I tested Netgear Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router last weekend.
1.Why are we interested in 5G?
With the rollout of 5G, cellular data communication services have become more accessible and affordable. We are exploring cellular services (5G, LTE-A, LTE) to connect our wildfire detection hardware.
Most of our deployments are using fixed microwave wireless networks to connect our robots in forests. To move to public 5G/4G cellular services will lower the network management cost and improve cash flow.
An important challenge is cellular signal strength in remote/rural locations where most of our robots/cameras are installed.
We also need a good router that can provide reliable cellular uplink, and wired Ethernet ports to connect to our robots/cameras. We want small physical sizes and power consumption.
2.Netgear Nighthawk M5 5G WiFi 6 Mobile Router
There are only a few 5G routers in the Hong Kong market. Netgear M5 is one of them. The one we are testing is an unlocked version of Netgear MR5100. It is effectively an MR5200.
Netgear M5 supports device connections via WiFi, USB-C tethering (for both Windows PC and Mac), wired Gigabit Ethernet (requires Data Offloading turn-off). It can be powered directly via USB Type-C with the internal battery removed. It is designed as a mobile router, hence it is small (105 mm x 105 mm x 21.5 mm)and light (240g).
I tested its uplink performance in the rural area. We will use Speedtest app and iPhone 11 Pro which connects to M5 via WiFi. The testing location was Cape Collinson Battery. It is located in eastern Hong Kong Island. 3.5km walking distance from the Chai Wan MTR station. I tested three times, fastest download and upload speeds at 83.8Mbps and 23.2M respectively! Very good!
3.More about Cape Collinson Battery
Two batteries are built at Cape Collinson in 1938. We can see only one of them now. It becomes a popular eco-travel spot because of its unique history and beautiful landscape. To test the Netgear M5 at Cape Collinson Battery makes the whole journey more interesting!
“I’m going to live every minute of it.” Joe Gardner
20201010 is a beautiful day.
It is a day for celebration. We made a few great things yesterday.
1.ReportFires app Kickstarter campaign is successfully finished
Our 30-day crowdfunding project ended yesterday morning. Thank all 105 backers from 14 countries! We met our funding goal of US$20000!
We initially were not sure we could meet the goal. App is not a popular Kickstarter category. Anyway, we decided to fund the development of the Free app ourselves. Any third party financial support is a bonus for us! Nothing to lose!
The campaign helped us to promote the app and reach more potential users! B2B and B2C marketing are very different. This is a very valuable lesson learned for us!
2.ReportFires is approved by App Store
On the same morning, Apple approved our submission to App Store! The whole approval process was than 48-hour! Pretty good.
Apple asked a few questions about the use of the ReportFires app and the target uses. The requested a video to show how our AI image detection of wildfire smoke works.
We replied promptly. Apple responded quickly too. It made us thought that Apple found the app useful and wanted to make it available on the App Store ASAP!
Here is the ReportFires App Store link:
3.Unwire.Pro interview is published
Unwire.Pro, a popular tech news website, interviewed RoboticsCats.com a few days ago. They found our app was very unique and they were interested in the golden circle, the why-how-what of ReportFires.
The Unwire.Pro crew was very professional and they asked many good questions. We provided them great answers too!
They published the article yesterday at noon! What a coincidence! It helped us to promote the ReportFires app too.
We believe the ReportFires app is a useful tool. It is useful when people are using it.
Here is the online article:
4.Successful fire test in Europe
In yesterday afternoon Hong Kong Time, which was morning Eastern Europe Time (EET), our partner was doing a fire test to demonstrate InsightFD features to the forest firefighter department. The weather was windy and very challenging for wildfire detection! We’re glad that the InsightFD system successfully detected wildfire in the fire test! Cool!
It was a great result. The partner and we spend huge effort to optimize InsightFD for the Eastern European forest environment! And our effort pays off!
It is a beautiful Saturday!
Time flies! The 30-day Kickstarter campaign of our ReportFires app will end this week! As of 04-Oct-2020 noon, there are 99 backers and the project is 90% funded! 4 more days to go! Please support and pledge our Kickstarter campaign!
