Skill Level: Intermediate

IBM Watson IoT Platform

Architect an IoT solution for building and industrial automation at reduced time-to-market and lower cost of ownership using modular IoT Gateway reference platform designed by VOLANSYS and powered by NXP.


  • Edge Devices - Sensors, Smart Appliances, Smart Wearables
  • Modular IoT Gateway and Mobile Application by VOLANSYS
  • IBM Watson IoT Platform Subscription



  1. Introduction

    VOLANSYS Modular IoT Gateway works as a specialized IoT device in Watson IoT Platform which provides a secure and quick access point to the Watson IoT Platform for other IoT devices. This gateway will have some additional permission when compared to regular devices and can perform the following functions:

    • Register IoT devices to Watson IoT Platform
    • Send and receive its own data like a directly connected device
    • Send and receive data on behalf of other devices connected to it in more secure way
    • Run a device management agent, so that it can be managed, also manage the devices connected to it – OTA Support


  2. Setup: Mobile Application

    In this recipe, the user can control and monitor the Thread and ZigBee end devices with help of Modular IoT Gateway and mobile application. To set up the demo, the user needs perform following steps:

    Download and Launch/open installed Modular Gateway Mobile Application. Once installed, user can see below screen for 3sec,




    • The application will redirect to the main screen where all the commissioned gateway is listed
    • The user needs to configure their IBM IoT Watson cloud details into a mobile application to connect and communicate with their gateway and end devices. Follow below steps to configure cloud details shared by Volansys
    • Select “Configure” option from menu option (top right side of the screen). And fill the required data into Application Settings screen




    Get the required information to fill in the configuration screen

    • Sign in to IBM Watson cloud using your IBM Watson credentials
    • Once Sign in to IBM Watson cloud, launch the Internet of Things Platform service




    • As you launch your service you will be redirected to platform service dashboard which looks similar to the below image. Note down the orgid(Organization ID), orgid can be found just after https in the address bar of the browser for reference see the below link:

    https://******.internetofthings.ibmcloud.com/dashboard/#/boards/  (Which has ****** as an orgid.)




    • Use this Organization Id in Mobile Application Configuration screen
    • Go to Apps from the left menu. Where you can generate new APIs with different roles for Mobile application as well as for Gateway
    • Click on +Generate API Key to generate new API key





    • Click on generate button to generate new API with defined role





    1. Write down the API key and auth token. Auth token will be shown once only and it’s mandatory for communicating using mobile application
    2. Use this API key and Authentication key in mobile application configuration screen to configure your cloud details


    • Click on Submit button to save the cloud credentials
    • One first time access application view provides steps for commissioning and on successful commissioning, gateway view provides list of gateways



  3. Setup: Modular IoT Gateway

    Gateway Setup with Wi-Fi

    • Plug in power cable in D/C power input port of Gateway
    • Plug-out Ethernet cable if it is a plugin
    • Power UP the Gateway
    • Observe the LED behavior, LED1 as Solid Green indicates Gateway is connected to the cloud and LED2 as Solid green, indicates Gateway is powered on, otherwise check power supply of gateway board


    Gateway Setup with Ethernet

    • Plug in power cable in D/C power input port of Gateway
    • Plug in Ethernet cable to Gateway Ethernet port
    • Power UP the Gateway
    • Observe the LED behavior, LED1 as Solid Green indicates Gateway is connected to the cloud and LED2 as Solid green, indicates Gateway is powered on, otherwise check power supply of gateway board



  4. Connect Modular IoT Gateway to Mobile Application

    • In the initial setup, we have already shown how to register Gateway to Mobile application scanning the QR code of Gateway. To commission gateway using NFC or BLE, please follow steps mentioned in the user guide that comes with the purchase
    • On successful commission of Gateway board, the user will get notification “VTBR_xxxxxxxxxxxx is commissioned” on the mobile application. The user will get this notification on a mobile device within 15sec approximately. The user can see the gateway entry in the list of commissioned gateway board



    • Square box located at end of gateway name provide a gateway status connected, disconnected, gateway configuration pending respectively with Green, Red and Grey color
  5. Connect and Control End devices

