Keytroller 601 System

Vehicle Monitoring System for Keytroller LLC

Located in Tampa, Florida, Keytroller LLC is a leader in safety devices for forklifts, construction equipment, aerial lifts, personnel carriers, boats and hazardous transport trucks. Keytroller offers solutions for access control monitoring, checklist automation, impact and speed sensing, directional shift control, digital video recording, high-accuracy weighing, and many other solutions for heavy warehouse, construction, and transportation equipment.

One of the popular products supplied by Keytroller is the 601 vehicle monitoring system. This system has been designed for Keytroller by Tibbo. The system has been extremely well received by the market. In 2011, it won the Product of the Year award from the Plant Engineering Magazine.

The 601 System

The 601 is based on our standard ARM circuitry and runs Tibbo OS (TiOS) — a lightweight, reliable operating system developed by Tibbo. Unlike industry behemoths such as Android, TiOS can run on small ARM microcontrollers and fits in a tiny memory space. In addition, it is extremely reliable and stable. A TiOS-based device can run indefinitely without requiring a reboot. The main application for the 601 system is written in Tibbo BASIC.

The main challenge in creating the 601 system was the extreme operating environment in which the system was to function. Adverse factors include:

  • Extreme temperatures. Some of 601 devices work in -40C cold, and some are deployed in the hottest areas of the world.
  • Extreme temperature fluctuations. For example, a vehicle carrying a 601 system may continuously go between hot outdoor areas and cold storage.
  • Extreme dust. Keytroller has the systems deployed in very "unfriendly" places, such as open mines.
  • Extreme humidity and moisture. It is not unusual for Keytroller’s customers to steam-wash their vehicles. Since many forklifts and other construction equipment do not have a cabin, 601 devices often get steam-washed as well.
  • Continuous vibration.
  • Extreme electrical noise and voltage fluctuations. Electrical systems of forklifts are much more primitive compared to the electrical systems of passenger vehicles. Engagement and disengagement of starter motors and other actuators create strong noise and voltage pulses that the system must withstand repeatedly.
  • Frequent undervoltage conditions. Starting combustion engines often creates deep battery voltage drops. A car stereo is allowed to “drop out” for a second or two, but not the 601. Being the very device that allows the starter to engage, the 601 must plow right through the undervoltage condition without rebooting or glitching.

Tibbo was not only able to meet these design challenges but also succeeded in creating a very attractive industrial-grade device. By taking over the ideation, industrial design, mechanical design, hardware design, software development, testing, and certification of the system, we created a dust and water-protected product that just works, no matter what the operating conditions are.

Today, Tibbo is responsible for the continuing development, maintenance, and advancement of the 601 system. In addition, we oversee its production at Gigatek, our group’s manufacturing arm.


Keytroller 601 is a very popular vehicle monitoring system designed for Keytroller LLC by Tibbo. In the cause of this project we have provided the following services:

  • Consulted Keytroller on the best ways to achieve the project’s objective.
  • Carried out the industrial design. The 601 system is one of the most attractive systems in its class.
  • Performed the mechanical design for the main unit (KLM601). This unit is water- and dust-proof to IP68 and performs well in extreme environments and under extreme conditions (such as steam-washing).
  • Oversaw the production of tooling for plastic and metal parts.
  • Designed the main unit’s hardware, which is based on our standard TiOS-compatible circuitry.
  • Designed a heavy-duty power supply, sensor, and relay module (KRM601). The power supply withstands extreme noise and voltage fluctuations found on forklifts and other heavy equipment.
  • Designed an impact-sensing module (KSM501).
  • Developed and continue to develop a very significant Tibbo BASIC application that is the core of the system’s functionality.
  • Handled CE and FCC certification of the system.
  • Helped Keytroller develop the server (cloud) software for the system.
Keytroller 601 System