platforms, review, toolbox

Platforms – Kvaser Blackbird V2

Kvaser Blackbird V2 is a CAN Bus interface equipped with wireless infrastructure support, developed as a part of the device suite which includes data interfaces, data loggers and OEM products marketed by the Kvaser. It connects to WiFi on both AdHoc and infrastructure networks, leveraging the advantages of wireless data transmission.

Kvaser is a company centered around delivering advanced CAN solutions to engineers. They cover various branches of many industries. Therefore, their products are employed in designing and deploying solutions used in trucks and buses, petrol-driven and electric cars, industrial automation, avionics, construction equipment, building automation, domestic appliances, marine, medical, military, railway, telecoms, to textiles and other types of systems.

Illustration 1: Kvaser Blackbird V2

Kvaser is comfortable advanced interface

Blackbird V2 is an advanced interface and endpoint compatible with WLAN version 802.11b/g/n. It offers very comfortable working environment being configurable through standard USB interface. Once configured and connected, it is ready to exchange messages over high speed CAN bus (ISO 11898-2 compatible).

Major advantage of the Blackbird is the way it exposes information to the outside world. Beside programming support for popular programming languages such as C, C++, C# and Delphi, it features HTTP based REST API. Considering the size of the community of developers which use this interface on a daily basis in their projects, it is easy to realize the impact this feature has on the usability. It enables web and mobile developers to naturally access vehicular information and build their applications in the way they are used to and their users expect them to.

All hardware products are well documented and are accompanied by software libraries and code components, including Kvaser CANLIB SDK. There are code examples and project starters to ramp up development as quickly as possible. Device programming is performed using J2534 or RP1210A interface. There is an online community of the Kvaser users and a developer blog which features tutorials, videos and knowledge base.

Being proprietary, as opposed to open source, is it’s main drawback and that is  especially relevant. Also, device comes with quite high price tag, which is probably out of reach for everyone but strictly focused professionals. However, it is a good device in the ecosystem and something other marketed solutions should strive to.

For additional information, you can always visit their page.

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