An eReuse.org platform
An eReuse.org platform is a set of open-source software web tools to support efficient reuse, certify involved stakeholders and their circularity, and share chain of custody information. It guarantees donors involved in the platform that these devices are reused and finally recycled, avoiding illegal trade and polluting the environment. The main software developed are: Workbench, DeviceHub and Global Record of Devices.
The eReuse.org Workbench
The eReuse.org Workbench is a toolset that assists in registering, refurbishing, and tracking devices. It captures hardware characteristics (like the serial number) of devices and their components, rates the devices, securely deletes data, and installs GNU/Linux OS when possible. With its self-booting start-up, you don’t have to worry about which operating system is installed. Just boot your device through the network with the PXE Server and test and benchmark your system hardware, capture characteristics for rating and the serial number for traceability and reporting.It processes detailed hardware information at component level. We achieved a high success rate in automatically capturing these hardware characteristics and serial numbers; e.g. 99.3% for network card and hard disks, and 87% for manufacturer number for diverse components is automatically detected in 87% of cases, and from these 97% is unique. When refurbishing a device for reuse, operators process them through the eReuse.org Workbench, executing the tools that they see fit for the type of device, and finally the Workbench Server generates a reuse report containing all the gathered information. This report is then uploaded to the distributed cloud software; the eReuse.org Devicehub, which we explain in the next section. The Workbench toolset is developed in Python 3 and Android with open-source technologies and operative systems such as Debian 9 over PCs and Raspberry Pi.
The tools of Workbench are: Workbench a computer, Workbench Server, Android App and Photobox.
A software that executes on a computer and, without human interaction, automatically executes the following tools:
- Hardware discover. Obtains metadata from the computer and its components, including ways of identifying a device and information for traceability, reusing, and generating circularity inputs.
- Eraser. Deletes private information from data storage units by performing standardized erasure methods that users can parametrize.
- Benchmarker. Rates the capacity of the computer and its components in order to value them.
- Tester. Performs quality tests to guarantee the capacity of the machine to operate correctly and without failure.
- GNU/Linux OS installer: installs a GNU/Linux OS with preselected software and configuration.
A software that manages executing the Workbench PC on multiple devices (up to hundreds) through a local network. Workbench Server is usually served through a Box, a mini-computer that acts as the point of management in the warehouse when preparing devices to reuse.
A smartphone and tablet Android app that has two functionalities.
- Obtain metadata from devices that are not computers, like peripherals or electrical appliances, by scanning their barcodes and taking pictures from them.
- Link devices with tags generated by the eReuse.org tools, like QR codes and NFC chips.
A machine that assists in rating the appearance of a device by taking pictures from devices from different views, like frontal, sides and rear. A developing AI can detect scratches and imperfections from the pictures and automatically rate the devices.
The eReuse.org DeviceHub
The eReuse.org DeviceHub is a Device Asset Management System, offered as a web app and focused in efficiently managing the circular life-cycle of devices –reusing and recycling. Main objectives are:
- To offer a common IT Asset Management for donors, receivers and IT professionals so they can manage devices and exchange them. This is, reusing –and ultimately recycling.
- To automatically recollect, analyse, process and share (controlling privacy) metadata about devices with other tools of the eReuse ecosystem to guarantee traceability, and to provide inputs for the indicators which measure circularity.
DeviceHub recollects devices from the reports of the eReuse.org Workbench and other integrated systems and manages their full workflow, logistics. It manages and prints certificates and customer-friendly reports, places and packaging, and has a plug-in system. Devicehub manages and prints
certificates and customer-friendly reports, it manages lots of devices, and it can design and print smart tags with QR and NFC technologies that boost efficiently and avoid leakage. You register the devices using the Workbench, a companion Android App, through an system integration or manually; place them in different places (ex. the warehouse); and perform events to them (ex. “this device has been repaired”, “we have moved the device to the office of the client”, etc.). Devicehub are federated and autonomous, and interact with external systems (like other Devicehubs) to manage the different processes involved in reusing and recycling, like disposal or external reusing.
- The main characteristics of Devicehub are: Management of devices: manages the asset identification process and the life span of the devices of the organization, the workflow, and external ones over which the organization has control.
- Reports: generates automatic personalized reports and analytics, being able to ensure compliance, detecting critical aspects, such as loss of devices, over assignment of resources, etc. Reports can be PDF documents or spreadsheets.
- Certifications: saves, manages, and exports certificates, such as the results of the tests and deletion of the hard-drives, being able to answer to audits and show it to end users.
- Tag management: designs and generates tags used to track the devices by using the utility eReuse.org tag. These tags are linked (associated) to devices, and they can travel between Devicehubs while keeping accountable records. Tags can be generated in two ways: directly through a label printer that the user has, or by requesting the tags to a Smart Tag manufacturer. In the second case, Devicehub integrates with the tag manufacturer by generating the information it needs in order to print the tags and registering the new tags back.
- Logistics, traceability, and tracking: manages the transportation of devices by mapping their coordinates to places and assigning transporters and destinations.
- Compliance management: sets compliance rules to lots of devices and reacts when irregularities happen or when they break. Compliance can be shared between Devicehubs.
- Device rate and selling price: rates the devices according to the benchmarking and testing reports of the Workbench, taking into account performance, functionality, and aesthetics. Finally, it suggests a parametrizable range of prices.
Devicehub is split into two technical subprojects:
- Devicehub: a RESTful Python 3 web application built on the microframework Teal, an open-source micro-framework we are building too as part of this Devicehub; Teal is built on Flask and uses PostgreSQL as database. The old Devicehub is built on python-Eve and Flask, and uses MongoDB as
The Global Record of Devices (GRD) is an auditable (and replicable) online log that maintains a global list of traceability information about devices, so it can assist when there is leakage or similar problems. The GRD works with open-data and is designed to be used with external users who want to report traceability information. At the same time, GRD aggregates traceability data with the objective of using this data as inputs for indicators measuring circularity indicators. It is comparable to a distributed blockchain. GRD provides a REST API to allow ITAMS, as DeviceHub, to report the life cycle of devices, environmental responsibilities for organizations, etc. It collects from each device, at least, the geographical paths it has followed (not in detail to preserve privacy), the DeviceHub where it has been stored, the collection points where it was located before its final recycling and, in the case of computers, the record of its components. GRD exists as a prototype and it is the aim of this project to build it using Everythng.