Connected Freezer for Fresh Food Dispensing

Client Overview

US based leading retail chain providing nutritionally advised and fresh-frozen food items with a unique technology instantly sealing in flavour, freshness, and nutrition

Business Challenge

Customer wanted to provide their users an option of food selection with convenient purchasing method:

  • It should enable remote tracking of retail inventory stocks inside the freezer
  • Have 100+ meals in freezer and read them all at a time

VOLANSYS Contribution

Developed ESP32 based Gateway that monitors inventory of food items inside the freezer and report to cloud automatically when food is taken out and freezer door is closed, the solution kit includes:

  • RFID Reader & Antenna:
    • Integrated and configured RFID reader & Antenna to work at -20 degC inside freezer
    • Developed the logic to identify inventory entries and exits (sales) from freezer once the door is locked
  • Door Lock Sensor
    • Integrated Door Lock Sensor with Gateway 
    • Lock/unlock capabilities-controlled via mobile app
    • Upon opening/closing door, status update on mobile app
    • Identify the beginning and end of user sessions
  • Temperature Sensor
    • Integrated Temperature Sensor with Gateway
    • Remote monitoring of freezer temperature and closes the door with increasing temperature beyond 10 degC
  • Integrated Microsoft Azure IoT device SDK with Gateway
  • Mobile Application
    • Scans Unique freezer QR code id (# displayed on freezer)
    • Lock to Unlock freezer door based on membership
    • Auto payment as per food items were taken out of freezer
  • Network Gateway with Wi-Fi, 4G LTE connectivity

Solution Architecture

VOLANSYS-Solution Architecture-Connected Freezer

VOLANSYS Services

Product Engineering & Manufacturing:

  • Hardware design and development of network gateway
  • Interfacing of RFID Reader, antenna, smart door lock, door sensor and temperature sensor to Hub
  • Antenna position finalization and tuning with actual deployment scenario
  • Wi-Fi Provisioning and end-to-end communication support to mobile application Connectivity to Cloud
  • Involved in Mass Production of Automated Food Dispensing System that we engineered

Mobile Application Development

  • Android mobile application development to validate overall kit functionality testing
  • Wire-frames development
  • Payment gateway integration

Cloud Connectivity

  • Provided OTA through cloud which makes the solution maintainable remotely
  • Hub provision and registration
  • User authorization with cloud
  • Freezer identification via QR code and/or freezer ID#

Benefits Delivered

  • Hassle free fresh food take out from freezer as per customer’s choice
  • Automated freezer lock/unlock, temperature monitoring and inventory management in freezer helps doing better logistics and food supply & waste management
  • Scalable business model to install thousands of multiple freezers at multiple locations and monitor food inventory in freezer remotely