Besides introducing the new ReportFires app to different stakeholders and promoting our Kickstarter campaign, we were spending a lot of time on testing. We have been testing the beta version of the ReportFires app for more than one week.
The app requires iOS 13. The oldest iPhones support iOS 13 are the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. We did many tests on iPhone 6S Plus to evaluate the app functionality and performance.
“Why the ReportFires app supports iPhones only?” some backers ask. The main reasons are the camera system and edge computing. Edge computing enables the app to work without Internet connectivity. Two lines break first in wildfires – the power circuit and telecommunication cable. In order to make the AI smoke detection most useful, we design the app to process the Machine Learning image detection 100% on iPhone. ReportFires will detect wildfire smoke and make sound alert no matter the iPhone is online (connected to Internet) or offline. ReportFires will help you to detect wildfire even if you don’t have reliable network service.
We used some early-stage wildfire photos to test the app. We used different screen sizes to display the images. The app could detect 90%+ of all the wildfire smokes in the photos! Very impressive.
We’re lucky in Hong Kong that we don’t have frequent wildfires in the city. In order to simulate an actual user environment – an iPhone running ReportFires is monitoring the fire-prone forest near home, we tested the app in our partner’s office. We projected wildfire smoke photos on a huge screen and put an iPhone 6S on a tripod. The app successfully detected smoke in the photos.
We had a gathering last Saturday at our colleague’s home. The government has just loosened the COVID-19 social distance requirement. The team could finally have some good food and spend a good time together! The colleague lives in a suburban village near forests. There is a specific term for this kind of residential area, WUI (pronounced woooeeee), stands for wildland-urban-interface. Controlled burns of debris/rubbish are common in suburban villages. We were lucky to see a controlled burn that day! We tested if ReportFires could detect the controlled burn smoke:
It was our first field test. ReportFires performed perfectly!
ReportFires will be available for Free in App Store in October 2020.
Here are some images of early-stage wildfire smoke in Europe & Asia. Do you know where is it?
You cannot see the smoke?
No worry, use your iPhone. Please install ReportFires app first 🙂
Please support our ReportFires app Kickstarter campaign!
iPod / phone / internet communicator… this September, we re-invent the iPhone!
The year 2020 is unprecedented.
Many new things happened. And we do many new things to respond.
The first video of our ReportFires app Kickstarter campaign is 2-minute long. It is a little bit standard, somehow “boring”. Yup, it is more a B2B kind of stuff. We made it by exporting a Powerpoint presentation into video and then edited it to add background music. A week later we added voiceovers to make the video more telling and reduced the words in the video.
We wanted to make another video, more customer-oriented to better fit our target audience. It was out of our capacity to make a video with the wildfire scenes. The standard is high (and there are a few masterpieces ). We believed an animation would be a good option to demonstrate how the ReportFires app would help in a wildfire outbreak. A good animation can be less heavy for everyone in this tough year. And we had a good story to tell – ReportFires app can save a cat!
We planned to outsource the animation production to a freelancer on Fiverr. At the same time, TimelessFlick contacted me via LinkedIn. Just in time. (Thanks hardworking sales professionals, thanks LinkedIn!)
They’re a Singapore startup providing animation production services. Their work portfolio is good. They are promoting their services to start-ups in Hong Kong. The promotional price is good. The standard production time is 4-week.
My own requirement was simple – I wanted the animation ASAP. Must have it in 2-week time so that we would use it in our Kickstarter campaign. TimelessFlick listened to us. We listened to them as well what they need from a customer to produce an animation.
From the initial contact on Wednesday afternoon, 16-Sep-2020. Online meeting in the next day morning, we contracted in the afternoon, we provided the animation storyboard and voice script by the evening. Confirmed the storyboard and animation scenes during the weekend. And TimelessFick handed over the 39-second animation by Wednesday 2:39 pm, 23-Sep-2020!
We made it in 1-week! TimelessFlick over-achieved their commitment! They overcame time constrain to make things happen!
It is another timeless proof to me that the world is borderless! People in different cities can work together seamlessly to make great things!
Hope you like the animation video. Hope you like our message. Hope you will join us and support our Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andrecheung/reportfires-your-ai-wildfire-detection-app-0
“And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39
I was very busy last week. WFH 12/7! I need to buy something to verify I am connected to the reality…
I go to Kickstarter to find cool stuff and interesting ideas. Round pegs in the square holes. Pledge something. Change things. Move the human race forward.
