Archive News

May, 2016



“La Coop De Ville” Provides Safe and Comfortable Environment for Chickens to Thrive

TORONTO – MAY 19, 2016 – Arcturus Networks Inc. today demonstrated an IoT enabled backyard chicken coop at the NXP FTF Technology Forum in Austin Texas. The demonstration uses the Arcturus uCMK64-IoT module hardware and features NFC communications and smartphone app. The chicken coop demonstrates how it is possible to apply IoT technology to applications beyond home control and in support of sustainable initiatives, such as urban agriculture.

“The coop is a thought experiment that began its life as a quest for the best egg and grew wings from there,” said David Steele, product manager. “We wanted to understand how we could apply technology to help ensure the safest, happiest, healthiest backyard chickens.”

The chicken coop referred to as “La Coop De Ville” consists of the uCMK64-IoT module from Arcturus, mechanical access control entry system, NFC reader, environmental controls and a smartphone application. The uCMK64-IoT module controls the internal coop operation, provides network connectivity, secure communication and smart phone pairing. Each chicken is equipped with a unique NFC tag. As a chicken approaches, the tag is read by a sensor embedded in the coop tread-way. The data is relayed securely to a smartphone application that uses the NFC ID to query an internal database. The ID is cross-referenced against access control policies, the resulting information is used to determine if the door should be opened automatically or require user intervention. The smartphone application provides user notifications, database information, live chicken feed video stream, access control operation and entrance door supervision. In addition, the system can determine which chickens are inside or outside the coop and activity-track specific chickens for health monitoring. The application also monitors external data sources which are used to provide intelligent controls. Lighting is linked to local sunrise and sunset times to help mimic a more natural circadian rhythm, while external weather and air quality data can be applied to access control policies to help prevent chickens from being exposed to harsh conditions unnecessarily.

“This demonstration is intended only as a showcase, however, there are practical applications of this technology for both four-legged and two-legged creatures,” said Steele. Bi-products include pet doors, building access control systems, two-factor authentication and even applications in assisted living environments for helping staff and residents.”

About the uCMK64 IoT Module

The uCMK64-IoT is a mid-range IoT module that supports a combination of Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity, peripheral integration, I/O controls and optional local or wide area voice communication. It specifically targets specialized applications in buildings, transportation networks or healthcare systems. The module makes use of a Kinetis K64 microcontroller from NXP, running firmware based on the NXP software development kit for HomeKit accessories with iOS integration or Arcturus secure Mbarx IoT middleware with responsive HTLM5 mobile integration.

About Mbarx IoT

Mbarx IoT is a trust-chain architecture that consists of end-point nodes, tools and gateways that all use industry standard TLS security. Mbarx is intended for OEMs looking to create an end-to-end IoT system with private or public cloud integration.

Mbarx end-point nodes combine connectivity services for device discovery, pairing and connection origination with a configuration and control protocol. This simplified approach allows developers to focus more on their core IoT application and spend less time developing or maintaining underpinning support. Protocol communication is available using a secure TCP/IP socket or local UART connection, extensions are provided to communicate across peripheral interfaces to address I/O, I2C or UART connected devices. A full command API is provided along with integration tools.

Arcturus provides IoT tools for OEMs including Mbarx System Manager, a powerful tool for securely managing device sites. System Manager handles firmware deployments, configuration, templates and site monitoring, using simple click-through work-flow. A built-in app’s store provides a method to acquire firmware images from a trusted source, while a secure firmware upgrade service allows devices to periodically call home and check for firmware updates. Mbarx gateways provide the edge-connection between remote IoT networks, cloud connectivity and Mbarx tools. Mbarx gateways are compatible with System Manager, allowing users to securely connect and manage a remote site by simply clicking on the gateway location from inside the System Manager application. Mbarx IoT gateways are built using high-performance communication processors and can support custom work-flow applications, failure redundancy or back up services.

Mbarx is a simple way to enable secure, connected IoT applications, there is no complex BSP to maintain, or expensive tools to buy. Mbarx elements can be added as needed, tools can be branded, support is provided directly by Arcturus and customization is available.

Pricing and Availability

The uCMK64-IoT is currently available to qualified customers. General availability is expected in June 2016. Development kits are $495 and include hardware, tools, installation support and access to a dedicated support site.

More Information

Additional information about the uCMK64-IoT can be obtained from uCMK64-IoT page. A uCMK64-IoT Introduction video is available that provides a basic overview of capabilities and setup.

More information about the Chicken Coop can be found on the NXP blog posting, along with a video demo video demo.

About Arcturus

Arcturus Networks Inc. is a leading provider of embedded solutions for communication and industrial applications. Recognized as an embedded pioneer, Arcturus has contributed to the innovation of thousands of products and helped establish embedded Linux as a defacto global standard. Since 2002, Arcturus has focussed on enablement technologies, including a line of product-ready hardware modules, OS packages and specialized middleware for device management, voice, media and M2M/IoT. Arcturus middleware is award winning and certified interoperable by leading infrastructure vendors. For more information, visit

Press Contacts:
Arcturus Networks Inc.
416.621.0125 x233

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