Embedded System Engineers Build Gateways to Innovation

Next Big Thing AG
4 min readMar 6, 2018


When talking to Aravinth Panchadcharam, Senior Embedded Systems Engineer at Next Big Thing, excitement for new technology is contagious.

Aravinth is an accomplished and rare blend of robotocist, new media artist, and environmentalist who made his way from Sri Lanka to Germany — meanwhile becoming one of the responsible forces behind what Golem magazine calls “Kreuzberger ShenZhen.”

We recently asked him about his latest adventure — visiting the embeddedworld Trade Show in Nuremberg from 27–28 February. EmbeddedWorld is the leading international fair for embedded systems and a perfect chance to meet experts interested in electronics, distributed intelligence, IoT, e-mobility and energy efficiency. Over 1000 exhibitors and international speakers represented a wide range of the embedded sector spectrum: from module to full systems, operating systems, hard and software, and services.

As its name suggests, an embedded system is first placed inside a reference system called a development kit, where it can be evaluated. A good relationship with a distributor or manufacturer provides engineers with these valuable ‘dev kits’. Once embedded system engineers determine that they have the right equipment for a technological challenge, they finalize and scale up arrangements into a production system.

This affords embedded system engineers the chance to explore new technology, share their work, and build up relationships with different companies — diversifying their professional experience.

Manufacturer & Supplier Connections Fuel Progress

It was a whirlwind trip to the fair with his Berlin engineering colleagues, David Riding and Jan Willem Winheller, to meet distributors, suppliers, and manufacturers. From an embedded systems engineer perspective, establishing connections with manufacturers and suppliers is crucial for designing future technology solutions.

NBT Engineers Aravinth, David, and Willi approach embedded world 2018.
Engineers had the opportunity to catch up with Ingo Seehagen, an NBT Partner from AVNET Silica.

These relationships are vital because the engineering team seeks qualified support in their quest for future technology. Aravinth and David attended this fair to talk business in matching technological needs of NBT’s ventures in IoT, specifically evaluating embedded systems within devices they build. During the visit they met with Würth Elektronik about their support for a project involving NBT’s PropTech venture, METR, as well as NBT partner, AVNET SILICA, to discuss other future endeavors.

Another example of a key relationship is with METR’s Printed Circuit Board supplier. The PCB is at the heart of the M-Gate, and fellow Berlin-based company, Gruenwald Electronic GmbH, went the extra mile for the METR team. Gruenwald Electronic tailored their processes to meet METR’s, looked after details, and their staff stayed late to help reach production deadlines.

Gateways Enable Big Leaps in Submetering

METR builds modern IoT infrastructure, enabling connected use cases for the housing industry. They produce M-Gates on-site here at NBT. Within just 6 months, the combined forces of the METR team and NBT experts have pushed rapid development of the M-Gate from an idea into serial production. The M-Gates enable secured submetering, the remote read-out of heating and water consumption. METR recently completed a successful pilot project for degewo, Berlin’s largest housing company who is now also their first customer.

METR’s M-Gates enable highly secure services for landlords by offering submetering, then providing that data back to a housing company via the internet or cloud for more efficient management. In the next development stages of the M-Gate, extended functionality will include smart building and assisted living applications.

M-Gates rapidly developed from idea to serial production at NBT.

What’s the big takeaway here? Rather than chasing down information from thousands of meters, M-gates efficiently feed dispersed meter data to a dashboard, enabling deeper insights and more informed actions around that data.

Join a Unique Company Builder in IoT

NBT is a company builder focused on services in the IoT and blockchain space. In addition to mentorship from serial entrepreneurs, business expertise in IoT, venture design combining corporate market reach with entrepreneurial drive, we have top-notch technologists like Aravinth and David who creatively mastermind solutions for real-world problems. It’s this collective expertise that makes us a leading IoT company builder of Europe.

Aravinth himself is no stranger to grass-roots, in-house tech development. He was previously part of a 7-person team that handled everything: design, development, manufacturing, certification, packaging, and fulfillment.

He is well-known among German hardware startups for sharing knowledge on how to get an idea from scratch to the market. If you want to learn how to connect blockchain to IoT products, catch Aravinth speaking at Ethereum Camp in Berlin on March 26th. There are still Hackathon stipends available.

Ready to advance your engineering career? We are always open to hearing from motivated people. Visit NBT’s career page to explore opportunities.

Originally published by Elisheva Marcus at blog.nextbigthing.ag.



Next Big Thing AG

Europe’s leading venture studio for the Machine Economy that co-founds deep-tech companies with aspiring founders & corporates. http://www.nextbigthing.ag/