HighByte to Unity3D with SparkplugB

Successfully connected HighByte Intelligence Hub to Unity3D with SparkplugB! ✔

👀 I am sending data from my Automation-Gateway.com to the Intelligence Hub via OPC UA, then the values are published from HighByte to MQTT with the Intelligence Hub SparkplugB connector and then getting consumed in Unity with the MQTT SparkplugB Asset.

👍 Works straight forward and was easy to setup!

🧐 Sparkplug Learning: If a Host Application is not the Primary Host of an Edge Node and it starts up after the Edge Node, it must send the Rebirth command to the Edge Nodes in which it is interested in, to get a birth message with the current/initial values of all the metrics of the nodes. My Unity client ignores incoming metrics of DATA messages which it has not seen before in a BIRTH message…

UNS with WinCC Open Architecture?

Did you know that WinCC Open Architecture is “UNS READY”? 👍

And it even does not matter how your underlying tags are structured 😮

👉 You can create your own hierarchical view on tags which you want to publish to MQTT in a Unified Namespace!

👉 You can define a fully ISA 95 compliant view on top of your machine data!

Happy UNS Publishing with WinCC Open Architecture!

See the MQTT publisher at the WinCC Open Architecture Documentation

SparkplugB for Unity3D

Unlock the potential of industrial data from SparkplugB enabled devices, seamlessly integrated into Unity3D to build 3D applications?

Or start creating industry Apps for Apple’s Vision Pro with SparkplugB connectivity? 🕶️

💡 I completed a SparkplugB 🚀 implementation for Unity. The primary objective was to acquire a hands-on understanding of SparkplugB.

👉 You can find it for free on GitHub It’s made on top of the “MQTT for Unity” Asset.

Disclaimer: There is no assurance that I have captured all the rules within the extensive 140-page SparkplugB specification. While Unity supports visionOS, I have not conducted testing on this platform.

MQTT for Gaming?

MQTT for Multiplayer Games? I am not a Game-Developer and I do not know how they create multiplayer internet games. But I know that MQTT can be used for that. Why?

# IoT turns to IoP

MQTT is used for connecting devices. Think about using MQTT for connecting players. “Internet of Things” (IoT) will turn to „Internet of Players“ (IoP).

# A Player is like a Device?

In a multiplayer game, each player is like a device. When they join the game, it’s like they’re saying “Hello, I’m here!” to everyone else – this is known as a “birth message” in MQTT terms.

# Sharing Information Seamlessly

As players move around in the game, they keep sending updates like their location, healthy state, collected goodies, …. MQTT acts like a messenger, picking up this information and delivering it to everyone else playing. 

# Handling Player Exits

What if a player leaves the game intentionally or unintentionally? MQTT has a smart feature called “last will message.” It’s like a goodbye note that tells other players someone has left the game. This way, everyone stays in the loop.

# Central Management 

A central game management connected to the central MQTT broker, written in any kind of language, could be used to observe and control the game and all the players.

# Why MQTT?

1. **Real-Time Updates**: It’s fast and perfect for real-time games.

2. **Reliable**: Even if a player’s connection is shaky, MQTT makes sure messages get through.

3. **Efficient**: It doesn’t eat up much data, so players won’t lag.

4. **Simple**: It’s not complicated to set up and to use.

# Conclusion

Using MQTT in multiplayer games is like having a super-efficient mailman who ensures everyone knows what’s happening as it happens.

For Unity there is a „Unity for MQTT“ and a “GraphQL for Unity Pro” asset. Easy to use and usable with all the main build targets, including WebGL!

See the game demo I made with MQTT.. I also integrated data from WinCC Unified in the demo, with the GraphQL for Unity Pro Asset.

You can try it out: https://server.rocworks.at/unity/game/ (could be already removed when you try to access it)

3D charts with Unity3D and WinCC Unified

With WinCC Unified V19 we got the feature to read history values of logged tags with GraphQL 👍 I have now added this functionality to the GraphQL for Unity Pro Asset 🤝 

🎥 With that done it is now also very easy to read the history of logged tags in Unity3D. See the video, there we read and visualize the history values of a tag when the application starts. And then the 3D chart gets updated with real-time values coming from a GraphQL tag subscription. 

ℹ️ The GraphQL for Unity Pro Asset has a WinCC Unified interface on top of GraphQL to make the access to WinCC Unified data in Unity even more easier, you do not need to implement the GraphQL queries by your own. 

👉 You can try the demo in the browser! This is possible because the asset als supports WebGL builds and because GraphQL is transported over HTTP&Websockets. Here it is. But it might happen that this link will not work anymore when you read this post.

Note: Use the PWA WebGL Template so that the application adjusts to the size of your browser window. Or adjust the settings in the generated index.html page:

<canvas id="unity-canvas" width=auto height=auto tabindex="-1" style="width: 100%; height: 100%; background: #231F20"></canvas>

💡 Get a copy of WinCC Unified, connect your machines to it and build your Unity3D application with the data from WinCC Unified! 

