CD3 Case Study

Fish on! CD3 and New Boundary Technologies fight Aquatic Invasive Species

RemoteAware™ IoT application powers CD3’s Smart Watercraft Cleaning Stations


CD3 Case Study

CD3’s unattended Watercraft Cleaning Station prevents the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species. The RemoteAware IoT application service provides boater usage reports and generates maintenance alerts to ensure the stations are available 24 x 7.

With just 6 months to take their invention from concept drawing to fully functioning product, CD3 could not afford time consuming and expensive software development projects. RemoteAware provided a CD3-branded web application in one day with no custom software development.

Business Challenge

Americans love their waterways for the beauty, the recreational activities and the economic value. Unfortunately, aquatic invasive species (AIS) hitching rides on boats and trailers threaten those values every time a watercraft moves to a new lake or river. The new CD3 Watercraft Cleaning Station combats those hitchhikers, making it easy for boaters to clean, drain, dry and dispose of all contaminants when they pull their craft out of the water.

CD3 invented an unattended watercraft cleaning station to make it easy for boaters to prevent the spread of AIS. They received multiple grants to deliver their first five stations for the 2017 boating season. They had just 6 months to take their cleaning station invention from concept drawing to a fully functioning product. Success in the first season was crucial.

The stations are unattended and in remote locations. They needed to be Internet-connected to simplify maintenance and measure usage. The challenges faced by CD3 were significant in both time and technology. The CD3 partners were not Internet of Things (IoT) experts. They knew they needed to build a team of experts quickly to bring the station to reality.


The user-operated CD3 stations include a wet/dry vacuum, a blower, marine LED lights and tethered hand tools. An array of sensors continuously monitors power, tank level and usage counts for the vacuum, blower, lights and cleaning tools.

A cellular communications gateway inside the station sends readings from the sensors to the New Boundary Technologies RemoteAware IoT application service.

The RemoteAware IoT application web dashboard provides CD3 and their customers with a bird’s eye view of cleaning station operation on their phones, tablets and laptops. E-mail and text message alerts tell staff when the stations need maintenance. Usage reports prove the cost effectiveness of the stations and help guide boater education efforts. The usage data can even determine optimal locations for additional stations.

According to Mark Apfelbacher, co-founder at CD3, they immediately turned to New Boundary Technologies as their IoT partner of choice. Deeming that the heart of the system for the buyer would be a user-friendly web application service, they wanted to start with the best-in-class. The New Boundary Technologies RemoteAware Application Service was user-friendly and available immediately with no software development time or expense.

The RemoteAware application service was CD3 branded and configured in a day. CD3 then started reaching out to sensor and hardware suppliers. When Mark Apfelbacher was asked about their choice of hardware providers he mentioned, “we didn’t come with predetermined hardware suppliers in mind. New Boundary Technologies used their deep market understanding, experience and connections to assist us along the way.” When asked about advice he’d give to others seeking to create a connected solution he remarked, “Do your homework and don’t try to be the expert on everything. Utilize the expertise of partners like we did with New Boundary Technologies.”

Kim Pearson, CEO of New Boundary Technologies, says, “The CD3 watercraft cleaning station is a perfect example of using Internet of Things technology to protect our lakes and rivers. RemoteAware eliminated the time, cost and ‘science project’ piloting so common in IoT software applications.”


CD3 successfully delivered the first five stations to boat launches around Minnesota for the 2017 boating season. They worked perfectly from day one and ran successfully all season. Usage trended up quickly. Information gathered from the sensors showed boaters eagerly embraced using the stations. The RemoteAware application service provides CD3 and their customers a real-time view of cleaning station status and usage. With the maintenance information available at their fingertips, CD3 knows exactly when to call pumping services to empty tanks, minimizing service costs.

CD3 is going to full commercialization in 2018. There is big interest from customers around the country focused on minimizing the effects of AIS.

According to Ed Rudberg Ph.D, co-founder at CD3, “Without New Boundary Technologies as a partner we wouldn’t be where we are today. They’ve gone above and beyond every step of the way. The RemoteAware application service provided us with a CD3-branded solution that was robust and full-featured day one.”

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