Sensors4Bins is a hardware and software apparatus placed in to industrial waste containers. Sensors stream data to the cloud for analysis and review. MobiCycle's public and private sector customers can benefit from more efficient collections and cleaner waste streams; i.e., less commingling of organic and inorganic waste. Bin level reporting allows for more targeted marketing campaigns in local communities on a block by block basis, in order to stimulate greater reuse and recycling.

Step One: Review your power and connectivity options. Confirm the available coverage for your area.
Step Two: Select your sensors. Your decision helps MobiCycle co-design the supporting hardware such as chips, boards and more.

Step Three: Customise your administrator dashboard to see the data you want, displayed the way you want.


Example #1: a local authority facing severe budget cuts, an increasing population and low recycling rates.

The Local Authority want to know how much waste (including ewaste) sits in their large, industrial waste containers prior to collection. Accessing tonnage data in real time enables more timely and cost effective collections. The Authority recognise that as their containers are not near power outlets, any devices would need to be powered 'off the grid'. They agree on a lithium ion battery, powered by a 2W voltaic solar panel. Coverage tools provided by the Digital Catapult (pending) and others, confirm that low powered wide area network connectivity (via Arqiva) is available in their area.

MobiCycle then help the Authority select a compression force sensor to weigh the waste. MobiCycle's engineers match the sensor with an appropriate board and module to form a complete solution. Next, they measure and retrofit the inside of the waste container(s) with planks to 'catch' the waste deposits. To ensure the Authority's technical staff can maintain the system going forward, MobiCycle ensure the bundle aligns with the staff's technical skills and training. MobiCycle recommend a Linux based system with code written in their preferred programming language, Javascript.

Finally, MobiCycle schedule a series of workshops with end users from the Operations department. MobiCycle's human centred approach to design results in a dashboard driven by the customer's real needs. The Authority's new Sensors4Bins application, hosted on IBM's Bluemix cloud platform, reflects a clean user interface (UI) and seamless user experience (UX).

