Adroit was featured as a key partner at the recent launch of the new Spark Innovation Studio in Auckland, showing off a new, high-tech data buoy designed for aquaculture monitoring. Spark launched the new Innovation Studio to support Kiwi businesses, helping them to identify how emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G can help them adapt, transform and grow.

The studio will allow businesses to test technology solutions on all networks (4G, 5G, Cat M1, NB IoT, LoRaWAN) and co-create their own solutions alongside some of the best technology engineers and experts New Zealand has to offer. It features four interactive zones that showcase how emerging technology can help key sectors such as agriculture, aquaculture, utilities, transport, logistics, councils, government and health and safety to benefit from the digitisation of their business operations.

Adroit Data Buoy Featured at Spark Innovation Studio Launch

In the past year, despite limitations caused by Covid lockdowns, Adroit has been rapidly building their reputation as New Zealand’s leader in sensor-based systems, with a particular focus on clean-water monitoring for farms and aquaculture.

“There are so many trends pushing this technology forward,” says Internet of Things (IoT) pioneer and founder of Adroit, Ulrich Frerk.

Ulrich Frerk demonstrates data buoy monitoring abilities

“From the urgent need to reduce carbon consumption, new clean water legislation, or simply to improve efficiency – all these issues are coming to a head just as a new generation of sensors, devices and cloud-based platforms are coming onto the market. Get ready for an explosion of exciting, business-transforming technology!” he says.

Smart environment technology demonstration

Adroit’s recent installations include measuring water quality and nitrates on a land-based farm; measuring salinity and water temperature for a salmon farm; monitoring plant health in a CBD skyscraper’s gardens; and now, measuring water-quality with a Data-Buoy called ‘Murray’.

Smart data buoy installation final stages

Murray has been deployed to provide real-time monitoring of salinity and temperature at the Westpac Mussel Farm in the Firth of Thames in partnership with Spark IoT and the Spark Cat-M1 network.

Watch the video about the data buoy and read more about the project

Salinity is a key metric for any aquaculture farm as it is an important indicator of product health. The data buoy not only provides accurate and reliable salinity data in real-time, but it can also alert farm operators when salinity falls below regulated levels. It also provides the ability for MPI to collect data via APIs to meet reporting requirements.

“The potential for IoT in New Zealand’s increasing every day,” says Frerk.

“Businesses are looking at how they can get real-time information to make immediate decisions, but over time, data collected will help the business map trends that will help them better anticipate potential problems, and also project productivity and profitability.

The value of that cannot be overstated,” he said.

To build an effective data buoy means contending with weather, corrosive saltwater, algae and remote locations with limited cellular coverage. This is where Adroit’s partnership with Spark comes in.

“We’re in the middle of an ocean and we’re still able to capture data from a device floating in a remote harbour without any problems. Spark Cat-M1 allows, over a cellular network, to be able to capture data in real-time, without any issues of coverage,” Frerk says.

Data buoy launched and operating

Murray is a great bit of engineering, utilising some of the world’s best components and the Adroit team are confident that the prototype will become the industry standard in the near future.

“Adroit’s philosophy is to work with the world’s leading specialist device suppliers and to provide the cloud-based platform to bring all these devices together in a coherent IoT ecosystem,” Frerk says.

Adroit platform showing data from data buoy

The Adroit platform is the heart of that IoT system, with data from sensors received into the platform, where it’s stored and can be visualized on the customizable dashboards, as well as using reporting and alerting tools.

The result is a highly flexible, ongoing solution for all kinds of businesses.

“We’ve spent years developing our IoT platform capability and now we’re confident that we’re in the right place and the right time to create some really outstanding technology for New Zealand businesses,” Frerk says..