Below is my list of best Kickstarter projects in September 2020. In ascending order. I develop this list with balanced objectivity and subjectivity. Selection criteria:
- Value for money
Hope you enjoy the list.
10. WonderSpray, by WonderSpray (gadgets)
To clean the butt by water spray is very hygiene and comfortable experience. It makes you want to visit Japan. The video is lovely!
9. BRZRKR, by BOOM! Studios (graphics novels)
It is Keanu Reeves. Period. It is about John Wick, isn’t it?
8. LARQ Pitcher, by Justin Wang (product design)
Clean drinking water is very important. An everyday tool with good UI. We need it.
7. Pure Over, by Pure Over (product design)
We need good coffee in between cups of clean water. All glass coffee-making experience. It works best with good coffee beans and purified water.
6. Silver Grip, by Fusion Creations (product design)
It seems very convincing that silver can kill viruses. It helps us reduce the use of paper tissue (to avoid direct contact of objects) and alcohol (to clean our hands after direct touching external objects).
5. Nanobag 4.0, by TipTop Things LTD (product design)
We use too many plastic bags! This Nanobag is very small and handy to carry. An Essential tool for grocery shopping.
We need many new things to live healthily nowadays.
4.Arsenal 2, by Ryan Stout (camera equipment)
Good photos are never enough. We need more, especially when developing a Kickstarter campaign! With this AI gadget, we can take photos like masters! AI is good! We should support anything powered by AI, right?
3. Unfound Backpack, by Unfound (accessories)
This backpack is beautiful. Handy for workday use with after-work exercise. It can store everything for a short trip. Looks cool. Designed in Taiwan. Made in Taiwan.
2.Cook System, by Wolf and Grizzly (design)
What does adventure mean to you?
Making a grilled fish with fresh lemon beside a river in a beautiful forest on a summer weekend. This stainless steel cooking tool is a masterpiece! It is almost the best of the best! However, to make a great and safe adventure, we need one more thing…
Your AI wildfire detection app
- Usefulness: checked, especially for those living in WUI
- Innovation: the world first Machine Learning wildfire detection app
- Design: single hand UI
- Environment-friendly: checked, it mitigates wildfire risks & damages
- Value for money: FREE app
All these Kickstarter projects are now live. Go to pledge them! Wish everyone a joyful September!
PS: this is my 100th blog post! Marvelous!
We are on the same journey of global WFH movement, aren’t we?
Working-From-Home is sometimes lonely. Solitude will bring new things.
And it brings us our first Kickstarter campaign! Cool!
Here is our “app journey” summary:
Jan: First Australia mega-bushfires. Then the coronavirus outbreak. The world was never the same.
Feb: Supply chains and transportation were not functioning! We developed the ReportFires web app to help people to mitigate wildfire risks and damages.
Mar: RoboticsCats ReportFires web app launched in Chiang Mai, Jakarta and Hong Kong.
Apr: we evaluated the lesson learned in the ReportFires web app
May: we finalize the ReportFires mobile app scope and design. It is an AI wildfire detection mobile app
Jun-Jul: R&D. We met a few mobile app developers to discuss outsourcing partnerships. Glad to team up with a very experienced development house to build the ReportFires mobile app!
Aug: work in progress! We target to launch ReportFires app in coming October!
What you can get from ReportFires?
- to help you to fight or flight, respond ahead of wildfire
- to protect your family and community from nearby wildfires
- to alert others of wildfires in the vicinity
What is ReportFires? What can it do?
It is a FREE AI wildfire detection app. It can
- alerts you of nearby wildfire reported by other users
- detects wildfire near your home
- helps you report wildfire location easily by map clicks
We build the mobile app because we want to help people to better respond to wildfires. The app will be a good marketing tool to showcase our technologies. Doing both is great!
Software development is now at full speed! Interim deliverables are very promising! We believe it will be a useful and popular app when it launches in October.
A good app is useful if there are people using it. We’re exploring different options to promote the new ReportFires mobile app, to drive adoption, and to help more people to know and use it. The challenge is we don’t have much budget to do it.
