Transforming Urban Utilities with AI: Spotlight on Ubicquia’s DTM+ at DISTRIBUTECH 2024


In a world where technology is reshaping every aspect of life, Ubicquia is leading the charge in transforming urban development and utility management through the power of artificial intelligence (AI). Dedicated to building safer cities by leveraging the power of technology, Ubicquia has even won awards for its innovations.

The DTM+, a device designed to monitor transformers efficiently, promises to improve the functionality of the grid while keeping costs low. MarketScale spoke to Claudio Ribeiro, the Vice President of Design at Ubicquia, on the show floor of DISTRIBUTECH 2024, the four-day energy transmission and distribution exhibit held in Orlando.

Claudio’s Thoughts

My first name is Claudio Ribeiro. I’m VP of Design for Ubicquia. We’re located at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and we’ve developed grid equipment and smart intelligent equipment. The program I have in my hands is called DTM+. It is a device that actually monitors transformers. Actually, we collect data from the transformer, like temperature and current. We send it to our dashboard, and then our dashboard has analytics to keep track of the device and the health of that transformer.

Simplifying Data and Enhancing User Experience

For us, it’s all about the experience, the experience from the installer point of view to the sale point of view for people to understand what the product does. Right? You wanna be sure that when you look at it, you have a very clear view [of how] you’re gonna make this install to actually cut installation time. So one of the things that we do is, we meet with the installers, trying to understand, their hurdles, how they do the installation. Then we go back to the drawing board, understand with our team, electrical, mechanical, how to kind of put the whole story together. So in the casing here, we developed the DTM that actually can accommodate — It uses magnets, and they actually can accommodate pad-mount transformers into aerial transformers. So, they actually can float and actually follow the contour of the transformer in the case of a round transformer. This is installed on pad mount, single phase, and three phase in pad mount scenario, around the world. From the installer point of view, we go from, they actually can grab this with gloves. So the design has a contour that allows the user to pick it up, install or remove.

Design and Functionality

Also, we have connectors. We have bulkhead connectors, and the connectors are all marked visually by visual cues, also by color. So if you are color blind, you can see by the dots or by the color. So, you can go one or the other. So we have very straight connectivity to the device, to the transformer’s primary, secondary, power, oil, and pressure itself.  We wanna keep this simple. We don’t want this to really pop out when they are installed in the field, when they are up in the air, ten feet up in a pole, we want that to merge and blend. It’s all about the data. We wanted to collect the data and make the experience better for utilities and consumers at the end. But our designs are all about simplicity. The forms are simple. 

But just because I have to be a utility or a great product, and we know we have to. This is IP 67, which can withstand hurricane winds, but it still needs to look good. We feel that it is important to have that overall feel and look of the device. That’s what we’re talking about. There’s this utility chic aspect of it, that, you know, why does that if I’m gonna go on a pole, why does that have to be a square metal box? We wanted to be sure that it is something that blends into the environment but also there is a pride element when I’m doing from the installer point of view and also from the CD itself, from the, you know, that sometimes people look up ‘We want that to disappear, but it disappears in a very, exciting way.’ In different levels, right, we collect the data from the device. If you have to do the physical aspect of it, if I have to, for some reason, I have to replace the unit, it is very high. Easy to replace. Right? Three connectors, you’re out. You remove. That’s why we use magnets. So it’s a lot easier from that process. 

Simplicity and Accessibility

But also when we got to the data itself, right, we actually collect all this data that goes to a dashboard. The dashboard, we have all the data. We have AI. We have analytics… There’s a lot of data out there. So we tried to simplify the data into bits that are easily digestible. Right? So parts that are digestible by the viewer. But also there are different viewers out there, so we try to be sure of our simplicity in the icons, for example, that we use. There’s a clean high contrast. We go for high contrast. So if I’m outdoors, I can actually see that on the screen. But also is, like, from the icons point of view. So for example, if we have, icons, usually people use colors, right, what is good, bad, or alert. We also not only use colors, but we use shapes because there are people who are color blind who are also users of that dashboard. So we wanna be sure that there is the dual aspect across platforms, people with different abilities can actually use our dashboard in an easy manner. We wanted to, even from the form and the icons, it’s all about the simplicity. We’re in the world with a lot of data. We wanted to be able to actually collect the data and keep the form, the dashboard. All of it, there’s a continuity experience for our product. Also, it’s like from birth to the commission. We always have to see, to be sure it’s, products. We got the commission. Right? It’s all the whole experience in there. So we’re really focused on keeping the products, everything in a simple manner as possible.

Article written by MarketScale.

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