- Finding an IoT gateway to manage LiDAR sensors deployed as part of a smart surveillance system
- Finding compact, fanless IoT gateways that could be quickly and easily deployed to manage LiDAR sensors
- Deploying a decentralized system with one IoT gateway managing a single LiDAR sensor
- Finding an IoT gateway that can reliably and optimally run The Customer’s LiDAR sensor application.
- The Customer chose the RCO-1000 Series because of its ability to run its open-source software to manage its LiDAR sensors for smart surveillance.
- RCO-1000 Series is efficient yet powerful enough to collect, store, process, and analyze information from LiDAR in real-time.
- Compact size and universal mounting bracket allowed for easy and quick installation of the devices.
- RCO-1000 Series utilizes a fanless design that enables it to be deployed in environments where the system will be exposed dust and debris while doing little maintenance on the system.
- Real-time processing of LiDAR sensors data for real-time decision making
- The modular DIO ports allow IoT gateways to activate alarms or take other actions if the data sets off certain triggers with simple programming
- Ability to quickly and effortlessly deploy IoT gateways thanks to their compact size and universal mounting bracket that makes mounting on ceiling and walls very easy.
- 24/7 reliable operation with minimal downtime.
One of the biggest challenges facing retailers in the United States is theft. Theft comes in many forms; sometimes it’s a dishonest employee taking cash from a cash register, other times it’s someone taking a product and walking out the front door without paying. Regardless of how theft occurs, it costs the global retail industry over $100 billion dollars annually.
To combat employee theft and customer shoplifting, as well as to increase the security and safety of its retail locations for its customers, a large home improvement retailer in the United States deployed a LiDAR-based surveillance system to work alongside a camera-based surveillance system for enhanced security and safety.
So, for The Customer to deploy its LiDAR-based surveillance system in the retailer’s stores, The Customer required an industrial-grade IoT gateway that could manage its LiDAR sensors, and that’s when The Customer turned to Premio for its portfolio of compact IoT gateways that are purpose-built for reliability.
Example of image from lidar sensors / Credit: Wired.co.uk
The Customer featured here is a leading provider of LiDAR sensors for smart surveillance systems. The Customer wanted to deploy a LiDAR-based smart surveillance system in the stores of a leading retailer of home improvement supplies. The retailer operates thousands of stores throughout the United States, offering a comprehensive variety of tools, construction products, and services to its customers. To improve the security of its stores and improve the overall customers’ shopping experience, the retailer sought to deploy The Customer’s LiDAR smart surveillance solution throughout its stores with LiDAR sensing software and purpose-built computing hardware.
Key Customer Features with Smart LiDAR Surveillance Solution:
Accurate, 3D object detection, tracking and classification
Smart Lidar Data
Real-time, anonymized, low-bandwidth data output
Multi-lidar aggregation, scalable over large areas, configurable perception zones
Ease of Integration
Small sensor form factor, browser-based application
24/7 availability, rugged lidar design with environmental protection
“A lot of the other lidar manufacturers are just focused on making sensors but we’ve developed the whole package,” he says. “We’re taking that lidar data and we are presenting usable information with what that technology is seeing and that is the classification and detection of these objects or potential threats being human or a vehicle, etc.” - Director Of Business Development for leading LiDAR Technology Company
The Customer came to Premio, looking for an industrial computing solution to manage a network of LiDAR sensors. This is so because LiDAR on its own is not intelligent; it requires an IoT gateway to collect, store, process, and analyze the data provided by the LiDAR sensors. So, The Customer turned to Premio for a turnkey industrial IoT gateway that could manage the LiDAR sensors it wants to deploy in a retailer’s home improvement stores.
Initially, The Customer opted for a centralized computing solution that would connect to all of the LiDAR sensors located throughout the retail location; however, The Customer quickly realized that routing all of the cables back to the central box was time-consuming, expensive, and challenging to do.
So, The Customer decided to deploy a decentralized system with one-to-one connectivity where a single industrial IoT gateway was used to manage each individual LiDAR sensor. A one-to-one system is much easier to install since cabling does not have to be added throughout the retail store to connect each individual LiDAR sensor to a central industrial computer. Instead, each LiDAR sensor would be managed by a dedicated IoT gateway.
For those unfamiliar with LiDAR, it creates a 3D image of an area by utilizing light to send out laser pulses to measure the light that’s reflected off of objects. The speed of light is then used to measure exactly how far away an object is, providing a 3D image of the environment. Although the technology is commonly used in autonomous vehicles, it’s also being used for security and surveillance applications to reconstruct environments in much detail, as well as provide information such as the size, direction, and velocity of objects with centimeter accuracy. This is a very different approach to smart surveillance monitoring and tracking from traditional camera-based security systems.
“Lidar technology is old technology being modified for new world challenges. Especially in security, there hasn’t been a lot of new, innovative hardware… so this just adds that next layer of proactive threat detection.” - Director Of Business Development for leading LiDAR Technology Company
Retailers want to protect their business, customers, and employees from theft as well as provide customers with the best and safest shopping experience possible. Installing LiDAR throughout retail stores adds a layer of security in addition to camera-based security systems.
In addition to improving the shopping experience, intelligent LiDAR computing solutions offer better privacy protection than traditional camera-based surveillance systems because the system collects only the 3D shape of objects; information such as hair and skin color is not collected by the system.
For example, LiDAR, along with the intelligence added by combining it with IoT edge gateway, enables the entire package to intelligently track and identify objects with extreme precision.
