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    I've wanted to broaden the selection of products (hardware, software or both) that I offer for RoadTests. We've done a lot of great test equipment lately. And I've tried to expand our dev board offerings with FPGA-SoCs. But this one is a little different. It's from Opto 22 and it's called the groov Box.

     

    groov is a a way to build operator interfaces to monitor and control systems and equipment using mobile devices and other computer-based systems. These operator interfaces can be viewed on almost any mobile device or computer. From the looks of it, you may think it's some kind of automation controller. Hmm... not quite. It is used in automation systems. I am told the company has used their products in test automation. But the product itself is an operator interface appliance on the network's edge to provide visualization, data handling, and connectivity to automation systems, software, databases, and devices.

     

    The groov Box includes two independent 1-GB Ethernet interfaces and USB expansion for wireless LAN interfaces. It brings data from process control, OEM machines, manufacturing and building systems, and IoT systems to the Cloud so others can use it if they have a need to.

     

    What can it do?

    • Visualization: With browser-based groov View, you can build an operator interface to see and interact with data from sensors and automation systems, cloud applications, databases, web services, and more. You can view the interface on any brand device, from a smartphone to a computer to a web-enabled big-screen TV.
    • Data Handling: The key to IoT usefulness is getting the right systems and people access to the data so they can benefit from it. Built into the groov Box are Node-RED, an IoT rapid application development environment, and RESTful APIs to groov Data Stores. When a Enterprise license is added, you will have available Ignition Edge® with OPC UA and MQTT/Sparkplug.
    • Connectivity: You can connect to all kinds of devices and systems to monitor and control them and move data between them. Devices typically include:Modbus®/TCP devices, Opto 22 SNAP PAC controllers, Cloud applications, IoT platforms, on-premises databases, and external web services, Allen-Bradley® and Siemens® PLCs using OPC UA (Requires a groov Enterprise license).

     

    What does it include?

    • - groov View for building and using your own custom operator interface to the sensors, data, devices, and systems you need to see, monitor, and control.
    • - Node-RED, an open-source, multi-platform software tool for wiring together databases, cloud applications, and APIs to produce IoT applications quickly and inexpensively. Learn more about Node-RED.
    • - Ignition Edge (requires a groov Enterprise license), a product of Inductive Automation®, providing an internal OPC-UA server and drivers plus an MQTT Transmission module with Sparkplug payload. More about OPC and MQTT in IoT applications.
    • - groov Admin for configuring networks and security, backing up and restoring projects, using Node-RED, configuring Ignition Edge, updating groov software, and viewing system status.
    • groov is available as either the standalone groov Box hardware appliance or the PC-based groov Server for Windows software.

     

     

    I'm adding a bunch of documentation for those of you who want more information.

    User Manual

    Quick Start Guide

    Node-Red for groov

    Tutorial

     

    What do you think about roadtesting this product?