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From idea to demonstrator, for a smart connected lock

Thaumalo develops innovative solutions to protect goods in furniture for both household and professional application. Thaumalo had already cooperated with Sirris for the concept and the feasibility of a new type of mechanical lock. The company contacted Sirris with its new idea for an active lock with wireless operation.

 

The development of an active and wireless connected lock presents various challenges. The opening and closing of the lock and the wireless communication have to be sufficiently energy-efficient to guarantee maximum energy autonomy. The safe and user-friendly wireless connection to smart phones and tablets, on the one hand, and with a cloud platform, on the other hand, is an essential requirement for the concept. Thaumalo asked Sirris for support with the general development approach, advice regarding the aforementioned technological challenges and the realisation of a proof of concept.

Development process

Sirris and Thaumalo drew up a development plan. The generic challenges of safe, flexible and energy-efficient wireless communications were discussed within the framework of the Mechatronics 4.0 collective project. Energy-efficient concepts using the Bluetooth communication protocol and remote sensing were discussed in collaboration with the IMEC IDlab research group. Sirris focussed mainly on identifying product requirements and monitoring the system architecture. Sirris also analysed the security aspects of the connection between the devices and between each device and the cloud. This study resulted in specific recommendations for the security architecture and for the required protocols for multiple users on various devices at a variety of locations.

 

Sirris also studied the mechanical aspects of the lock and especially the driver, which includes both the actuator and the control. For the final proof of concept, the driver, control, communications module and mobile example application were integrated in a demonstrator. 

 

Thaumalo was able to show potential customers the product concept and feasibility using this demonstrator. With the support of Sirris and its partners, Thaumalo could focus on the main technological risks at an early stage in the development. The objective advice and broad range of areas of expertise, mechanical design, electronics, embedded, connectivity and security provided by Sirris were considered to be the main advantages of the cooperation process.