Vertex Cereba is a Froyo-powered aquarium controller

I'm still waiting for my Android powered toaster, but in the meantime I'll have to make do with the Vertex Cereba -- an aquarium controller that runs Froyo on its 3.5-inch touchscreen.  I'm sure some (OK, maybe all) of you are asking "what in the heck is an aquarium controller?"  It's a computer that takes readings (usually through probes inserted into the filter area) for things like dissolved oxygen or pH, then sends signals to equipment that can change those values until they are within parameters.  It's totally aqua-geeky, and I've always wanted a good one.

The Cereba is basically a miniature Android tablet, with an 800 MHz Freescale CPU, 512 MB of RAM, and an aluminum body.  It also has full openGL ES 2.0 hardware acceleration, 'cause you know fish like to play Need For Speed.  Even if it didn't help keep a fish tank healthy and looking clean, it's probably a really cool toy to have around the office.  The full press release from Vertex Aquaristik is after the break.  [Reef Builders]

Vertex Aquaristik™ announces the launch of beta test phase of Cerebra

Cologne, Germany—February 17th, 2011—Vertex™ revolutionary Cerebra will be released to beta testers before the end of March. Twenty testers have been carefully chosen to assist with field trials after extensive in-house evaluations and debugging of the firmware.

“This process has been set in place to further collect input from users working with the production model Cerebra. We have had many aquarists involved with this project in the past 2 years however it was important to us to go through this last step prior to release.” Said Andreas Schneider, CSO of Vertex™ Technologies of Austria.


Vertex Aquaristik™ has decided to once again shift perspective from the industry-norms and boldly pursue their vision of an “Aquarium Controller”. In which simple commands of switch on/switch off and timer cycles are entirely replaced with a new concept and mentality of “Collect, process and act”. A complete simulated cyber environment interlinked with your system, operated by task specific dedicated apps, possibly created by the very user.


Welcome to V-CYBER SPACE.

Aquarist will no longer be bound by a few simple bench marks such as photoperiod and or acceptable PH range. Introduction of complete autochthonous ecological simulation will enable the creator to duplicate the conditions of specimen’s true habitat in real life.

Another distinct aspect of Cerebra is to create a virtual network of aquarist that allows free flow of information, techniques and or methods. For years the best source of information on aquatic knowledge has been a handful of Internet forums. As valuable as they have been the evolution is here.

Imagine designing a species specific breeding station for fish, inverts or any other specimen to be as easy as downloading an app to mimic the environment at which the said animal breeds and thrives. Would it be periodic thermal deviations, photoperiod, flow, concentration of food and nourishments…

Imagine trouble shooting your favorite brand of skimmer by watching a video on how to accomplish this task only a few centimeters away from the said device.

Imagine…, or simply experience all that though Cerebra.

We invite all users to further enrich the Vertex™ virtual community with new insights by sharing thoughts, know-hows and knowledge, or in short; by writing apps. One can say; the aquarium hobby has finally claimed its place in the cyber space.



ARM Cortex-A8 CPU by Freescale

32bit processor


512Mb RAM

24bit color display capable of 16,777,216 colors.

32KB instruction and data cache

Unified 256KB L2 cache

Neon SIMD media accelerator

Vector Floating point co-processor

Battery buffered RTC

Power management modes

Other Material, design and construction:

Anodized Aluminum outer body combined with ABS/PC end caps

USB and other connectors hidden in our half-hexagon conduit compartment

3.5” Wide Screen Touch display

8 layer board construction more than 850 components

Back wall connection plate to mount on the wall or in cabinet.

Swiveling bracket

V-Grid network module


OpenGL ES 2.0 and open VG 1.1hardware accelerator

24-BIT display supports up to WXGA resolution

High quality hardware Video de-interlacing

Image and video resize, inversion and rotation hardware

Alpha blending and color space conversion


All network connections firewalled

Operation software:

Android 2.2

Fast and responsive

Enables user to illustrate apps.

Vertex™ App-Store:

Buy Apps

Sell Vertex™ approved apps

Share knowledge, Ideas, create, expand and grow


Wireless Communication



Zig-Bee (802.15.4 PHY)



First app based aquarium controller

Modules connected over USB 2.0

SD card

Supports external tablets

Graphical menus

Embedded web server to monitor, configure and or control over Internet or Intranet.

Auto detection of new hardware

Ethernet connection onboard

NTP time control

Automatic firmware update capable

Multiple fail safe and error detection features

Galvanic isolation of modules via optocouplers and DC-DC convertors/ 2KV isolation

Supports “Smart Digital” sensors, capable of error detection, 2 way communication

Supports industry standard sensors

Battery powered wireless remote sensors

Monitor and report power consumption of each connected device

Programmable logic

Email Alerts

SMS alerts

Data logging, history, graphing

Remote monitoring and control via Internet and GSM

I-Phone App

Capable of being linked to Zig-Bee universal remote controllers

Printer compatible to print reports, logs and or graphs

Browse Internet

Watch high resolution videos

V-light composer for simulating sunrise, sunset, weather simulations…

LED diming and control

Variable speed pump control

Modify, create and or write apps to fully customize control of your system


Monitor and control PH

Monitor and control Redox

Monitor and control conductivity (Both salt and fresh water)

Monitor and control dissolved oxygen

Monitor and control temperature

Monitor and control ambient humidity

Monitor and control dissolved Co2

Monitor and control ambient Co2 Levels

Monitor and control many other parameters via V-Chrome such as Calcium, magnesium…

Additional modules


Variable AC outlets



Air-flow meter and regulators

Fluid-flow meter and regulators

V-Cam wireless Camera for remote real time viewing


Remote low power wireless sensors

Leak detector

Fluid level sensor mechanical and or optical

UPS Module; enables the life support system in case of power interruption

Variable speed power-heads such as Tunze

Construction of Modules

Each module consists of 2 parts, primary and secondary.

Primary module is universal for most devices and will connect to cerebra via USB.

The secondary modules are function specific which will connect to a primary module

Devices are interchangeable through different USB connections and different modules

Modules casing; anodized Aluminum with ABS/PC end caps

Supporting devices via USB and or many other applicable connectors

Power blocks:

Anodized Aluminum construction

Quality relays with In-rush surge protection

Will be available in 6 and 8 socket blocks

Quality components

Additional USB ports on power blocks, one uplink and 3 downlinks

Hall sensors on board to measure current draw/ consumption of each connected device

Native support of:

Libra dosing systems

V-Chrome colorimeter

V-Cam wireless camera module

Illumina luminaires

Illumilux luminaires


Cerebra introduces an entirely new user interface based on an elegant wide screen touch display and revolutionary software that allows users to monitor, configure and or control every aspect of their system’s operations with just a tap of their finger. It allows the aquarist to share thoughts, ideas, acquire methods, information and or illustrate an app to set his or her own foot-print on aquatic cyber space through Vertex™ Cerebra.

See you out there in V-SPACE.


Vertex Aquaristik™ GmbH

*Most if not all mentioned features and or devices above are targeted to be released by or before Interzoo 2012.(This time line does not include any specific apps.)

**Initial product Launch date is set for June 2011.

© 2011 Vertex Aquaristik™

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.