January 19, 2024

Seamless Data Collection, Querying, and Aggregation Across All Smart Machines

Written by
Miranda Kapin
Product Manager

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our latest feature, Data Querying APIs, which streamline the process for retrieving specific data from your smart machines, and then synthesize this information for a bird’s-eye view of your entire fleet’s current status and health.

Collecting the machine data you need to monitor and analyze your fleet

Creating the infrastructure for managing the data your smart machines gather and generate is usually a time-consuming procedure, and often requires a patchwork solution cobbled together from several tools.  

But Viam now provides this right out of the box, allowing smart machine users and manufacturers to focus on what sensors reveal about machine performance and environments without having to build the pipelines to collect and analyze that data themselves.

How Viam pulls data off smart machines 

Viam’s platform has the ability to store all of your data, and then lets you write a query using common querying languages like SQL or MQL (MongoDB Query Language) to access your sensor and image metadata. Queries are made through an API call that can either be accessed through Viam’s SDKs, using the command line interface, or directly in our UI. 

The power of aggregated data

It is a challenge to coordinate smart machines’ data across an entire fleet due to their distributed nature. Aggregating sensor inputs, operational metrics, or environmental readings from many different devices located all over the world makes it difficult to quickly get the big picture of how your machines are currently performing.

Arranging data storage, and then building your own infrastructure to merge that data in one place once you have accessed and queried it, usually just adds more complexity to the patchwork. 

Viam’s new API endpoint consolidates all your data into a single, accessible cloud-based platform that is designed to easily plug into smart machines operating in the physical world. Once you have queried the data you are interested in monitoring on each machine, you can then pull together visualizations of that data across your fleet, such as this one showing temperature data over time across different sensors:

{ $match : { component_name : "temp" } },
{ $replaceWith : {"$arrayToObject": [[
              k: "time",
              v: "$time_received"
              k: "$robot_id",
              v: "$data.readings.temp"

This aggregated data image was created through Viam’s integration with Grafana, but we also integrate with any visualization tool your business is already comfortable using, including Tableau, Infogram, Google Charts, and many more. 

Customization and flexibility

With the Viam data aggregation API’s ability to both query and consolidate data efficiently, businesses can obtain deeper insights and make more informed decisions. This allows you to get an instant understanding of your fleet’s current status based on any variable you are interested in. Then you can utilize it to enhance the performance of your smart machine systems or adapt them to changing environmental conditions.

Businesses that manufacture or rely on smart machines may face challenges unique to their environments as they expand efforts to automate. With this in mind, the Viam platform is built for customization to take into account the diverse needs of our users.

It offers flexibility in data handling, allowing you to tailor the collection, querying, and aggregation processes to suit your specific business requirements. This provides more control over your data without obligating you to build out a data processing system for your smart machines from scratch.

Try it out for free 

Once you have set up data collection, simply use our new Query documentation page or just access your data via the API

Stay tuned for more updates and guides on maximizing the potential of the data aggregation API, as we work to make smart machines better able to respond to changing conditions and more intelligently interact with the world around them. 

New to Viam and want to give it a spin? Sign up here and try it out for free.

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