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Pelipod: An IoT project for BT

The time wasted by field engineers to travel to locker banks to collect spares and components is very costly. Add to this the extra fuel, less time spent with customers, and the possible cascading effect on project timescales and you can understand why field engineering is a time-critical business which is heavily reliant on an efficient and reliable supply chain.

This challenge may be addressed by implementing a point solution, inexpensive enough to be located at every field engineer’s house or place of work, providing 24/7 unattended parcel delivery and returns.

Pelipod enables the secure distribution and return of goods to field-based workers, allowing full traceability and notification to all parties. It is, at its core, a smart Internet-connected and battery powered lock and box that can be located anywhere to provide an optimal collection and delivery point. An electronic keypad, smart sensors, and a camera give all parties proof of delivery and the system enables dynamic allocation of access rights without the need for keys or special apps or equipment. Pelipod also provides comprehensive data on final mile deliveries that it collects and processes, allowing businesses the flexibility to optimise their final mile supply chain. The data generated is used to manage by exception and track the Pelipods daily through the ‘heartbeat’; that is if a Pelipod fails to send a heartbeat signal, this would indicate a potential fault. The type of data generated and the way this data is used is a main differentiator of the Pelipod project.

Ascent Software was heavily involved in the project, working closely with Karl Wills, Mark Hennessy and the rest of the Pelipod team. Ascent Software developed the entire software solution, from communicating with Pelipod locks to creating codes, tracking sensor events, running hardware diagnostics to communicating with the users, businesses, and couriers via a number of web portals & mobile apps that the items have been safely delivered and collected. Ascent Software remains involved as the product evolves additional functionality and scalability.