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An innovative load measurement device of building structures developed by RTU

Having received the support of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency «PROTOTECH» program, the company «Adventum Tech» has ordered the development of a specialized electronic board in the Riga Technical University Science and Innovation Center Department of Innovative Product Development, which will allow for the improvement of the load measurement device for innovative building structures it creates, allowing the optimization of production costs and increase in company competitiveness.

The innovative device measures the load of the existing load-bearing building structure and sends the received information to the company's «cloud» for further data processing. The processed data allows you to see the load of the load-bearing structures of the existing buildings (overloads are also possible), which gives civil engineers a complete picture of the behavior of the monitored building structures. The builder can use the received construction load information for more efficient and accurate decision-making, thereby reducing project risks, ensuring a safer working environment of the construction site, and a more transparent construction process.

Raivis Deksnis, electronics engineer of the Innovative Product Development Department of RTU Science and Innovation Center, described the general idea of the client. «It is a device that is able to measure the weight of building structures and is physically completely separated from everything else: all operations are carried out using wireless systems,» he said.

«The sensor in it reads the weight of the hardening concrete mass in real time, recording how it changes. The device is transported from construction site to construction site, and during work, you can understand at any time whether the concrete has dried, hardened, or has any defects. Respectively, it is possible to establish in time that something is not right already during the construction process,» R. Deksnis added.

When applying to «PROTOTECH», the company «Adventum Tech» intended to model, develop, and manufacture unique printed circuit boards (microcircuits), solder their electrical components, program electronics, design internal electronics housing, design and model protection solutions for external antenna and USB node to ensure successful device operation, production, prototyping of the internal electronics housing, and external antenna and USB node protection solution. These works were entrusted to R. Deksnis and would significantly improve the ease of use and functionality of the device.

R. Deksnis is an experienced electrical engineer, but this was his first time working with a product for the construction industry and with high-precision weight sensors. «During the process, I was able to learn a lot about the technology itself, about data acquisition: how to get more accurate, stable data, how to design a scheme so that the obtained data is free of distortion, noise and other defects,» he explained.

The device's wireless charging solution was also very interesting, and the electrical engineer does not hide his satisfaction that it was developed on the first attempt. Since the client's requirement was to ensure low energy consumption, research was also carried out in this direction on his own initiative, which allowed a great deal of additional learning. As a result, it was decided to use a brand-new device for measuring microscopic power consumption: its fixed information was passed on to the client so that, based on this data, the client could draw conclusions about the optimal design of the device.

«PROTOTECH» is a prototyping program created by the Technology Business Center of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, which provides support to individuals and legal entities in the development and development of prototypes of science-intensive technology products or services, in cooperation with leading Latvian universities - RTU, the University of Latvia and Riga Stradiņš University. The project is implemented in the 2014-2021 period program of the Norwegian financial instrument «Entrepreneurship development, innovations and small and medium-sized enterprises». Support of 14.8 thousand euros was received for the development of this prototype.

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