AMTech – The M2MBridge

The AMTech M2MBridge is a node.js service that implements the AMTech IOT Protocol.  The M2MBridge can run in a variety of devices; for our demos we currently have it running on a Raspberry Pi 3 using Ubuntu MATE.

The M2MBridge includes a core and an extensible plugin architecture, plus a growing set of plugins.  The bridge is a common component of most real-life IOT applications connecting edge devices to the sensor and reasoning layers of the AMTech platform, providing intelligence at the edge, and supporting security, access control, auto-configuration and other key properties of real-life deployments.

Here is a sketch of the Bridge Functionality:

Picture5

We used the M2M Bridge to control RFID antennas in the ProgressNEXT Conference App at Las Vegas and in our recent NativeScript MeetUp in our Palo Alto office.  In both setups the bridge used the LLRP plugin to control the RFID readers, which were connected to the antennas via coax cable.

In the case of ProgressNext, the bridge was running on a laptop and was controlling 3 RFID readers, connecting to them via the hotel internet.  In the case of our MeetUp, we used just one RFID reader that was connected directly to the Raspberry Pi 3 via an ethernet wire.

BridgeSetups-1

The MeetUp setup was logistically simpler: we configured the pi3 as a DHCP server and it could talk directly to the RFID box; at Las Vegas we had to work with the IT administrator of the hotel to whitelist the laptop and the RFID readers so they could talk to each other.

BridgeSetups-2In both deployments the bridge connected to an AMTech tenant to receive configuration data and to push observations and receive commands.

The AMTech M2M Bridge functionality includes:

  • Support for many devices andM2M protocols – e.g. SNMP, LLRP (for RFID), iBeacon and eddystone, etc
  • Support for device-to-device and device-to-cloud communication – e.g. LoRa, BLE, etc
  • Centralized management of IOT devices and gateways
  • Configurable Edge Intelligence
  • Configurable Auto-Discovery
  • Access Control and Customization of observations at the edge.

One of the nicest features of the M2M Bridge is the centralized management of IOT devices and gateways: when a M2M Bridge instance starts, it connects to its corresponding AMTech tenant to extract the configuration details from there, which makes it very easy to adjust the configuration of the production of observations (events).  Another very useful feature is the ability to clone a configuration so multiple M2M Bridge instances inherit the properties from a master setup.

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