Lab Notebook: The Omnipresent Cloud

Author: Russell Muren


This post starts with a photo of my phone. Let's ignore the fact that I am still using an iphone 4S and focus on what is on the screen. This is live data of the MVP running miles away from my home desk where this photo was taken.

It shows 11 temperature traces that capture the performance of the system. From my home I can see that the MVP is running smoothly providing refrigeration to its cabinet. I can sleep soundly knowing that the MVP will send me a text message if the pump runs dry, if it sees any unusual temperature fluctuations, or if it detects even the slightest scent of leaking FPS. (on this last note, trust me when I say it is the slightest scent. The MVP can be annoyingly cautious about what it thinks constitutes a leak).

Just like we always have, we built the MVP around a suite of open source hardware data acquisition tools like Arduino. This time around however, we added in "The Cloud". Using services like we were able to collect, host, and visualize all our data remotely at no cost.

Luke, a mechanical engineer, was able to build this into the MVP in the here-and-there hours he was waiting for the MVP to generate validation data. If we were able to put this much remote data acquisition into the MVP which we built on a shoestring budget, I can imagine a pretty sweet cloud based diagnostic suite for the next scaled up system we build.