# Type Description Providers Disadvantages/Advantages
1 Grid External power supply / cable various (-) requires a socket (+) stable power supply
2 Rechargeable Microbattery silver-zinc ZPower (-) 400 (+) can deliver over a year of dependable power, being recharged every day
3 Voltaic Solar Panels As light shines on the cell, it creates an electric field across layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. Thingnovation (-) depends entirely on exposure to sunlight/climate (+) cells don't need direct sunlight to work
4 Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting Converts vibrations into electricity. The force sends a charge to the transducer's electrodes to counteract the imposed strain. enOcean (-) no industry standard, lack of product interoperability (+) replace or extend the life of a battery.
5 Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting Converts heat energy into electricity. When the two materials meet, the temperature differential converts into electricity . enOcean (-) not commercially available (+) replace or extend the life of a battery.
6 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electrolysis breaks water(H20) into Hydrogen(H) and Oxygen(O). When the power is off, H and O recombine to create electrical energy. Arcola Energy (-) no industry standard, bulky (+) no pollution the only by-products are heat and water.
7 Wireless charging solution The process of transferring an electrical current between two objects through the use of coils to induce an electromagnetic field. PowerbyProxi (-) cost (+) new technology
8 Other: LTE eDRX /PSM LTE's "Extended Discontinuous Reception" and "Power Saving Mode" enable 10yr + battery lifetimes varies (-) not commercially available (+) not tied to one category or technology
# Type Description Spectrum Range Disadvantages/Advantages
1 WiFi(802.11x) A wireless transmitter converts data into a radio signal and sends it over the internet. Unlicensed Spectrum Short Range (-) high power consumption, costly (+) good coverage
2 Narrowband IoT (aka LTE Cat) Good for small amounts of data transmitted over long periods, in hard to reach places. Licensed Spectrum Long Range (-) long tail ecosystem (+) global roaming, robust 2 way communication, needs just 200 kHz of bandwidth
3 LoRa by Semtech Uses an unmodulated carrier in an FM chirp to spread energy across a wider band Unlicensed Spectrum Long Range (-) demands higher bandwidths,with very limited demands on throughput, reliability or QoS (+) wideband CDMA approach
4 Sigfox Uses a narrowband, digital modulation technique called Binary Phase Shift Keying (BPSK) for wide-area IoT networking Unlicensed Spectrum Long Range (-) limit of 140 small messages per day, can not be used for video streaming (+) ultra-narrow-band, low cost
5 5G A consolidation of 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-fi and other innovations providing far greater coverage and always-on reliability(3GPP) Unlicensed Spectrum Long Range (-) unresolved security issues (+) Peak download speeds: 10 gigabits per second vs 1Gbps; Latency rate: 1 millisecond vs 20ms
6 GSM/GPRS GSM (2G) moves packets of information. GPRS is a faster version of GSM. (3GPP) Unlicensed Spectrum Short Range (-) authentication centres can be breached(+) multiple users access the radio spectrum on a similar frequency band
7 EC-GSM Sends higher bit-rates (3GPP) Unlicensed pectrum Short Range (-)first commercial launches planned for 2017 (+) 3x increase in capacity and performance vs GSM/GPRS
8 WCDMA Uses Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK), a pseudo random signal to modulate the original signal into a higher bandwidth. Unlicensed Spectrum Short Range (-)not optimized for applications that only transmit small amounts of infrequent data (+) streams over an air interface with a GSM based network
9 LTE Long term evolution (LTE) moves large packets of data and streamlines the service; i.e., GSM + CDMA Unlicensed Spectrum Short Range (-)not optimized for applications that only transmit small amounts of infrequent data (+) Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) for downlink, and Single Carrier Frequency Division Multiple Access (SC-FDMA) for uplink
10 Zigbee The IEEE 802.15.4 specification has two major states: active (transmit/receive) or sleep. Unlicensed Spectrum Short Range (-) requires at least one full function device as a network coordinator (+) lasts 7yrs on battery, AES-128 encryption
11 Bluetooth Connects devices together over a small distance using radio waves instead of wires or cables. Unlicensed Spectrum Short Range (-) high power consumption (+) simple to use, free
12 6loWPan IPv6 over Low power Wireless Personal Area Networks Unlicensed Spectrum Short Range (-) lack of support for IP or IPv6 (+) interoperable with wireless 802.15.4 devices / any other IP network
# Type Measurements Disadvantages/Advantages
1 Compression Force/ Strain Gauge electrical resistance (-) requires calibration (+) requires maintenance
2 Pressure pounds per square inch (psi) (-) vibrations and shocks create useless signals (+) inexpensive
3 Ultrasonic high-frequency sound waves (-) affected by changes in temperature, pressure, humidity, or airborne particles (+) excellent repeat sensing accuracy, ideal for level monitoring
4 (Relative) Humidity % water vapor density (-) frequent mirror contamination, insatiability under continuous use (+) low power requirement, easy implementation
5 3 Axis Accelerometer meters per second squared (m/s2) or G-forces (g) (-) springs can break or bend (+) senses either static or dynamic forces of acceleration
6 Indoor Air Quality Sensors ppb or ug/m3 output is an analog signal (-) can be costly to implement high quality sensors (+) covers volatile organic compounds
7 Micro Electro Mechanical System (MEMS) Pellistor analog signal for methane (-) requires regular maintenance and calibration, limited life span (+) optimized sensing and filter materials
8 Pellistor Sensors analog signal for combustible gases up to the explosive limits (LEL) (-) vulnerable to permanent poisoning by contaminants (+) poison & shock resistant