For example, Intelligent LiDAR solutions are able to track customers who wander into an area that’s designated for authorized personnel only by assigning an ID to each person in the store and tracking them throughout the store. So, if a person enters into a zone that’s closed off to the general public or comes close to a hazardous object, the lidar will alert management, bringing management’s attention to the situation.
Furthermore, the IoT gateway can be used to trigger an alarm or alert when customers enter unauthorized areas of the store, protecting both the business and customers. The IoT gateway running The Customer purpose-built software can differentiate between humans, animals, and other objects, enabling intelligent tracking and security. Furthermore, the IoT gateway can be used to trigger an alert or alarm when boxes or objects fall onto the ground, alerting employees to clear the area for the safety of customers.
Furthermore, IoT gateway software can be programmed to track individuals without visually identifying them and sending alerts to management when an abnormal event is detected.
Also, lidar can be used to better manage the flow of people, which is especially helpful in retail stores where crowding often occurs.
To deploy a smart LiDAR-based surveillance system, The Customer partnered with Premio to customize an industrial IoT gateway that could intelligently manage the LiDAR system. Premio’s RCO 1000 Series fit the bill and provided all of the features that The Customer was looking for, as well as reduced the total cost ownership and provided peace of mind with a reliable long-term product that could withstand the retail environment in which it was deployed.
The Premio Solution
The Customer chose to pair each individual LiDAR sensor with a single IoT gateway. For the solution, The Customer chose Premio’s RCO 1000 Series of industrial IoT gateways because they are able to provide efficient, low-powered data collection, storage, processing, and analysis at the edge.
The RCO-1000 was able to operate at the edge while providing sufficient performance for each of the individual LiDAR sensors it was connected to. The RCO 1000 series was tested and validated to ensure that it could run The Customer’s open-source LiDAR software.
Ultimately, the edge computing solution was able to collect and analyze raw LiDAR data at the edge in real-time. Additionally, the IoT gateway can be used to run machine learning (ML) algorithms and perception algorithms on top of the sensor data for invaluable insights into the operation of the business.
Also, integrating the RCO-1000 IoT gateways enables independence from the cloud in that the system can continue to operate even without an active internet connection for mission-critical reliability. When internet connectivity is restored, the system can off-load critical information to the cloud for remote monitoring and control.
Furthermore, The Customer wanted a rugged solution that was durable enough to withstand deployment in a retail environment, and they were delighted to find that the RCO-1000 fit their required specifications without modifications to the original base design.
The RCO-1000 is equipped with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports for blazing-fast data transfer speeds at the edge, as well as two COM ports and 4 USB ports, offering more than enough I/Os to connect the systems to The Customer’s LiDAR sensors and the main hub.
Although Premio’s RCO-1000 IoT gateway provides both wired and wireless connectivity, The Customer chose to connect the LiDAR sensors to the RCO-1000 industrial gateway via ethernet cable for added robustness and reliability. Wi-Fi connections can often experience interruptions, and devices can become disconnected, making wired ethernet connectivity a viable, more reliable alternative to connect the LiDAR sensors to IoT gateways.
Moreover, The Customer chose Premio’s IoT gateway for LiDAR smart surveillance because of the compactness of the solution and the universal mounting kit that comes with every device, allowing for quick and easy installation to walls or ceilings.
Additionally, the RCO-1000 employs a fanless design that makes the system fully enclosed, preventing dust and debris from entering the system to damage the sensitive internal components. Failing and failed fans are the leading cause of the malfunction of electronics and computers, and so eliminating them entirely from our system creates much more reliable and durable solutions that require little to no maintenance. Furthermore, the fanless design permits businesses and organizations to deploy them in environments where regular consumer-grade desktop PC will fail because they are designed and built for use in homes or offices on desks, not industrial deployments where they will be exposed to shocks, vibration, dust, and debris.
The Customer turned to Premio after being drawn in by the rich portfolio of industrial IoT gateways that Premio has to offer. Here are some of the benefits of Premio’s IoT gateway solution:
- The RCO-1000-J1900-10 IoT gateway supports The Customer’s LiDAR sensors to gather, store, process, and analyze its data in real-time at the edge at the source of data generation. Also, it was able to run The Customer’s LiDAR application.
- The decentralized network of RCO-1000 IoT gateways offered The Customer the ability to easily and quickly deploy its LiDAR solution throughout retail stores.
- The network of LiDAR sensors can operate independently from the cloud in the event that internet connectivity is not available.
- The RCO-1000 is able to store, process, and analyze data near the source of data generation, allowing the retailer to act in real-time to any triggers that the data sets off.
- Thanks to Premio’s robust engineering and design, the RCO-1000 is capable of withstanding wide voltage inputs (9 to 50 VDC), wide operating temperatures (-25°C to 70°C), and high shock and vibration levels 5GRMs of vibrations and 50Gs of shock in compliance with the MIL-STD-810G Standard.
- The RCO-1000 has been stress tested and validated to operate reliably 24/7 with minimal downtime.
- The RCO-1000 was configured with an isolated DIO (general purpose input-output) port, allowing the device to activate an alarm or take other action that is programmable through on/off basic coding.
RCO-1000-J1900-10 Key Specifications
- Intel Bay Trail Atom™ or Celeron™ Processor on-board System-On-Chip
- Wide Operating Temperature (-25°C to 70°C)
- Anti-shock/vibration, Rugged and Cableless Design
- Dual Independent Display
- Ultra Compact Form Factor
- Multiple Configurations with Comprehensive I/O Support
- SIM Slots for Cellular Mobile Communication
- TPM 2.0 Support
- Programmable DIO Port for on/off automation trigger