THE BUILDING BLOCKS
OF TOCARO BLUE
At Tocaro Blue we treat data as our ground floor – an asset through the managing and use of raw information.
It is critical at this level to define goals/objectives and expectations regarding the effective and efficient use of data usage across departments and projects while ensuring privacy compliance.
We built our company from the ground up to manage and process data. Our system monitors EVERY sensor reading on the boat in perpetuity. Imagine a “CarFax” with enough detail to show you every road the vehicle traveled on and associated complications? Buying or selling a boat with comprehensive data takes significant risk out of the purchase equation.
We are currently finalizing semi-annual report templates for boat owners that offer quantitative metrics to include predictive replacement items.
Employment of a data strategy has allowed us to structure our capability to provide for internationalization and the global market. As an example, we recently had a request for a “Spanish” version of our App – after evaluating and setting up the Spanish API the Tocaro Blue App now has that capability.
Software-Defined Product, or SDP
SDP, is both the heart, and the brain, of our IoT (Internet of Things) product.
It is the virtual representation of the physical product. In this case, when we say IoT Product we mean a discrete product/system.
The Software-Defined Product consists of two components,
- Cyber Model
SDP is a simulation of the product’s functionality. The Software-Defined Product is also sometimes called the Digital Twin because it is the virtual equivalent of the physical product. We abstract the physical hardware into a software version that allows us to reorganize it and focus on what matters.
SDP is a key source of differentiation between the IoT product and the connected product or smart product. It is this virtualization of the physical into the digital that gives it its power. IoT represents a new class of products where the software is the focus and is used to provide the solution rather than the hardware.
Our system is set up to support global deployment…everything from 2G to NB IoT & 5G cellular connectivity.
Pick your country of use – our system is designed to operate seamlessly. Our system allows optimization of the SIM card to mimic host nation cellular function allowing parity with local systems. Most systems that offer global coverage do so at a compromise….”compromise” is not in our vocabulary.
What about WiFi? Yes Tocaro Blue has built and tested systems that employ standard WiFi or Starlink WiFi services.
How about Satellite? Our enabled (customer requested) satellite devices communicate through the Iridium constellation allowing connectivity just about anywhere on Earth. Our embedded firmware allows the system to optimize data transmission to the appropriate communications platform while keeping data costs in mind. In short, we manage the $$$ to give you the most capability for your hard earned $$$.
NMEA 2000 functionality
The next development in gateway technology with the ability to monitor just about every function on your vessel to ensure your time on the water is maximized and without interruption.
In its ultimate form this gateway will permit the vessel to communicate directly with the marina on errors, maintenance requirements, and other system issues. This capability is maximized on newer vessels with extensive NMEA sensors and integration, and provides for comprehensive monitoring and vessel system evaluation. What differentiates this from other NMEA systems is we specifically employ Machine Learning protocols to manage and process data to deliver capabilities previously untenable. The picture below is an example of what we are transmitting and shows the comprehensive aspect of this capability.
Proteus VCRA (Vessel Collision Risk Avoidance)
Our coup-de-gras technological development; an enabled edge computing device with Machine Learning capabilities that also employs cloud computing.
A patent pending “edge” computer that supercharges the capabilities of your existing chart-plotter. It does this by intelligently (Machine Learning) combining information from your onboard sensors (like RADAR, depth, AIS, MMSI) with our weekly updated charts – fusing them together to provide a clear and simple display of potential threats around your vessel. The VCRA computer is easily installed behind your helm-station, and displays our Field Of Awareness (FOA) interface on your existing chart-plotter screen. The display allows you to interface with your FOA at three levels:
- A RADAR-style overlay where every object on screen is filtered or tracked without needing to interpret radar blobs
- A simplified FOA view, showing range and bearing to nearby objects and threats
- A high visibility status bar indicating All Clear, Warning, or Danger conditions
How does it work? We constantly scrape data sources like NOAA and Coast Guard and merge that with the real observations on Radar and AIS to make predictions. The first level of predictions is to isolate RADAR objects detected over water from those over land, immediately clarifying objects that are of interest. Second, we correlate Coast Guard buoy and channel marker surveys with RADAR hits: we know these objects are mostly stationary and are only shown as a threat if an operator is on a collision course towards them. After that, everything else on the water is a potential friend or threat, depending on our own course and how it behaves. The VCRA computer first uses a Deep Convolutional Neural Network (combined with AIS, when it is available) to classify the threat. The type of vessel determines the specific dangers it might cause; large vessels like barges maneuver smoothly and slowly, so we should be responsible for avoiding them. Whereas a jet ski can maneuver quickly, is unpredictable, and may become a threat at any time. Other vessels are usually in-between these two extremes. Based on classifying the vessel, we begin tracking the objects and can predict the threat they might cause. Not all threats are above water. We also use depth charts, built using NOAA data and collaborative data from all Master Chief & VCRA users, to map the seafloor and provide awareness of underwater obstructions. Our Tocaro Blue App ensures critical data is communicated to the captain wherever they may be physically located on the boat. Stand by for video and capability demonstrations…
We take testing seriously – in many cases to the extreme; but that’s our DNA and why we can claim to have the most reliable and tested systems on the market.
