RapidAIM CTO Darren Moore discusses the digital crop protection company’s latest innovation: Remote Firmware Upgrade.
Q: Darren, what is Remote Firmware Upgrade (RFU) and why is it such an important step forward in RapidAIM’s offering?
A: RFU is critical as it enables us to remotely and securely update the software on our fleet of traps, wherever they’re located on the planet. Think about the way your smartphone automatically performs periodic updates with security patches and new features: this is basically the same thing.
Q: What does this mean for a crop grower or a biosecurity surveillance program using RapidAIM’s pest management solution?
A: It means that our customers are guaranteed to have a product that keeps up with the pace of our innovations. We’re constantly improving the performance of our devices and are actively developing new algorithms to detect other pests, such as Codling Moth. So if a customer is already subscribed to our fruit fly detection service RapidFLY, then we will be able to seamlessly enable our upcoming codling moth detection service RapidMOTH on their existing traps via a simple remote firmware upgrade.
Q: What were some of the technical challenges you encountered while implementing this new functionality?
A: Our smart traps communicate with the cloud via a cellular Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network. This allows them to have 18+ month battery life and means that they can be deployed anywhere where there is mobile phone coverage, with significantly longer range than a mobile phone typically provides. The drawback is that the speed and quantity of data transfers is far lower than what’s available on a smartphone – think kilobytes instead of megabytes. Our engineers developed fantastic technology for robust, secure and efficient transfer of new firmware over these constrained communications links.
Check out our digital crop protection services and find out how we can help you manage fruit fly pests more efficiently in a cost-effective manner.