    To add a thread end device into Gateway’s thread network, the user needs to register Gateway board if it is not registered with a user account on the mobile application. Refer section Gateway Registration to register a Gateway with the user. Follow below steps for thread end device connection to Mobile Application

    • Open the mobile application and go into the list of registered gateway list
    • Click on registered gateway in which user want to add thread end device


    The user can see registered end devices list if any end device is already registered otherwise below screen will be displayed



    • Select “End node commissioning” option from menu option (top right side of the screen). The user can commission and register end node via NFC commissioning
      • NFC Commissioning



    • To commission end device with the gateway using NFC method, please follow steps mentioned in the user guide that will come with purchase


  6. Connect Modular IoT Gateway to IBM Watson IoT Platform

    Before you can begin receiving data from devices that are connected to Modular IoT Gateway, you must connect the Modular IoT Gateway to IBM Watson™ IoT Platform. Connecting a Modular IoT Gateway to Watson IoT Platform involves

    Create Watson IoT Organization

    Please create a Watson IoT Platform organization by using IBM Bluemix. Follow the below steps to do the same,

    • Open your browser and go to Bluemix. If you are an existing Bluemix user, log in as usual. If you are new to Bluemix you can sign up for a free 30-day trial
    • Once you signed up to Bluemix, click this link to create the Watson IoT Platform service in Bluemix
    • Type a name for your service and click Create button as shown below,




    • Observe a Welcome page, click on Launch button to enter into the IBM Watson IoT Platform organization space



    • Observe that a new Organization is created where you can add, connect and manage IoT Gateways and devices




    Create a Gateway Device Type

    Each Gateway device connected to the Watson IoT Platform is associated with a device type. Device types are intended to be groups of devices which share common characteristics. Following are the instructions for creating a Gateway Device Type.

    • Go back to the IBM Watson IoT Platform dashboard, click Devices tab, device types tab, then click on the Create Type button as shown below,




    • You will see there are 2 options, 1. Create device type and 2. Create gateway type. As this recipe focuses on adding a Modular IoT Gateway device, click Create gateway type and proceed



    • Specify a name for the Gateway Device Type for example “modular-iot-gwty” and optionally a description as shown below, then click Next,




    • Define one or more Modular IoT gateway attributes by selecting them and clicking Next as shown below,




    • Define the selected attributes Manufacturer and Model as shown below, then click next,




    • Define optional Metadata in JSON format as shown below, you can choose not to set this attribute as its optional, then click Create,




    • Observe that a new device type is added in the Watson IoT Organization




    Add Modular IoT Gateway with Watson IoT Platform

    You need to add the Gateway in Watson IoT Organization before connecting it. Carry out the following steps to add the Gateway in IBM Watson IoT Platform.

    • In the Watson IoT Platform dashboard, click Browse tab and then Add Device button as shown below,





    • Choose the device type “modular-iot-gwty” that we created in the last step, then click Next as shown below,



    • Enter a unique device id, which will distinguish your Gateway from all other devices that you might connect to the Watson IoT Platform(you can use 1 or something more sophisticated like your devices MAC address), then click Next as shown below. Also, note that the values of “Manufacturer” and “Model” attributes are populated from the device type “iotsample-gwtype”. These values can be overridden, and attributes not set in the device type can be added as well



    • Add a Metadata and click next, (you can choose not to add Metadata as its optional)
    • In the next page, you can either add your own authentication token, or allow the IoT Platform to generate a token for you. The IoT Platform generated token will be 18 characters long and will contain a mix of alphanumeric characters and symbols. The token will be returned to you at the end of the registration process. In case if you want to add your own token, enter the token as shown below, then click Next,



    • As shown below, you will be given a summary page to verify the details before adding the Gateway to IoT Platform. Verify and click Add,




    • Click the cross button to get back to the main dashboard and observe that the Gateway is added in your organization,


  7. Overview to Boards in IBM Watson IoT Dashboard

    The default landing page displays default Boards, that are already made available, as shown in the following Image: 



    • You can create your new custom board by clicking on Create New Board button.
    • Click on usage overview card and you would get the following information:



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