How I got to beekeepers
I was interested in electrical engineering at the age of 8. I studied at an electrical industrial school and then at the Technical University of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Radio Electronics. I developed monitoring and control systems, measuring instruments for gas engineers, industrial automata, handheld computers with ARM processors, home automation components based on GSM, GPRS, RF technologies, I designed antennas for the microwave band. Among my projects I can mention coffee machine with SMS monitoring, RFID readers, operating system for 8 and 16 bit microcontrollers, PDA for METRO chain stores, industrial and home automation. I have about 150 different devices that I have worked on. I founded my electronics development company in 1999. In 2009, I founded Vorlon Technology Ltd. and dedicated myself exclusively to development until 2012. In 2017 I founded Operchip Ltd which is now a bee scale company.
The idea to create a system for beekeepers arose in the middle of 2011, when I was deciding where to capitalize on the experience from the previous development of smart homes, where we developed a complete system for the management and monitoring of houses, including hardware and software.
Development of a new stainless steel scale with four small strain gauges 12,7x12,7x80mm and display. Small 50cm long stainless steel bars with 200kg capacity and 300kg overload.
Development of the beekeeping diary into a WEB application. In the WEB application beehives, hives and general equipment for monitoring hives and apiaries. Change of weight reading from strain gauges with obtaining 4 times more weighing accuracy.
New WEB and eshop as Assistant beekeepers. Sale of all FILIP-WG and FILIP-PG scales and introduction of FILIP-SLG.
Introduction of automatic activation of services for customers from the WEB application. Replacement of the server.
Editing the scale via WEB application. Software extension in the scale and also on the WEB server. The scale can be controlled and monitored either via SMS or separately via WEB application. Creation of processes for SIM service management. Replacement of the server for the WEB application.
Scale manufacturing process improvement, calibration via display, error listings on display, automation of hardware detection. Automatic detection of thermal dependence of strain gauges and parameter setting.
The beginning of the development of stainless steel scales with other types of strain gauges.
FILIP-WD, FILIP-WG, FILIP-PG
Completion of FILIP-PG. Development of a simple wooden scale - electronics with display for weight measurement without remote monitoring and software for a simple scale. Production of 40 prototypes of FILIP-WD.
Bluetooth application for displaying weight and sensors for android for FILIP-WG. WEB application for android for FILIP-WG in Flutter language. Functionality extension to connect 4 additional platforms to the main scale. Introduction of CHip SIM and launch of remote monitoring as a service.
Testing the FFT analysis of the buzzer and programming the functionality into the scales.
Improvement of the hive scale design. Addition of LED display to show weight. Production of three versions of scale dimensions.
Development of the plastic hive scale GSM FILIP-PG.
New GSM electronics for beekeepers with bluetooth, RFID module, with FFT analysis of bee buzz (Microchip PIC18F87K22, Quectel M66). Connection of one platform to the main scale. LiIont battery. Bluetooth interface and system app for android.
Extension of functionality to send emails. Extended SMS control set. Design improvements to the FILIP-02 wooden scale. New external module with three platforms with display FILIP-03.
Attempts to create a scale with a glass weighing platform - unsuccessfully.
Simplification of the hive scale. Wooden platform with 4x small strain gauges 36x36mm. Security system for beehives and hives added. Possibility to connect two more weighing platforms to the main scale.
Electronics revisions, electromagnetic compatibility tests and testing and manufacturing.
The first prototype of the VILKO-01 precision hive scale won the first place in the competition of inventors and improvers for professional beekeepers in Trencin. (one central large strain gauge with software correction of weight measurement depending on ambient temperature) Control and monitoring via SMS and data display on web server. Measurement of temperature and humidity in the hive. Pb battery.
Sale of 30pcs of hive scales and their testing at customers. Software improvement and debugging in different countries (Estonia, Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic).
Development of WEB bootloader for automatic programming - firmware update of scales directly on the beehive.
The idea to do remote monitoring of bee hives via SMS and Cloud. Start of development work. Development of custom electronics (Microchip PIC18F87K22, Quectel M95) and custom C firmware to scale and custom Cloud (YKII Framework v1.5).
Our first success
The first electronic scale was with a large central strain gauge and made of metal or stainless steel welded yokes with integrated electronics in a watertight box with SMS control and monitoring on a WEB server. All software was written in C and ran on a single chip microcontroller with external program memory. We presented it at the end of 2012 at XVIII. International Conference of Beekeeping Improvers and Inventors and won the first place in the category of professional beekeepers.
Over time, we have worked our way up to comprehensive apiary monitoring and an intelligent assistant for beekeepers.