Tag: IIoT

Internet of Things

Setup Raspberry Pi with Windows 10 IoT Core

Windows 10 IoT Core is Microsoft’s version of the Windows 10 operating system being built to run Internet of Things (IoT) devices. There are a few hardware IoT devices that Windows 10 IoT Core supports and can run on. One of these devices is the Raspberry Pi; specifically the Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3. This article lists out the steps necessary to load Windows 10 IoT Core onto a MicroSD Card that can be inserted into a Raspberry Pi to run Windows 10 IoT Core as the operating system.

Flash Windows 10 IoT Core to MicroSD Card

In order to boot Windows 10 IoT Core from a Raspberry Pi, you must first flash the Windows 10 IoT Core operating system to an SD Card that can be used to boot the Raspberry Pi from. To do this you need to use a Windows PC and the IoT Dashboard utility.

Step 1: Using a Windows PC, download and install the Windows 10 IoT Core Dashboard.

Step 2: Insert your Micro SD Card into your PC.

Note: Before you start, you’ll want to make sure you have an MicroSD Card that is supported by Windows 10 IoT Core. It’s important to be aware that NOT all MicroSD Cards are supported, with the primary restriction that they are at minimum a Class 10 SD Card.

Step 3: Run the IoT Dashboard app, and click on the “Set up a new device” button.

Step 4: Select the “Raspberry Pi 2 & 3” device type, and fill in the necessary configuration values, then accept the software license terms and click the “Download and install” button.

Something to note on the Wi-Fi Network Connection setting is that it will pull from the Wifi Profiles on your local PC. This means that you will be able to easily configure your device to connect to the same Wifi network your Windows PC is connected to once it boots up from the SD Card. You won’t need to plugin a display, keyboard, or mouse in order to configure anything, so long as you select the correct Wifi network.

Step 5: When prompted to erase the SD Card, you need to click Continue. Just make sure you are aware that this will essentially format the SD Card before copying the Windows 10 IoT Core image, so you will lose any data that’s existing on the SD Card.

Step 6: The tool will continue by downloading the latest release of Windows 10 IoT Core. This ensures that you always have the latest version that you’re flashing.

Step 7: After the download completes, the dism.exe command-line tool will then automatically kick off to flash the downloaded Windows 10 IoT Core image to the SD Card.

Step 8: Once the flashing is completed, the IoT Dashboard will show a message stating that “Your SD card is ready.”

Step 9: You can now safely remove the SD Card from your PC and plug it into the Raspberry Pi and power it on.

Connect to the Windows 10 Device Portal

One of the features of Windows 10 IoT Core that makes it easier to manage, especially with headless devices, is the Windows Device Portal. This is a web interface that is hosted on the Windows 10 IoT Core device by default. This interface allows you to perform some remote monitoring, configuration, and deployment options for Windows 10 IoT Core.

Step 1: Once you’ve booted up a device with Windows 10 IoT Core you can then use the “My devices” option of the IoT Dashboard to easily discover what Windows 10 IoT Core devices are connected to the network that your PC is connected to. To view some details about the specific device, you can double-click on the device in the list.

Step 10: On the info for the specific Windows 10 IoT Core device, you can click on the “Open Windows Device Portal in browser” link to open up a new browser window navigating to the Windows Device Portal for that device.

Step 11: When the browser opens up and connects to the Windows Device Portal, it’ll prompt you to login. The Username you need to use will be Administrator, and the Password will be the password you configured when you flashed Windows 10 IoT Core to the SD Card.

Step 12: Once authenticated, you will be logged in and able to access the Windows Device Portal.

Overall the tools from Microsoft, including the IoT Dashboard, are extremely easy to use. You don’t need to use any command-line tools or open any configuration files to install Windows 10 IoT Core to an SD Card. You can then simply insert the SD Card into your device and boot it up to get it running.

HardwareInternet of Things

Azure IoT DevKit Preview built with Arduino and VSCode

There have been a number of Azure IoT Starter Kits available for some time now. I’ve written about the Starter Kits in the past. Some of these like the Raspberry Pi Azure IoT Starter Kit from Adafruit require you to wire up sensors and things, while the GrovePi+ is similar to a Lego Mindstorm but for prototyping Internet of Things devices. It seems that Microsoft is finally consolidating onto a specific “Azure IoT Developer Kit”, and they’ve already made early previews available upon application. This new Azure IoT “DevKit” is a single board packed with sensors, buttons, OLED screen, and more! Plus, it’s Arduino compatible! Read More

Internet of Things

Microsoft IoT Central Enables SaaS-based IoT Solutions

Many software systems can become fairly complex with many different interconnected and communicating components. Internet of Things (IoT) solutions can especially become complex. Instead of individual tiers for each piece of the software system, an IoT solution can be composed of thousands or even millions of IoT hardware devices in addition to the backend tiers for processing data, predicting analytics, reporting, business intelligence, and on, and on. Internet of Things solutions are becoming some of the most complex solutions on the planet.

The newly announced Microsoft IoT Central is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution in the Microsoft Azure cloud that will help build, use, and maintain Internet of Things solutions. It provides an easier way to create connected products, and takes away much of the work necessary to build IoT solutions. Microsoft IoT Central reduces the complexity of IoT, thus enabling businesses to better utilize IoT to propel their business forward in the newly emerging age of IoT. Read More

Internet of Things

Announcing Azure IoT Edge

The all new Microsoft Azure IoT Edge brings down the power and capabilities of Azure IoT down to run natively on individual Internet of Things devices. This will enable scenarios that require much lower latencies to be built with real-time analytics and intelligence on running on the IoT devices (at the edge). Also, the devices supported include a broad range of IoT hardware which includes much more than just Raspberry Pi with the inclusion of lower powered devices as well.

Azure IoT Edge enabled you to build Hybrid IoT Solutions the bridge the gap and merge the Cloud IoT and local, device IoT capabilities into a single cohesive mesh. This allows you to easily orchestrate IoT cloud services in Azure to run on your IoT devices at the edge. This allows you to get the best of both Cloud and On-Premises worlds in your IoT solutions providing intelligence and analysis on the edge closer to your devices with up to 20x reduction in decision latency!

Here are some of the benefits and advantages of using Azure IoT Edge:

  • Run artificial intelligence at the edge
  • Perform edge analytics
  • Deploy IoT solutions from cloud to edge
  • Manage devices centrally from the cloud
  • Operate with offline and intermittent connectivity
  • Enable real-time decisions
  • Connect new and legacy devices
  • Reduce bandwidth costs

The Azure IoT Edge was just announced today at Build 2017, and promises to be a truly great advancement in building IoT solutions. Microsoft even showed a really great demonstration of implementing it in Industrial IoT that resulted in 20x reduction in decision latency and emergency response in a factory.

Azure IoT Edge looks really awesome, and I look forward to learning more about it!