Implementations

Hibox – Modern self-service free-standing boxes

Get to know the phenomenal HiBox project!

Our client asked us for help in a project that is the result of the growing demand on the market for safe deposit boxes powered by batteries or renewable energy sources and operated contactlessly via mobile devices. Solutions of this type are used, among others, as:

  • lockers in gyms, swimming pools and other sports facilities,
  • key/parcel storage in hotels and facilities rented through websites such as Airb’n’b or Booking.com.
  • lockers in shopping centers or railway stations.

Hibox are universal boxes that can be used individually or as wardrobes. Their operation is virtually contactless, which saves money and increases hygiene. Low energy consumption, solar charging and a remote communication module mean that the device is not only ecological but also independent of additional infrastructure. Thanks to this, it can work wherever it is impossible to use competitive solutions.

See how we achieved what the competition could not!

Hardware

We manufactured the full hardware of the device, starting with an electronic PCB designed by electronics engineers and ending with the mechanical housing prepared by engineers. Following the customer’s guidelines, we created a BOM – a full list of materials for the device, which allowed us to optimize the costs of the device while maintaining the required functionality of the project. An additional advantage of this action is the increase in the product’s resistance to changes in the availability of elements on the market because, with a list prepared in this way, it is easier to find replacements if the manufacturer of a given element decides, for example, to discontinue the production of a given batch.

We used a microcontroller (uC) from the STM32/8 family in the PCB design. It was selected optimally from those available on the market, taking into account the required technical parameters, availability and purchase cost.

Another choice, resulting from the need to balance the energy required to power the device and the autonomy of the device, is to use communication via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Low power consumption and high versatility allow Hibox devices to be placed even in areas where it is difficult to obtain a connection.

Software & Firmware

The scope of the order included the creation of software supporting the device (firmware) and running on the so-called servers. software, including the processing of large amounts of data (Big Data) in the cloud (Cloud) and the creation of a responsive website.

We started coding the firmware in parallel with PCB assembly, based on evaluation boards (demoboards), which in practice sped up the work and shortened the time needed to release the product to the market. We based the firmware on the FreeRTOS operating system, optimizing the expected processor response speed to critical tasks. Ultimately, we shaped the following software layers in the project:

  • HTTP(S) – REST API, SNMP, NTP, MQTT,
  • OS (FreeRTOS),
  • LWIP (TCP/IP),
  • TouchGFX display drivers, peripherals and drivers GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, USB, Eth and more.

For this project, we assumed that the user would be able to view measurement data via a web browser. The data is presented to the user in a graphical form, including various types of charts, filtering, sorting, etc. Moreover, users may have different authorizations, i.e. access to all or only part of the data.

To effectively implement the above, we used:

  • performance simulations enabling the design of the system development path depending on its increasing load resulting from the growing number of users,
  • external, scalable cloud solution providers,
  • backend written in Node.JS, using the Nest.JS framework,
  • PostgreSQL database with replication to multiple servers to ensure scalability and data security,
  • “mosquitto mqtt” broker,
  • Angular to code a responsive website,
  • solutions integrating mass SMS sending solutions (e.g. serversms.pl), online payments (e.g. przelewy24.pl), accounting systems (e.g. Symfonia), as well as Enterprise solutions (LDAP authorization, Zabbix monitoring, etc.)
  • Kubernetes to ensure future high scalability of the system, through dynamic multiplication of servers depending on the network load.

Effect?

The client is very satisfied with the results of our work.

Design improvements introduced by IDO Electronics engineers have made the lockbox more versatile. The work system we used enabled us to quickly respond to changes in the market and competition, as well as introduce modifications suggested by end users during the design process.

Version 1.0 of the device is now working! We encourage you to visit our client’s website and check out all the possibilities offered by this ultra-modern locker: https://hibox.pl.

If you want to learn more about the technical side of this and our other projects, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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