Valpas is an IoT startup in the hotel business. Valpas aims to advance responsible travelling by preemptively making hotels free of bedbugs with a hygiene protocol they have developed.
Smart IoT bed legs for mass production
Lures and traps for bedbugs have existed for some time, but the problem for hotels has been that placing big traps in the hotel room is unattractive for the customers and can make cleaning harder. A product was needed that both looked nice, and adapted to the hotel environment. The solution was to integrate the trap into a bed leg.
Nevertheless, in a hotel of ∼700 rooms, the cleaners simply don’t have time the check all the traps periodically. It was clear that the solution should include some IoT technology that recognizes the trapped bedbugs and notifies the hotel staff. Valpas made a prototype to confirm that bedbugs could be recognized with IoT, and while the prototype was working, it was not fit for mass production. The bed leg needed to stay small and unnoticeable, so the technology needed to be small too.
Valpas chose Wirepas mesh technology to be the best IoT connectivity for them, and now they needed a hardware partner that knew how to make products for mass production.
Close co-operation for the best solution
The project started based on the ready prototype. While the customer already knew what kind of sensor technology they needed, they were not sure what would be the best component choices for the mass production phase. This is where Haltian experience came particularly useful.
“The whole project was definitely more co-operation than direct subcontracting. We had several meetings where we presented different kinds of logic charts of the firmware and algorithm on how we wanted it to work. And we also considered and discussed different components to find the best solutions.” Matti Parkkila comments.
The project included:
- Circuit board design
- The first version of the IoT firmware
- Antenna design
Future proof solution
The Valpas hygiene protocol for hotels is based on custom IoT technology developed with Haltian. The solution includes a smart bed leg that lures, captures and sends notification of bedbugs to the hotel staff.
“In the three years we have been selling our product, we have not needed any changes to the circuit board design, so the project was done once and done well. We are also very happy with the antennas and are still amazed by how well the mesh network works from room to room in different hotels.” Parkkila says.
Valpas has also been able to easily develop their solution further on top of the initial IoT firmware.
Valpas solution is used globally in about 60 different hotels with around 10 000 bed legs live and keeping hotel visitors safe from bedbugs.