiver operate at CAN 2.0 up to 133Mhz. Moreover, it has a flexible CAN interface that can be used as a 4-PIN Terminal or D89 connector as OBD-II mode through a programmable Micro USB. To congratulate the birth of this product, James Lewis wrote an article on CANBed on Hackster.io. Visit here for more product information.
04. Seeed Japan Invited to Speak at Azure IoT Webinar Organized by Microsoft Japan
Our colleague from Seeed Japan – Takashi Matsuoka – has been invited to participate in the Azure IoT webinar organized by Microsoft Japan. For the record, Azure IoT has been applied to a wide range of industries including manufacturing, energy, healthcare, retail, transportation, and logistics. During the webinar, Takashi talked about how to connect Azure IoT with Seeed’s products that are certified by Azure (reTerminal, Wio Terminal, and more). Luckily, this webinar has been recorded, and is now available on Microsoft’s Cloud Developer Channel on YouTube (speaking in Japanese with auto-generated multi-language subtitles). Have a listen to the full webinar here.
05. XIAO RP2040: Microcontroller Using Raspberry Pi RP2040 Chip Featured by Tom’s Hardware
By the way, have you met our XIAO RP2040 yet? It’s a microcontroller using Raspberry Pi RP2040 chip. It runs up to 133MHz, and is built with rich interfaces within a tiny-thumb size, that fully supports Ardunio, MicroPython, and CircuitPython. Such onboard interfaces are perfect for developing multiple applications. Les Pounder (Associate Editor of Tom’s Hardware) has wrapped up a detailed review on the product: “Seeed’s XIAO RP2040 is a diminutive board. It looks too small to be useful, but appearances can be deceptive. … Seeeduino XIAO which looks identical to the XIAO RP2040 is identically priced at $5.40. The XIAO was an impressive board, but the XIAO RP2040 brings the RP2040 SoC to the table and with that we have a much more powerful microcontroller, for zero extra money”. Read more of the interesting observations here.
06. Putting CircuitPython on Wio Terminal & Testing the Code Using the Built-in Speaker
@GurgleApps on YouTube shared a video on how to put CircuitPython on the Wio Terminal, and how to test out the code using the built-in speaker. In the video, they show us how to put MicroPython on it, how to get Arduino software, and how to connect to the Wio Terminal with a product review. Click here to find out how.
IIoT Solutions & Their Success Cases
01. Partnership with Zenus, Inc.: Consumer Behavior Identification Through Sentiment Analysis Using Natural Language Processing, Text Mining & Data Mining
Understanding consumers has always been prioritized on retailers’ to-do lists, but still, many retailers use traditional marketing methods to make product decisions that often fail to meet consumer demand. Thanks to today’s sentiment analysis that uses natural language processing (NLP), text mining, and data mining, businesses have a better opportunity to figure out what their customers are saying, and how they feel about the products they’re buying. By partnering with Zenus, Inc. (leading startup in fully-integrated behavioral analytics solution), we’re happy to provide an all-in-one solution sentiment analysis powered by NVIDIA Jetson, to simplify the process of sentiment analysis and fulfill retailers’ needs on consumer demand. More about the project and partnership, check this out.
02. Smart Tea Plantation in Mengding Mountain Enabled by SenseCAP LoRaWAN to Augment Resource Efficiency and Customer Trust for SDGs
SenseCAP LoRaWAN gateway and sensors were deployed in the IoTea Project to monitor crucial environmental data needed to ensure the optimal tea quality in Ya’an of Southwest China. Through this Project, the overall tea plantation management costs have been lowered, economic yields have been increased, and the tea plantation’s brand image has been upgraded to attract customers who care about food traceability and sustainability. By doing so, the IoTea Project achieves the UN’s SDGs 8, 9, 12, 10, 11, 1, 5, 6, 7, 2, 4, 13, 15, 16 and 17. Witness the unleashed potential of IoTea here.
03. SenseCAP LoRaWAN in Triticale Farming: Precision Agriculture and Sustainable Livelihood Development in Dingzhou, Northern China
Beishao Triticale Field Project elaborates on a deployment scenario of SenseCAP LoRaWAN gateway and sensors for smart agriculture solutions in a triticale field of Dingzhou City in Northern China. This will advance resource-efficiency, environmental traceability, and sustainable technological applications on the field. As a result, this will facilitate self-empowerment of the farmers to manage their triticale fields more precisely by grasping the crop’s conditions and needs with less labor inputs, and later gain higher yields. Overall, this Project contributes to the UN’s SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 17. Find out the project details here.
