The Internet of Things solution from Matrix





The Internet of things (IoT) is a term that describes the adoption of Internet connectivity onto physical devices and everyday objects. Internet connectivity extends into embedded electronics  within many forms of hardware devices, which include control, monitoring and sensors, that can communicate and interact with others over the Internet. Additionally, they can be remotely monitored and controlled. Industry 4.0 is a name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It includes the Internet of things, machine control system and cloud computing that can combine to produce what is often referred to as a “smart factory”. Industry 4.0 is commonly considered as the fourth industrial revolution and involves the cooperation of physical systems, processes, machine and human communication in real time both internally and across organisations.




The Matrix TSL Internet of Things kit (MI0899) is designed to allow students to study the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 for automation and control. The kit is based on a Raspberry Pi MIAC controller running Raspbian and Node-RED software. The MIAC controller has an LCD display, keypad, 8 analogue inputs, 4 transistor (FET) outputs and 4 relay outputs. It is housed in a plastic case with 4mm connectors that allows students to easily build a number of circuits with sensors (switches, potentiometer, light, temperature) and actuators (motor, solenoid, bulb). A Locktronics panel and several components are included so that circuits can be quickly put together. The unit is supplied with MIAC specific Node-RED nodes that can be easily used to control the input and output signals. This associated briefing document shows students how to get the hardware and software up and running and gives suggested applications that the students must put together to learn how systems will be controlled using IP technology in the future.


The Matrix IoT kit (MI0899) and this guide is designed to provide the following learning objectives:

• Sense and actuator circuits based on industrial controllers

• Node-RED software and flows
• Construction of browser-based GUIs using Node-RED

• Communications protocols including MQTT
• IOT data security
• Cloud based applications and data processing


The kit is designed to allow students to give consideration to current trends in technology.

  • Suitable for BTEC Higher National Unit 45: Industrial systems
  • Suitable for Internet of Things related courses at level 3 and beyond


Introduction to IoT protocols

There are many protocols and wireless technologies, such as MQTT, CoAP, DDS, AMQP, LoRaWAN, Bluetooth, ZigBee, Wi-Fi and NFC, used by IoT applications. The MQTT connectivity protocol, in particular was designed as an extremely lightweight, low power, low bandwidth messaging transport. The MQTT protocol consists of three core components or mechanisms: Publisher, Broker and Subscriber. This provides for efficient distribution of information to one or many receivers. There are a number of freely available tools for testing, demonstrating and using the MQTT protocol:

• Eclipse Mosquitto is an open source message broker that implements the MQTT protocol, providing services to both Publisher and Subscriber.
• MQTT.fx is an open sourc

e MQTT client that can Publish and Subscribe to a broker.

Create a Node-RED flow that uses the MQTT node to publish data messages to a broker, such as Mosquitto and examine the data by subscribing to the broker, for example with MQTT.fx




IoT security

IoT security is the technology concerned with safeguarding connected devices and the networks between them. Allowing devices to connect to the internet potentially exposes them to any number of serious vulnerabilities if they are not properly protected. Therefore, implementing security measures is critical to ensuring the safety of networks with IoT devices connected to them. It is essential not only to protect the integrity of data being sent from IoT devices to central systems, but also ensure only authorized devices connect with such systems. Basic to this protection is the use of encryption and authentication.

Find out more about the IoT kit from Matrix here! 

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