We want to market the app to the world. We need fundings. We’re a startup. Why not try crowd-funding? Let’s go Kickstarter!
We studied both successful and failed Kickstarter campaigns. There are a lot of tasks and subtle details to launch a campaign. Significant workloads for an IT start-up. Many tasks are professional activities of different domains. Moreover, mobile app is not a popular Kickstarter category and only about 20% of app campaigns can meet their funding goals!
With all potential challenges, we are committed to moving forward with our Kickstarter campaign. We don’t have all the skills we need, but we have abundant talents from our customers, partners, advisors, and friends who will help us!
Thanks for all the invaluable supports from our friends and advisors in different professions and countries! The coming Kickstarter campaign is only possible with their generous help in graphic designs, copywriting, proof-reading, gift production, online marketing, etc!
It is our common goal to build a better world that brings us to work together. It is our differences which create new great things!
After months of preparation, our Kickstarter campaign is going to launch in September. Many moving parts in the project. A few critical tasks are still work-in-progress. We will start promoting our Kickstarter campaign next week. The coming weeks will be very interesting and exciting! The preparation itself is a successful crowdsourcing experience!
What do you think about our Kickstarter campaign landing pages?
The ReportFires Kickstarter campaign will launch in early September. See you then!
It is a fun and meaningful journey. We invite you to join us~
I wish everyone a joyful Monday. I wish everyone in Hong Kong a peaceful Easter Monday holiday. It is great to watch some good videos while staying at home, isn’t it?
What is Drive-Thru History: Ends of the Earth?
TBN.org: Hosted by historian and filmmaker Dave Stotts, Drive Thru History: Ends of the Earth takes viewers on a twenty-episode, global trek to every corner of the earth, to show how God has used ordinary people throughout history to take His saving grace to every nation and people.
Dave Stotts: the final chapter of our trilogy investigating the impacts Jesus life throughout the 2,000 years since and his salvations reach as the prophet Isaiah wrote the better part of 3,000 years ago to the ends of the earth.
Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico City
I traveled to Mexico last May to join our partners to meet customers. I visited Mexico City and spend some time at Metropolitan Cathedral, the oldest and largest cathedral in Latin America. It is Amazing!
In Episode 5 Latin America, Dave explained how Christianity was introduced to the Aztec empire in the 16th Century, how Spanish turned Tenochtitlan into Mexico City, and how they destroyed Templo Mayor to make room for the new Metropolitan Cathedral.
Churches in Tokyo
It was an unprecedented quarter one. I spend some time in Tokyo and met some potential partners. I was fortunate at this difficult time.
I visited some churches in Tokyo on weekends. Most of them were closed to mitigate coronavirus spread. Nevertheless, it was a great experience to see them just from outside. They were peaceful and beautiful.
From west to east:
1: St. Mary’s Cathedral Tokyo (Gokokuji Station, Yurakucho Line)
2: UCCJ Fujimicho Church (Iidabashi Station, Chuo Line)
3: St Paul International Lutheran Church, Tokyo (Iidabashi Station, Chuo Line)
4: UCCJ Kudan Church (Kudanshita Station, Shinjuku Line)
5: Catholic Kanda Church (Suidobashi Station, Chuo Line)
6: Holy Resurrection Cathedral (Ochanomizu Station, Chuo Line)
7: St. Paul – Catholic Asakusa Church (Akihabara Station, Chuo Line)
Picks of the Week
1.Drive-Thru History: the Gospels Episode 15-17
These three episodes cover the Trial, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection, of Jesus respectively. They are now available on Youtube for Free!
2.TBN mobile app
Trinity Broadcasting Network is the world’s largest religious network. The TBN app offers inspirational programming (such as the Drive-Thru History trilogy) through streaming and VOD.
“But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” Philippians 1:18 (NIV)
Good morning 29-Mar-2020.
It is a snowy and still Sunday morning. Good for some blue and sentimental music.
March: the world is slowing down
WHO (World Health Organization) finally announced on 12-March-2020 that the COVID-19 outbreak was a pandemic. Late is better than never?!