Our production systems are installed in several test platforms from trawlers and cruisers to sail boats and our own race platform (Ex European World Champion) well before market release for test & evaluation. This allows us to replicate every possible installation scenario with associated shock and vibe realities.
We build our systems (and sensors) to live in the absolute worst environmental conditions imaginable in hopes that they serve you through the worst mother nature throws at you. That end state in mind we purchased a saltwater chamber and test all of our designs to ensure longevity, reliability, and accuracy well before “real world testing”. Our salt spray chamber affords us the ability to replicate years of saltwater abuse and environmental exposure.
Our engineers also employ a state-of-the-art battery test platform to replicate years of boating (charge/discharge cycles) and provide insight into how our systems affect ships’ service batteries and our own lithium batteries. It is this specific testing that has allowed us to develop logic (in final testing) that saves battery power progressively. These power save modes are initiated automatically based on vessel usage and of course battery condition. We’re confident our system outperforms the competitors.
Tocaro Blue Component Technology
Bluetooth Low Energy and the Bluetooth Mesh
Bottom line is that it doesn’t use a lot of power.
Devices can run off coin cell batteries for extended periods, making the Bluetooth protocol of choice for data skinny devices that need to run unattended for months at a time. Its simpler protocol comes with other advantages. Sensors don’t have to be paired to communicate, but can read and send data asynchronously and instantaneously whenever needed. The protocol is widely accepted and implemented across billions of devices worldwide.
Bluetooth Mesh (BT Mesh) is a relatively new protocol. It extends simple point-to-point BLE using additional routing and network formation standards to create mesh networks where nodes can act as relays to extend the network beyond the range of any one device. A Bluetooth Mesh network can theoretically support thousands of nodes, however in our case we’ll limit sensors to your specific boating requirements.
Networks formed as a mesh are not limited by any single node’s reach; each node can forward and route messages to destinations well beyond their nominal range, forming physical networks (i.e. cell towers). Because Bluetooth Mesh is based in BLE, it carries over many of that protocol’s advantages including low energy use and excellent security. BT Mesh networks are self-forming and self-healing ensuring reliable and continued operation.
Our system is one of the only systems that allow a user full duplex functionality on the boat without cellular or satellite communications. That means peace-of-mind where 99% of the other systems fail. This also means that our unique approach to connectivity provides for several unheard-of capabilities. Essentially allowing the user to communicate via text through their cell phone to our satellite (Iridum) enabled Master Chief system, providing an affordable, additional layer of safety for those without a satellite communications system.
Delrin offers the same core benefits of general plastics, such as:
- Excellent dimensional stability
- Friction, fatigue, and abrasion resistance
- Low moisture absorbance, leading to strong performance in wet conditions
- Desirable electrical properties
- Machinability to tight tolerances
- FDA & USDA compliance
The main distinction between Delrin and other plastics stem from its composition as a homopolymer— it offers better properties in select areas—such as higher stiffness, flex fatigue resistance, creep resistance, and measurable benefits in mechanical strength. The bottom line is that it is a more durable material and can be relied on in extreme circumstances (Hot, Cold, Wet, Dry, etc.) …. like those experienced while boating.
Marine grade vs Standard wiring
Being marine grade means the cable or wire has been treated with a coating to prevent oxidation, usually tin. Tinned copper will not tarnish or oxidize like bare copper. Even Oxygen Free Copper (OFC), which is copper that has been refined to a purity of at least 99.95%, over time when exposed to the elements will tarnish. Oxidation will slowly deteriorate the cable’s ability to conduct electricity. When regular copper wiring is exposed to saltwater deterioration starts and failure is inevitable (when inspecting boats, the wire strands look black). We decided Marine Grade on ALL our connectors and components was critical to a long and operational lifespan.
Combined with the Delrin construction, Stainless Steel fasteners, and rubber gasketed mating services this allows for the system to operate in the ugliest of environments. It’s the attention to detail that makes a difference; especially when protecting you and your family.
The Vibration Sensor
A first of its kind idea for the recreational and professional boater.
A first of its kind idea for the recreational and professional boater. This sensor characterizes the “mechanical vibrations” of your particular boat and alerts you of vibrational anomalies prior to failure (predictive). Whether it’s a dinged prop, fouled plug, or even failing engine accessory (alternator, shafts, etc.) this sensor was designed to increase time on the water while simultaneously driving down repair costs through early identification. This sensor can be paired with any existing Master Chief Gateway.
Let’s elaborate on the use of power or how this system affects boat battery consumption. To this consideration we have identified 3 types of boats/users.
- In use everyday boats
- Boats used on a weekly basis
- Boats that spend a lot of time not being used
To that end our system has been optimized to provide the best user experience regardless of use case…
- Boats used every day remain in an active posture responding to every change and reporting on an accelerated timeline
- Boats that are used weekly automatically limit transmission of data to an as needed basis (i.e. low battery, intrusion, flooding, etc). If they don’t need to communicate they default to a more limited timeline and this saves significant battery
- Boats that go into long term storage further scale back reporting to 1-2 times a day (or when sensors dictate).
With these modes our system NEVER becomes a source of battery consumption concern. Obviously, any battery left for a year without charging will deplete, but we manage power consumption to take the headache out of this concern.