LTE for IoT Merch Cart

Skill LevelArea of FocusOperating SystemCloud Services/PlatformPlatform/Hardware
IntermediateEmbedded, IoT, Sensors, Smart CitiesLinuxAmazon AWS IoTDragonBoard 410c, MDM920x LTE for IoT

This project is designed to use the LTE for IoT SDK and supported modems like the Qualcomm® MDM9206 modem to track a Merchandise Cart in an outdoor event venue, as well as track the cart’s inventory levels . A DragonBoard™ 410c from Arrow Electronics is also used and designed to interface with Thin force sensors that keep track of inventory that is flying off the shelf. Or maybe the inventory is not moving at all! Either way, the setup can give the event organizer insights and ability to re-deploy vendor carts as needed to optimize selling opportunities.

Some applications need the ability to deploy wide-area IoT cellular-based solutions that can reach into both indoor and outdoor locations, allowing reliable access to application services. Development platforms like the Quectel LTE OPEN EVB paired with the MDM9206 modems utilize tried-and-tested cellular deployments that deliver global coverage and comprehensive security. The main objective for this project is to use the Qualcomm MDM9206 modem on the Quectel EVB to track the merchandise cart and sync the inventory levels to an AWS IoT instance.

Download the source from GitHub

Download the source from the GitHub repository. The downloaded files have the following structure


This folder has the python scripts that need to be copied to the DragonBoard 410c.


This folder has the web application that needs to be copied to the EC2 instance.

Setting up the EC2 instance in the AWS Console

Create EC2 instance and enable port 8655 in security group to run your application in EC2.

Install NodeJS :

$ curl -sL | sudo -E bash – $ sudo apt-get install nodejs

To install Postgres :

$ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib

Install NodeJS process Manager

$ npm install pm2 -g

Adding application to EC2 instance:

Copy **webapp** folder to your EC2 instance.

$ scp -i <pem file> -r webapp <EC2-instance-url>

Run the application

Run the server in EC2 instance with:

$ pm2 start

Setting up the DragonBoard 410c

Execute the following command to install pyserial

$> pip install pyserial

DragonBoard 410c download contains 2 files.

  • config.json

Please, change the following configuration

    "usb_setting" : "/dev/ttyUSB0",
    "sensor_count": "5",
    "url_connect" : "http://ip address of AWS Instance:8655/api/updateItem",
    "response_time": "60",
    "apn": "Network_Provider_APN",
    "username": " ",
    "password": " ",

usb_setting – Mention the USB port where the Quectel board is connected.
sensor_count – Mention number of thin force sensor connected.
apn – Access Point Name of the carrier used
username – Username for the APN if any
password – Password for the APN if any
auth_id – Authentication for the APN if any and below are the accepted values.

  • 0 – NONE
  • 1 – PAP
  • 2 – CHAP
  • 3 – PAP or CHAP

Make hardware connections

  • We have created a sensor mat using the Thin Force sensors that can be placed on the shelf of a Merch Cart.
    Sensor mat for the IOT Project with the Quectel LTE OPEN EVB paired with Qualcomm MDM9206 modem
    Sensor mat for the IOT Project with the Quectel LTE OPEN EVB paired with Qualcomm MDM9206 modem
  • Place the sensor mat on the shelf of the Merch Cart
  • Connect the sensor wires to the DragonBoard 410c as seen below:
    Pin Connections between the DragonBoard 410c and the sensor mat

Setup DragonBoard 410c connections:

  • Plug in USB 4-port hub to the DragonBoard 410c USB port at the far edge of the board
  • Connect to the Touch Screen HDMI cable and plug in the USB touch screen cable into the 4-port hub (the 7” display is powered by the DragonBoard 410c)
  • Plug in wireless keyboard USB dongle and power on the keyboard
  • Connect the USB extension hub to the DragonBoard 410c.
  • Connect the DragonBoard 410c to HDMI monitor. Connect the USB from the HDMI monitor to the USB extension hub.
  • Connect keyboard to the USB extension hub.

Setup the Quectel EVB connections:

  • Connect the power cable to the Quectel EVB. Make sure the power switch is in OFF position.
    Quectel LTE OPEN EVB switch in off position.

Connect the Serial to USB cable between “Com Main” on the Quectel EVB and USB port closest to the High Speed Expansion header on Quectel Board as seen below:

Quectel LTE OPEN EVB Serial connection to the DragonBoard 410c

Connect the USB end of the Serial cable to the DragonBoard 410c USB port closest to the High Speed expansion header, as seen below:

Quectel LTE OPEN EVB Serial to USB connection on the DragonBoard 410c

Power on the DragonBoard 410c and wait until you see the Desktop.

Power on the Quectel EVG board This is a two-step process,

  1. Flip the switch to ON position.
  2. Press the power button next to the Micro USB connector
    Steps to turn on the Quectel LTE OPEN EVB.

You will see Green LED turn ON. This means that the Board is ON

  • POWER – Red (Constant)
  • STATUS – Green (Constant)
  • NET_STATUS – Blue (Blinking)

Quectel LTE OPEN EVB LED Status

On the DragonBoard 410c, open a terminal window: Left click on the icon in the lower left status bar, then System Tools -> UXTerm:

DragonBoard 410c Launch Terminal

Launch the demo with the command:

sudo python

You will see the following logs in the terminal window.

Output on the Terminal window when the app is launched.

Launch Chrome Browser on any host PC and navigate to the following link: http://ip_address_of_AWS_instance:8655

  • Place bottles on top of sensors to simulate smart shelf.Inventory Levels on the Cloud Dashboard
  • Remove a bottle from the shelf and notice the inventory drop by 1.Drop in inventory levels
  • Remove a second bottle, the inventory drops by 1, and a Sales Opportunity appears. Alert Screen for low inventory.
  • Screen displays festival map with prompt to move a cart to Center Stage.Re-deploy services to the Center Stage
  • Drag and drop one of the beer carts to center stage.
  • Success (or failure) notification appears.Alert for successfully deploying services.
  • Tap on Dashboard button (bottom left) to see metrics from AWS IoT for inventory levels. Merch cart sales chart is static data.Dashboard view on the cloud web application.
  • Tap Restock (bottom right) to reset inventory level to 60 bottles
  • Remember to place beer bottles on sensor pads on sensor shelf mat in order to re-trigger when removed for next iteration
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