Governments and people around the world are trying to stay at home, to do social distancing, and to flatten the curve. Most of the focuses are on public health (discussion). Everything else is secondary. We see sales activities are slowing are down. Similar to other industries. Wildfire detection and prevention activities are not immune.
Zoom becomes very popular recently. It becomes an everyday tool for those working or learning from home.
Online meeting was a hot business topic when Cisco Systems acquired WebEx at US$3.2 billion in the year 2007. Screen and video sharings improve communication effectiveness. 13-year later smartphone brings mobility and mass adoption to online meetings. Everyone can meet anyone anywhere. People adopt better tools to communicate. Late is better than never.
Why don’t we use free Skype to do online meetings?
-to sign up Skype is difficult
-to ask someone to share his Skype ID is very difficult
-to share your smartphone screen in realtime is impossible
A quick tip: set up your online meeting to “mute participants upon entry” by default. It helps everyone.
Thanks for all the user feedbacks to our new reportfires.RoboticsCats.com web app. We made some UI adjustments to make the app more intuitive. For example, the menu bar is now shown when starting the web app. We assume every user is the first-time user and we show directly and clearly what he/she can do with the app at the beginning. Avoid ambiguity and guessing.
Zoom and Cisco Webex mobile apps support screen sharing. We find Zoom a very good tool to demonstrate mobile app. We used it many times to show our new Insight Globe Mobile app and ReportFires web app.
One good lesson we learn from Zoom: hassle-free for the first-time user. ReportFires does not require sign up or registration.
Picks of the week
1.Podcast: Linear Digressions: Understanding Covid-19 transmission: what the data suggests about how the disease spreads
2.Gadget for home office: MICOE adjustable laptop stand
3.Music: “The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis
Good morning 29-Feb-2020!
It is a sunny Saturday in Tokyo. Good for a walk and podcats in the morning and some nice coffee. Finally I can sit down to write a blog for myself. An hour of freedom and solitude.
What a February!
A month ago we had the Chinese New Holidays. Good time for family gatherings. A break from work to re-energize ourselves. What happened then was totally unexpected.
The RoboticsCats team did come back to work from the holidays. The major difference was we all worked from homes in February! All our colleagues work from their homes in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Taipei, and Tokyo.
#Wuhanvirus / #coronavirus / #COVID19
Whatever it is called, it reminds us of what happened in the year 2003.
In that spring of 2003, we found that we could do very little. Desperate. Hopeless.
Thank God the virus outbreak ended in the summer.
Thank those doctors and nurses risking their lives to protect the people in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is not a place. It is the people. Just like Asgard.
“I am now in Tokyo, my latitude is 35.700 and longitude is 139.779 respectively. I see some smoke about 3km away from my position in the southeast direction. Please send someone to check if there is a fire!”
We need precise and concise information in urgency. Not everyone can communicate that way verbally. Not everyone has
RoboticsCats ReportFires is a crowdsourcing app to allow people to report and share wildfire location information. Wildfire risks are high for those living at WUI (Wildland-Urban-Interface). They will be very alert and try their best to protect their families and homes from wildfires. Besides purpose-built early fire detection robots, we believe people can help to report nearby fires to the authorities using common gadgets – smartphones. The authorities can make informed decisions and take timely actions. People need a tool to report fire locations easily. As easy as Google Maps.
The idea came when we submitted our proposal to CALFIRE last year. We implemented it this February. Design, development and UAT (User Acceptance Test) are all completed in the last four weeks! The time we saved form commuting to work allowed us to do more things! Thank our beta testers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Portugal, and Chile!
ReportFires will be launched coming Monday, 2-March-2020.
Every challenge brings out some good new things from human beings.
Web Application Firewall
ReportFires is a free web app. We need a WAF to protect it and to make it highly available and serviceable. Whenever and wherever. A tool in need is a tool indeed!
I spend a few days doing some market researches. I picked StackPath WAF. I knew MaxCDN was a respectful competitor when I was working at EdgeCast a few years ago. MaxCDN is now part of StackPath. Their WAF is cost-effective and easy to use. The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is important. We are a small start-up. I spend 15 minutes to implement and test it! Thank StackPath!
Pick of the week
An episode dedicated to Mr. Clayton Christensen.
I wish everyone a joyful Saturday. Have a nice coffee too.