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IoT and Elevators.

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Internet of Things (IoT) is connecting a large number of equipment and devices to the internet and is providing a large amount of data to the manufacturer, the Maintenance company and the owner. Elevators too are benefiting from the use of IoT Devices.

What are IoT Devices?

IoT Devices are Electronic devices having semiconductors which are capable of connecting to the internet, sending the data collected by the sensors to the Servers and also receiving data from the servers to actuate the actuation devices. The IoT Devices uses Various methods to connect to the internet and also Protocols like MQTT or AMQP for sending and receiving messages to and from the Servers via the internet.

IoT Devices can be classified into Four categories.

  • The Internet gateway
  • The Controller or the Hub
  • The Sensor Devices
  • The Actuators

Internet Gateway

Internet gateway or Gateway is a device which uses Wired Ethernet Connection or WIFI Connection or mobile internet connectivity like 3G, 4G or 5G or LORA WAN or NBIoT Networks or wired ethernet to connect to the internet. This is the Device which receives data from the multiple sensors or controller or a device (Hubs) which receives data from the sensors and then forwards it to the Servers. Similarly, it also received the data from the servers and then forwards it to the controller for further action.

Internet gateway is made up of network processor and controller, generally a Microcontroller, bot being Semiconductor devices. The network processor is responsible for connecting to the internet and sending and receiving packets of data which is then sent to and received from the controller. The controller in the gateway sends and receives data from the network processor, receives data from the sensors and sends data to the actuators. Controller also uses logic to control the flow of data based on the inputs.

The internet gateway may be connected to the sensor devices and the hubs by wireless connections like bluetooth or Zigbee or Thread Protocols or even through wired Serial communication Protocols.

The Controller / Hub

The Hub or the Controller is the Part which interacts between the gateway, the Sensors and Actuators. It uses wired or wireless connectivity to connect, transmit and receive data from the Actuators and sensors. It also may have the logic to actuate the actuators with Input data from the Sensors.

Sensor Devices

Sensors are the devices that sense the events and transmit that information digitally to the controller. Sensors include temperature Sensors, Acceleration Sensors, tilt Sensors, Optical Sensors to detect obstruction or presence, etc. Sensors may use wired or wireless connections to connect to the hub or internet gateway directly.

The actuators

The Actuators are devices that make work happen in the real world. Generally Switchgears like Relays, contactors, etc. are used as actuators to start the motors, electromagnetic Solenoids, etc. Actuators may also be connected to the Hub or Internet gateway through wired or wireless connections.

How does IoT and Elevator Systems Come Together?

Elevators are made up of lots of sensors and actuators. Elevators have Position Sensors, Brake Sensors, Switchgear Position Sensors, Door Obstruction Sensors, Safety Monitoring relays, etc. Elevators also have many actuators like Switchgear Contactors, Variable Frequency drives, Door Motor, etc. other than the above, sensors like acceleration sensors, temperature sensors, etc may be added to have more details about the product, its parts or the environment.

In the event of Breakdown, the Data from these sensors can be used to understand the faults before hand without having to visit the Site to find out the reason for the fault. This is helpful in making decision about rectifying the elevator including sending the right technician with the right skill with the right tools to solve the problem.

These Sensors can be used to understand the wear and tear of the various parts and that can help the owner and the maintenance company to repair or replace the parts well before it causes a breakdown in the elevator to prevent downtime.

Acceleration Sensors are used for monitoring the elevator ride Quality and change in ride Quality like Jerks or lateral movement will often suggest some problem in the elevator system and it can be looked into by the maintenance company.

Similarly actuators various types of actuators may be used for various Purpose for example the main Power to the elevator may be cut at a particular time after ensuring that the lift is not carrying any passengers and is stationary at a floor. This can be used to ensure that no person uses the lift between certain hours during the day. Also, Some Emergency signs may be turned on remotely using the internet. Many features can be designed to suit the individual needs.

Remote Sensing and Control

So the IoT system is a system that helps in providing two way data stream which helps remote sensing and control of the elevator equipment. In the Elevator generally remote sensing is the major part as control is not preferred to be done remotely due to safety requirements.

This Data is used to find faults for immediate resolutions in a case of breakdowns or finding our wear and tear of the equipment. Or the data may be used cumulatively over a period for a large number of elevators to understand various patterns.


The Elevator system and IoT can be integrated together and forms a wonderful synergy as the elevator systems have many sensors, the data of which can be transmitted and used for understanding the individual parts of the system or the system as a whole.

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