9 Infra-red Sensors distance and beamwidth (-) can not distinguish between objects that irradiate similar thermal energy levels (+) gold plated optical/gas cavity
9 Thermal Conductivity Sensors (kelvin-meters per watt)-1 (-) cannot measure gases with thermal conductivities similar to the reference gas (+) can be integrated with strain gauges
10 Metal Oxide Sensors voltage (-)humidity limits performance and accuracy (+) detects in parts per billion (PPB)
11 Electrochemical Sensors % volume, or a current that is directly proportional to the concentration of gas present (-) interference occurs if other gases are present (+) good for carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and oxygen
12 Analog to Digital Converter inputs an analog electrical signal such as voltage or current and outputs a binary number (-) requires calibration (+) can be relatively inexpensive
13 Other: Relay Controllers depends on the sensors (-) parts can wear out as the switch contacts become dirty from sparks (+) prevents high voltages and currents from damaging equipment
# Type Chip Connectivity Providers Disadvantages/Advantages
1 ARM Sigfox (-) delivery time (+) two year battery life (for MobiCycle's configuration)
2 MobiBoard© (by MobiCycle) Joule Zigbee Intel (-) £340 price point (+) support for Intel® RealSense™ cameras, 4K video, machine learning
3 MobiBoard© (by MobiCycle) Edison Zigbee Intel (-) no graphics, processor speed (+) built-in battery charge controller
4 SmartMeshIP ARM 6LoWPAN/IPv6 Linear Technologies (-) small library of reference code and few source code examples (+) suitable for harsh environments
5 Electron ARM Cellular/SIM Particle (-) 2G is going away (+) global sim and data plan
# Type Programming Languages Description Connectivity Disadvantages/Advantages
1 Omega 2 Javascript, Python, Ruby, PhP, C++ Based on the MIPS-based Qualcomm Atheros AR9331 system-on-chip (SoC) Wi-fi, Bluetooth (-) small (but growing) community (+) Linux based, integrated Wi-Fi and on-board flash storage
2 LTC5800 by Linear Technologies C Based on the wireless IEEE 802.15.4e standard, SmartMesh IP creates full-mesh networks, sometimes referred to as mesh-to-the-edge networks 6LoWPAN (-) No support for some address compression types. (+) route messages through multiple hops on the network between source and destination
3 Sara-N2 by u-blox C++ Supports SMS, IP and efficient IP-less data transmissionall with minimal signaling overhead to preserve power consumption Narrowband IoT (-) production ready in 2017 (+)operates for 10 to 20 years from a single cell primary battery
4 TD1208r by TD Next Arduino Sketch SIGFOX™ radio transceiver (fully certified) and ARM Cortex M3 baseband processor Sigfox (-) to 140 12byte packets of data a day (+) the case can be 3D printed out of PLA
5 esp8266 by Espressif Lua A system on a chip (SOC) with integrated TCP/IP protocol stack. Wi-fi, Bluetooth (-) not capable of 5-3V logic shifting, the JS interpreter is in test phase (+) any microcontroller can access the WiFi network.
6 Intel Edison Javascript, Python Board with 70-pin connector, 40 GPIOs, Power in Standby w/ no radios is 13 mW and Wi-Fi is 35 mW Wi-fi, Bluetooth (-) cost, security (+) includes a dual-core, dual-threaded Intel® Atom™ CPU at 500 MHz and a 32-bit Intel® Quark™ microcontroller at 100 MHz
7 Artik 5 by Samsung Javascript, C++, et al Dual-core Cortex-A7 ARM processor, 720p graphics processor, 4GB of storage and 512MB of RAM Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Thread (-) not compatible with Arduino (+) built-in security features, cloud services
8 System on a Chip (SoC) by MobiCycle Javascript, C++, et al An Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) to replace discrete chips on a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Sigfox, LoRa (-) higher cost (+) smaller device size and power consumption, with sensor processing (and quantum technology*)
# Material (recycled) Load Disadvantages/Advantages
1 Wood 20-100kg (-) can rot, warp, split, crack, or creep, expands/contracts with moisture content (+) no condensation issues associated with metal
2 Bamboo Fiber 20-100kg (-) needs to be pressed into shape and sanded like wood (+) more sustainable and far cheaper alternative to steel
3 Aluminium 20-100kg (-) not as strong as steel or titanium on impact(+) inexpensive, better strength to weight ratio than steel and lighter
4 Titanium 20-100kg (-) expensive, requires specialist machinery and skills (+) similar stiffness-to-weight ratio to steel, but is much lighter
5 Galvanised Steel 20-100kg (-) requires resin coating to prevent premature rusting, heavy (+) steel will bend rather than snap, a real plus in longevity
6 Steel 20-100kg (-) excessive condensation leads to premature corrosion (+) equally strong in every direction (isotropic)
7 Plastic 5-40kg (-) sunlight can make the plastic polymers brittle in time (+) will never rot, rust or need annual treatments
8 Carbon 5-40kg (-) comparatively brittle when strained from many directions- shatter or snap (+) can be extremely strong in an intended direction
9 Composite Materials 5-100kg (-) more likely to fracture than steel, the raw materials are expensive (+) 80% lighter than steel, made from recycled plastic, wood fiber, and epoxy
# Package Options Potential Providers
1 Base analysis of your customer locations, vehicle fleet routing & scheduling Freeboard
2 Silver recycling campaigns and smart home integration IBM
3 Gold big data analytics SAP, DataStax
# Provider Services Geographical location(s) Pricing
1 currently under negotiation installation only UK contact us
2 currently under negotiation installation & maintenance US contact us
3 currently under negotiation maintenance only EMEA contact us


*Alternative Architecture Models (as opposed to the OSI Model)

  • 1.) Infrastructure: 6LowPAN, IPv4/IPv6, RPL
  • 2.) Identification: EPC, uCode, IPv6, URIs
  • 3.) Comms / Transport: Wifi, Bluetooth, LPWAN
  • 4.) Discovery: Physical Web, mDNS, DNS-SD
  • 5.) Data Protocols: MQTT, CoAP, AMQP, Websocket, Node
  • 6.) Device Management: TR-069, OMA-DM
  • 7.) Semantic: JSON-LD, Web Thing Model
  • 8.) Multi-layer Frameworks: Alljoyn, IoTivity, Weave, Homekit


Please Note: Minimum Order Quantities Apply