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Pulga, a Tiny Open-Source MQTT Broker for Flexible and Secure IoT Deployments

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  • Pulga, a Tiny Open-Source MQTT Broker

    for Flexible and Secure IoT Deployments

    Jose Luis Espinosa-Aranda, Noelia Vallez, Carlos Sanchez-Bueno, Daniel Aguado-Araujo, Gloria Bueno, Oscar Deniz

    University of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

    This project has received funding from

    the European Unions Horizon 2020

    research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 643924

  • Contents

    EOT/IOT. Motivation and Context


    The MQTT Broker: Pulga


  • Motivation and Context

    Vision is our richest sensor

    One of the most complex tasks for both humans and


    Proven success in machine vision context, i.e. factory automation, inspection,

  • Motivation and Context

    CV is going out-of-factory Microsoft Kinect

    Google Project Tango

    Google Glass

    Lots of new developments Drones


    Multispectral, 3D,

    Mobile imaging

    Deep learning

  • Motivation and Context

    Many innovative

    out-of-the-factory CV applications developed for smartphones, which are cheap, easy-to-use

  • Motivation and Context

    But smartphones are not appropriate for many applications

    Wearable for the IOT/EOT? No

    Low power consumption? No

    Optimized for CV? No

    No flexible open

    platform for mobile

    embedded vision is

    currently available



  • Challenges

    EOT => IOT + CV

  • Challenges

    Build a generic vision system that can be used standalone but also embedded in more

    complex artifacts

    BOM < $15


    3mm x 3mm x 3mm

    EoT board

    camera cable


  • Efficiency Size

    Cost Flexibility


  • Challenges

    Alternative: IOT + Cloud?

    Image analysis requires massive computing power Send the data to the Cloud Send the data to local computers: Cloudlets

    In both cases raw sensor data would be streamed to an externally-managed device Security problems!

    Too much data High Wi-Fi power consumption!

  • Challenges

    However we do need to:

  • We should use Wi-Fi data transfer For device configuration, application

    metadata, etc

    Texas Instruments CC3100

    Common Internet protocols such as HTTP are not appropriate in IoT

    MQTT Broker: Pulga

  • We selected the MQTT protocol Open lightweight publish/subscribe protocol

    Efficient 1-to-n communication mechanism

    MQTT Broker: Pulga

  • MQTT Broker: Pulga

    Typical MQTT scenario

    Problems: 1. The broker is in the

    cloud (security risk) 2. Sometimes it has to

    be leased

  • MQTT Broker: Pulga

    Our proposal: MQTT broker in the embedded device


    Dont need leased broker

    Reduce security risks (information is in the LAN)


    Broker is complex software

  • MQTT Broker: Pulga

    The most popular (desktop) MQTT broker: Mosquitto

    3MB RAM

    Our implementation for EoT: Pulga (flea in Spanish)

    512KB RAM (can be less)

  • MQTT Broker: Pulga

  • MQTT Broker: Pulga

    Pulga has a specific configuration topic

  • EOT Prototype

  • Conclusions

    The EOT building elements have been all optimized for size and cost

    Software and protocols used have been also optimized

    A novel architecture is proposed in which each device can act as a broker itself

    Since no data is initially sent through the Internet is an advantage in terms of security

    The proposed embedded MQTT broker, Pulga, offers the opportunity to install and configure applications

  • Thanks for your attention

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