IoT based Asset Tracking Solution using Particle Asset Tracker Kit

Internet of Things (IoT) refers to Network of physical things embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity which enables these things to connect and exchange data.

Refer the below image with the above definition for better understanding.

Represents an IoT solution which updates the Air Quality values to the Cloud.
Asset Tracking solution refers to the method of tracking the location of any physical asset.

There are many devices available in the market. I have chosen Particle Electron Asset Tracking kit. Because, it has both cellular and GPS modules along with the resources, libraries, IDE and cloud solution to connect, control and collect information from the IoT devices.

Let us see how to build the solution.

The first step, purchase the device sign up and create an account in Particle. After, log-in it will walk you through to register the Particle Electron device with the Particle Cloud Console.

Download and install the tools, resources and the IDE. Refer the Particle docs here. Using the Desktop IDE (Dev) you can write code, debug and flash the firmware in the Particle Electron device. Alternatively, you can use the Cloud IDE.

Particle Web IDE

Create a new project in the Desktop IDE and make use of the below code. You need to add two libraries Google Maps Device Locator and Asset Tracker. There are a lot of other libraries available here.

Import the Particle core library. It enables the communication with the particle cloud. Also, it has functions to read the battery percentage and other information about the device.

Import the Asset Tracker library and activate the GPS module to get the geographic coordinates. The timer is set to 2 minutes to fetch location.

Import Google Maps Device Locator library, to get the proximal cellular tower information. The Google Maps service decodes the cellular tower information and provides the geographic coordinates in the locationCallback() method. I used this as a fallback condition when we face GPS connectivity issues.

Finally, Call the Particle “publish” method to update the data to the cloud.

Refer the below code:

Run the code. It will compile to create a binary (.bin file). Flash this file in the Particle Electron device and power up the device with the battery.

Assembled Particle Asset Tracker Kit v2.0.0

Now, you can see the Tracking updates in the Particle cloud console. The Particle cloud provides access to tracking data through an API. We can create Web / Mobile application by consuming this API to provide tracking solutions.

Using this, I created a simple web application to see the live tracking update of the Asset in Google map.

Tracked Asset located in Google map