My name is Simon and I’ve been working as firmware engineer within the R&D application development department for Qowisio since November 2015.
Tell us about your role
The aim of my daily work is to put some intelligence in the electronic boards developed by the hardware team. In a nutshell, the main chip on the board should be able to communicate with different sensors and then build a radio message that will be intercepted by the antennas of our network.
This job is accomplished through several steps.
First, I use a prototype without taking care of the energy consumption in order to focus only on the sensors and how to use them.
Then, I apply a “production oriented” workflow. In this step, the aim is to have a commercial product, with constraints like the lowest energy consumption possible.
What are your main challenges?
To begin, a « research » approach is used to be able to understand how sensors works and how to retrieve the most useful data from them.
Then, I must match the equation between the amount of measurable data, the number of message to produce and the electrical consumption of each part. In this way, I can design a product that will suit the needs of the customer – mostly autonomy and reactivity aspect (especially if alarms need to be raised).
Finally, and it’s not the easiest, everything should always work! When an object is deployed, it’s not possible to update it anymore. Therefore, everything should be tested before, even in the weirdest scenarios. It requires some creativity to imagine everything that can happen in an uncontrolled environment!
Your motto? your passion?
Informatics, and computer sciences in particular, is a vast domain. However, I’ve always liked embedded systems development because there is a real interaction between the real physical world that surround us and the virtual world of informatics, beyond the usual monitor & keyboard duo. I’ve always liked the idea of having the ability to interact with the world through some line of code that I create.