I'm relatively new to working on IoT, so I'm also a bit ignorant on the subject.

I have a system, like most IoT systems, that consists of several sensors and actuators on a field.

Simplifying, these sensors send their data to a database through a gateway (which can communicate with both the sensors and actuators). The gateway also has an API that can be used to trigger the actuators remotely.

The above is where I want to keep my focus, as I don't want or have the time to build and end-to-end IoT solution from the ground up.

To complement what I already have, I'm looking for IoT (or general) platforms that allow sensor data visualization (ex: Grafana) and provide some easy way to trigger the actuators manually and automatically through some sort of rules-engine. A plus would be a platform that could export the rules-engine to the gateway so all the automatic trigger of actuators could be done locally.

To meet the data visualization requirement I already found hundreds of platforms. However, I can't test them all and I haven't seen any that provides what I'm looking for.

To manually trigger the actuators, one solution would be some widget-based dashboard that allows not only the creation of time-series graphs for sensor data, but also the creation of buttons that when clicked would call a REST endpoint, the trigger of the actuator itself could be handled by the server that exposes the endpoint.

To automatically trigger the actuators, I'd be happy with something like an Alert system, but instead of sending notifications when a sensor value threshold is reached, the REST endpoint that triggers the actuator would be called.

Anyone has knowledge of such system and/or could provide some pointers to where I could get started?

I'm not aware of any general purpose internet-enabling physical interaction devices. Most of the IoT applications which I've come across so far have been integrated offerings, aimed at specific use cases. Vendors also seem to be trying to avoid encouraging plug-and-play systems where you can easily chose the sensor provider independent of the back-end.

Even thinking about your specific application, it isn't clear what architecture would make sense for a general purpose device. Even abstracting the LAN, sensors and user interface (there are building-block MCU-in-a-case evaluation products from some vendors today), what would a general-purpose SPI actuator look like?

Are there many retrofit applications where it makes sense to bolt on top of an existing push button (and a relay wouldn't be a better, safer solution)? If your application requires a linear positioning, you'll need a stepper motor and lead screw arrangement, but then what are the travel and torque requirements?

For prototyping, it doesn't seem like a significant amount of work to 3D print a mechanical interface between your existing hardware and some servo or stepper motors (windscreen wipers and lock actuators provide useful motors, and I've seen some examples using them). However, I am unsure how many other people would find an application for the parts you developed - hence the chances of finding something 'off-the-shelf' are limited.

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