Canadian Manufacturing

Mohawk announces research partnership with Motsai to develop IoT sensor

Mohawk College researcher partners with Motsai to develop prototype of a unique IoT sensor device the size of a postage stamp.

August 30, 2021  by CM Staff

Dr. Esteve Hassan, Mohawk’s IIoT Research Chair, and a team of three students from Mohawk’s IIoT and Sensor Systems Lab will work jointly with Motsai to develop a new micro-sensor system (MOUVION) to be used as part of the company’s IIoT platform.

A new applied research collaboration between a Mohawk College research team and Quebec-based Motsai will try and determine if a postage stamp-sized electronic modular can hold more powerful capabilities and functionality than those found in larger platforms.

Dr. Esteve Hassan, Mohawk’s IIoT Research Chair, and a team of three students from Mohawk’s IIoT and Sensor Systems Lab will work jointly with Motsai to develop a new micro-sensor system (MOUVION) to be used as part of the company’s IIoT platform.

Motsai provides smart sensor product development and technical consultancy services to support smart and connected products. Established in 2010, the company works across a wide range of sectors, including industrial monitoring, healthcare, agriculture and mining. While each sector faces its own unique challenges, Motsai noticed a common theme amongst its clients – a need for a modular and configurable Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sensor that could fit into smaller spaces without requiring major hardware design changes. Dr. Hassan proposed that the company prototype a second-generation IIoT device based upon his research in micro-sensors.

Most conventional IIoT/smart sensor devices are closed systems that use one type of communications system, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, or LoRa (Long Range). While some smart sensors do allow for multiple configurations of different communication systems, they are often too large to be used by many industrial clients, says Dr. Hassan.

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“Many of Motsai’s clients want to adopt IIoT technology within their facilities but equipment structure and available placing volume limits the quality of probes and sensor signals,” explains Dr. Hassan. “We will collaborate with Motsai to design and prototype an IIoT sensor that is not only flexible and configurable, with respect to the systems it uses to communicate and transfer data, and is also smaller than anything commercially available on the market.”

As part of the project, Dr. Hassan will also develop a new conceptual tool to train students nationwide in building and deploying IIoT systems.

The project will be funded by an NSERC Engage grant; Engage grants are designed to help Canadian companies access college expertise to solve company-specific problems.

The applied research sensor project will serve as a proof of concept for MOUVION, the company’s new IIoT device, says Motsai founder and president Jean-Samuel Chenard.

“With modular data transfer options and re-configurable sensors, MOUVION will help our company build better solutions for our clients,” says Dr. Chenard. “We’re grateful that Dr. Hassan proposed this collaboration to accelerate the development of this new sensor for the platform. MOUVION will serve as a foundational platform for a range of customized products that can track equipment deterioration to planning preventative maintenance, leading to safer and smarter industrial operations.”