How we created the brain of the Rubetek system

Guys, welcome you to the official account of the company Rubetek, engaged in the development and production of IoT-devices.

Very often, our experts hear comments about the nature of the devices, namely, that they take gadgets from the Middle Kingdom and re-paste the logo. In this regard, we considered it necessary to talk about how long we have traveled on the example of the history of development and production of one of our devices.

Why did you decide to create such a company?

The idea lay on the surface. If we consider, for example, a car, we will see that keyless access, “adaptive light” and many other things have appeared long ago. All these devices work in concert and provide maximum comfort for the driver and passengers. For example, when the car is armed, all devices turn off automatically. You can not say about the "warm field" or air conditioning, which continue to work in the house, despite the fact that the person left. Therefore, we thought, why not try to make the living space of each person more comfortable and more convenient?

What did we start with?

Our activity began with the installation direction. At first, we provided installation services for third-party equipment; implemented projects on a turnkey basis. At that time, solutions based on wire technologies such as KNX or ModBus were popular.

What are we facing?

At the installation stage, the main problems encountered by the user became apparent:

It was then that the realization came that “creating crutches” for other people's devices is an inefficient business. Therefore, having accumulated some experience and knowledge, we decided to create our own product.

At the time of our launch, all home automation systems were built on the basis of the controller - the core that implements the main functionality. Therefore, we decided to concentrate fully on the development of the controller, and use additional devices (relays, sensors, etc.) from third-party manufacturers and replace them gradually with our own solutions, as needed. It is difficult to develop and manufacture them all, especially since the range of devices is enormous (locks, switches, sensors, taps, etc.). And, the controller is the heart and brain of our solution.

We decided to call the controller the Control Center. Briefly list the main stages of the development and creation of the Center:

Software development is a very big topic, so we will write about it in detail in a separate material. And in this article - we will tell you what path you had to go in developing the hardware of the Control Center.

Development of the hardware component

To begin, we decided to test the most popular solutions at that time based on single-board computers. Our developers had at their disposal everything they needed: experience in working with ARM, MIPS, x86 architecture, embedded systems and test equipment.

We took Cubieboard as a starting point. This is a single board computer on Allwinner. We purchased several boards and began to customize the software component in order to get the environment for the components that we developed completely.

Soon enough, we came to the conclusion that single processor systems, especially those based on Allwinner, are very weak. These boards didn’t have good stability, and they also lost a lot of memory work. And we planned to make integration with video surveillance systems in the future.

Soon Cubieboard developer Tom Cubie made a new microcomputer (Radxa) on another processor (Rockchip 3188). This attracted our attention, since the characteristics and architecture of this solution were much better than the analogues existing at that time. We ordered several boards for testing when they were just released.

With good energy efficiency, this system-on-chip provided significant computational power. Another advantage of this solution was the use of open source software that was qualitatively optimized for the hardware component. Also, the Radxa team was ready to meet us in providing technical support.

According to the results of the first tests with the Radxa board, we came to the conclusion that this is the product that completely suits us.

However, this single-board computer was not a solution for a “smart home” because it did not have the necessary interfaces. Therefore, we began work on adapting the platform for solving home automation tasks. We took Radxa Rock as a model and began to move to ensure that the final product we had on a Rockchip processor with similar peripherals and the same core. Began to actively contact with the team Radxa (c Tom Kubi), to organize joint revision.

We conducted a whole cycle of measures to reduce the cost as the cost of the original product was very high. Our goal was to provide the best value for money.

We replaced the processor with the RK3128 - a new, cheaper chip, while maintaining a comparable level of computing power. Changed entirely and completely circuitry. Removed unnecessary components, added Z-Wave, RF module.

The current generation of the Control Center can be called, in fact, Designed in Russia, Assembled in China.


The creation of the corps is a whole epic and our little victory. In the development of the control center building, we distinguish two main stages.