Example code how to read the last 100 values of a tag.

Connection.LoggedTagValues("PV-Vogler-PC::HMI_Tag_1:LoggingTag_1",
   endTime: DateTime.Now,
   maxNumberOfValues: 100
).ContinueWith((task) => {
   Debug.Log(task.Result.Count); 
}

Automation Gateway Video Tutorial

In this tutorial, I will guide you through the essential steps to set up the Automation Gateway, harness the power of YAML extensions in Visual Studio Code for configuration, and connect various devices, including OPC UA, MQTT, and PLC4X devices. I will show how to integrate the values from the devices to the Gateway’s OPC UA server and how to use the MQTT interface to get the values from the devices via a MQTT client. Additionally values from the connected devices will be logged to a Influx database.

  • Setup 0:00 – 5:30
  • YAML-Extension 2:31 – 4:15
  • OPC UA Driver: 5:31 – 10:25
  • MQTT Interface: 10:25 – 13:40
  • MQTT Driver: 13:40 – 16:42
  • PLC4X Driver: 16:42 -19:53
  • Database Logger: 19:54 – 24:56
Setup 0:00 – 5:30
YAML-Extension 2:31 – 4:15
OPC UA Driver: 5:31 – 10:25
MQTT Interface: 10:25 – 13:40
MQTT Driver: 13:40 – 16:42
PLC4X Driver: 16:42 -19:53
Database Logger: 19:54 – 24:56

Bring MQTT Payload to OPC UA?

 I wanted to get my Home-Automation values to SCADA, it’s a “self-made” JSON message format. I tried it with Ignition and the MQTT Module. Btw.: it’s great that they have the Makers Edition for non-commercial use at home 👍. But I don’t know why, it only got one topic and one value from my MQTT Broker, and it did not receive any updates. Don’t know what went wrong…

Anyhow, I decided to add a custom JSON format to the Automation-Gateway.com. It’s simple, just define the JSON-Path to the value and optionally to a timestamp in milliseconds since epoch or to an ISO 8601 format.

Now I can use the Automation-Gateway’s OPC UA server in any SCADA system to visualize my MQTT values…

Here is the config.yaml configuration file for the Automation-Gateway.

Servers:
  OpcUa:
    - Port: 4841
      Enabled: true
      LogLevel: INFO
      Topics:
        - Topic: mqtt/home/path/Original/#
Drivers:
  Mqtt:
    - Id: "home"
      LogLevel: INFO
      Host: 192.168.1.3
      Port: 1883
      Format: Json
      CustomJson:
          Value: "Value"
          TimestampMs: "TimeMS"

Use the Unified Namespace (UNS) as a graph?

🤔 I thought about if it could make sense to connect to a MQTT broker and write the topic-path in a structured and connected way to a graph database. It could reflect a companies UNS with ISA structure in a graph with query possibilities.

🤝 The UNS could be enriched by adding additional meta information to the database and be linked to the MQTT nodes. Graph queries could be used to combine the enriched data with the current values of the machines…

👉 I reactivated the Neo4J Logger in the Automation-Gateway.com, and enabled MQTT for it. It creates the nodes in a neo4j graph database based on the incoming MQTT messages.

Also interesting to explore the graph of the test.mosquitto.org hashtag#MQTT broker…

saw some go-eChargers, some solax inverters, some json scada demos (never heard about it before), and also a “Atomkraftwerk1234567890” 😀

MQTT for Unity

“MQTT for Unity” is a Unity Package designed to seamlessly integrate MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) functionality into Unity projects, offering a user-friendly solution for enabling real-time communication and data exchange within Unity applications.

Tested on Windows, OSX, WebGL, UWP + HoloLens2, and Android. iOS not tested, but should work as well.

You can find it at the Unity Asset Store here

Key Features:

  1. Streamlined Integration: “MQTT for Unity” provides a straightforward and hassle-free integration process, enabling developers to quickly set up MQTT communication in their Unity projects.
  2. Real-Time Communication: Harness the power of MQTT to establish real-time communication channels within your Unity application, perfect for multiplayer games, IoT applications, and more.
  3. Customizable Configuration: Easily configure MQTT parameters, such as broker settings, topic subscriptions, and message handling, to tailor the communication to your specific project needs.
  4. Cross-Platform Compatibility: “MQTT for Unity” is designed to work seamlessly across various Unity-supported platforms, including Windows, OSX, WebGL, UWP + HoloLens2, and Android. iOS not tested, but should work as well.

With “MQTT for Unity,” developers can unlock the potential of MQTT communication in their Unity applications without the complexities of manual integration, making it an essential tool for creating interactive and connected experiences in Unity.

Online documentation can be found here.