Internet of Things (IoT) boosters have great stories to tell about “scavenger-class” sensors that use solar panels, tiny turbines or even stray energy gleaned from passing radio waves.
Amid all that excitement we don't hear much about the fact that sensors in odd places will have other things to contend with, like slugs sliming their circuit boards into short-circuits.
That's what's happened in New Zealand, where The Northern Advocate reports Whangarei District Council is trying to figure out how to keep the creatures off circuit boards in sewerage pumps. Apparently local slugs like the idea of the cool, dry, slightly electrified environment inside the pumps' control boxes. When the ooze-trailing critters pass over a circuit board, that's become a fatal problem. To the pumps, that is.
Better seals are being installed to keep the slugs out, a solution IoT kit-makers should probably note.
They'll also do well to consider the experience of Australian chap (and former IT journalist) Dan Warne, as recorded in this Tweet.
"We couldn't read your meter - Energy Australia" pic.twitter.com/MUxlb8z0NU— Dan Warne (@danwarne) February 25, 2015
Clearly, some critters like warm places. If you believe the hype, we're about to install billions of them around the planet.