Stage 1 - “Startup” Stage

There were a lot of ideas. A huge number of layouts and prototypes. Initially, we were developing a square case, and the trial edition was molded in silicone molds and painted manually.

We started with sketches, which later turned into a meaningful concept by our 3D designer. The model was printed on a high-quality 3D-printer, but this did not help to avoid mistakes - it was necessary to reprint several times so that each of the parts would fit perfectly to the next. The model obtained in the final was used as a prototype for the silicone form. On its basis the body was cast.

After that, the obtained result required refinement and expected staining. At this stage, we have discussed many color solutions, considering the product from the consumer’s point of view, trying to understand what the most attractive option should be.

Observing the work of our designer, polishing and coloring, we tried to calculate all the nuances, not only the color, but also how the cooling system of the device will be implemented, and much more.

According to the results, it was decided to dwell on a strict white body - a classic, which is unlikely to become obsolete with time.

In general, the development of a high-quality case took away a lot of time and effort from us, however, in the end, we achieved what we were striving for from the very beginning: the brain of the system in a compact and neat package.

Stage 2 - “Professional Product Release”

The second, but equally important stage for us was the transition to mass production.

Having gained experience in working with prototypes, we decided to start developing a quality product for the mass consumer.

We divided the development of the final product into three steps:

Developing a new design, we again went through all the stages of creating sketches: paper and 3D. This was no longer something new for us, and we decided on a body fairly quickly.

We spent a significant amount of time searching for a manufacturer. When we went to China, we visited several factories, as a result we managed to find a manufacturer that would provide the required quality of the product and agree on cooperation. A mold was made at the selected factory, and then production of cases was started.

As a result: the current Control Center is a compact white device, no larger than a third of the usual home router.

First samples

After the first test models were made, we talked about testing finished samples. Initially, we handed out devices to relatives and friends, in order to get a response and a clear idea of ​​which direction to go next.

Rubetek representatives registered at specialized forums on the Internet. Our employees told enthusiastic people, as we did with circuitry, about the Control Center and the Rubetek mobile app. Invited to take part in testing the central controller.

Feedback from ordinary users helped us decide what to change, improve, and how to make our solution easier and clearer to use. It was a significant stage in the corporate life of our company.

To date

The control center is the key device in the Rubetek smart home. The Center uses Rockchip RK3128 as a processor. The type and version of the operating system kernel: Linux 3.10.49, OS Linux OpenWRT. Used data transmission interfaces: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, RF (433 MHz).

Integrated Ethernet port IEEE 802.3 Ethernet / 802.3u Fast Ethernet, used by the Center Wi-Fi standard: IEEE 802.11b / g / n (2.4 GHz), channel width 20 / 40MHz.

Control Center Functions:

In addition, the Control Center has two USB connectors on the case, one on the front and one on the back of the device. They are used to connect a flash drive and a 3G / 4G modem.

The control center allows you to save video from IP cameras to cloud storage:

Recently, the Rubetek Control Center is compatible with the Apple Homekit platform, which allows you to control your smart devices with your voice using Siri.

We have not bypassed the topic of security.

Currently, each of the Rubetek Control Centers has a unique identifier and pin code that are used during authorization. A secure connection is made using digitally protected TLS certificates.

A lot of work ahead

We wanted to create an affordable and convenient solution that will give a new quality of everyday human life. Today, the Rubetek system includes a line of smart devices and several off-the-shelf solutions. Our devices are compatible with the Apple HomeKit platform. Now the mobile application Rubetek allows you to control devices with voice.

This is the way of development and creation of the Rubetek Control Center by our company over the past few years. We got a great experience. And we are not going to stop. Our team is constantly refining and improving the current line of devices, the developers are preparing a line of new devices that will be released in the fall. We managed to enter the CIS market. Ahead - international expansion (Europe, USA).

The Rubetek team believes that the advanced Russian technologies of the Internet of Things (IoT) will develop and be able to take a worthy place in the world.


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