🌈 Prototyping and Manufacturing with Seeed
01. Manufacturing Case: UFMG Researchers Use Cellular Automata to Create Computational Art with Seeed’s Fusion PCB Assembly Service
Cellular automata is a kind of grid dynamics model where time, space and state are discrete, while spatial interaction and temporal causality are local. It has the ability to simulate the space-time evolution process of complex systems. Since 2017, Sandro Benigno has been working at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), and currently has been running “Computing Arts Laboratory” of the UFMG’s Fine Arts School. There, Sandro designed “Cellular Automata” boards for students and artists to create complex art and simulate nature, that was created by using Seeed’s Fusion Turnkey PCBA services. By collaborating with his colleague, he is planning to publish this project in a scientific journal, and looking forward to developing shields for the baseboard, including a Grove shield! Learn more about Sandro’s Cellular Automata project here.
02. Manufacturing Case: Solar-Powered Outdoor Air Quality Monitor Transmits Data Over LoRaWAN with the Help of Seeed Fusion
Did you know that air pollution caused by fossil fuels is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide? Gerrit Niezen realized the seriousness of this environmental problem early on, and started to take action. Over the past year or so, he started working on more open source hardware projects, like “Open Air Monitor”. The Open Air Monitor is a solar-powered, outdoor air quality monitor that transmits data over LoRaWAN networks. It measures particulates (PM1, PM2.5 and PM10) using a PMS7003 sensor, and has a STEMMA QT connector that can be used to connect with a humidity and temperature sensor. He used Seeed’s LoRa-E5 – one of the first modules that uses STM32WL (containing both: a microcontroller and LoRa RF in the same chip). It comes preinstalled with a LoRaWAN stack, so it was very easy to integrate into his air quality monitor. Discover how he did this here!
03. Prototype Sponsorship: Open Innovation for Marine Pollution – Wind-Powered Sailing Robot “Protei” Is Cleaning Oil Spills, Material Wastes, and Chemical Pollutants in the Ocean
In order to resolve the world’s oil spill issues caused by the Deepwater Horizon Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Protei (a wind-powered and automated sailing fleet robot) was developed by MakerBay and Seeed. By shifting its shapes according to water waves and wind directions, the robot has been useful in collecting and cleaning thin sheens of light oil on water surfaces. Thanks to the fact that it is robustly built to survive in harsh weather conditions and hazardous chemical zones, it is now also used to clean material wastes and other chemical pollutants in the ocean. Now, Protei is the ongoing result of glocal open innovation communities. Accordingly, this Project seeks to achieve the UN’s SDGs 6, 14, 11, 15, 3, 1, 7, 9, 8, 12, 13 and 17. Read more project insights here.
04. Giveaway: Speed up TinyML Development with Seeed XIAO RP2040 and FREE Prototypes with Seeed Fusion
Earlier this year, Seeed introduced the XIAO RP2040 to the XIAO family. With XIAO RP2040, you get the same powerful microcontroller as the Raspberry Pico, but with the popular production-ready XIAO form factor. It’s built with rich interfaces in a tiny thumb size, and fully supports Arduino, MicroPython, and CircuitPython. The onboard interfaces are enough for developing multiple applications, ideal for various wearable, TinyML, rapid prototyping. It’s also perfect for all the projects needing a mini Arduino, custom mechanical keyboards, USB development (USB to multi-channel TTL/USB host mode, etc.) and small projects. If you have an interesting concept for Seeed XIAO RP2040 custom design and are willing to share it with the community, share it with us and we can help you make it a reality with Seeed Fusion’s one-stop-shop capabilities. For each selected applicant, 2 PCBA boards fabricated and assembled completely free with Seeed Fusion’s turnkey PCB Assembly service will be given 100% FREE of charge! Apply here ASAP.
Notes at the end.
If you’re new to this session, here is a brief intro to it. We have gotten dozens of requests over the years for a Seeed Monthly Newsletter. Although we already have a newsletter for weekly updates, we still need a place to host overall information about what’s happened on a monthly basis. It can offer an efficient and friendly way to get updated for the whole community. And that’s what we expect for our Seeed Monthly Wrap-ups. Instead of putting it as a subscribe-to-read, we’re publishing them on our blog, keeping it as open and accessible as possible for the whole community. For each entry, we will cover awesome projects from the community, campaigns that we are running, new products, IIoT Solutions and even secret recipes of prototyping and manufacturing.