Archive for May, 2007
- How to install and maintain software on mobile and embedded devices? “Concierge” provides the answer.
- Henri Dubois-Ferrière experienced MICS as a PhD student. Now he works for a US company.
- Ultra-wide band radios have promising features, a good reason for researchers to focus on this technology.
- New publications and agenda.
- Mobile payments? The Marmix community doesn’t have much confidence in its future!
A university spin-off company in Spain is readying an inexpensive Zigbee-based “mote” sensor built entirely with open-source hardware and software. Libelium’s 120-Euro SquidBee will ship this summer, optionally with a Debian-based WiFi access point that can bridge Zigbee and WiFi mesh networks.
According to spokesperson David Gascon, Libelium developed SquidBee in hopes of providing a common platform for universities and research centers developing sensor networks. The design is said to be the first Zigbee-based mote with an entirely open hardware and software design, as well as the first to feature integration with an open source WiFi access point.
The SquidBee is based on Arduino, a simple I/O board with 11 digital and six analog inputs. Arduino’s design is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 license, and the module is said to support sensors that include GPS, temperature, humidity, lightness, presence, pressure or “(almost!) whatever you can sense,” according to Gascon.
More information here.
In this episode Steffen Schaefer, who is the Technical Thought Leader for Sensors & Actuator Solutions at IBM, discusses sensor networks. The discussion resolves around the TREC device, which can be mounted on containers to track them on their journey over seas, railway tracks and roads. The TREC is a small embedded device developed by Steffen’s employer, IBM, that has various sensors and communications channels.
The podcast is available here.
From Sensors Magazine:
In the wake of two recent news announcements, I’d have to say that 2007 looks to be a very interesting year for sensor networking. Arch Rock announced a new wireless sensor networking system that natively runs IP, allowing easier (and direct) access to existing TCP/IP-based networks, and Zensys is pushing a plan to converge its Z-Wave wireless home networking protocol with TCP/IP.
Let’s consider that for a moment: two wireless sensor networking companies are creating systems that can talk to TCP/IP-based networks without having to go through a gateway. Add the fact that Cisco and Rockwell Automation are collaborating on ways to integrate industrial networks with enterprise networks (Cisco and Rockwell Automation Collaborate) and the trends discussed in Ray Peacock’s recent essay about Sensor Gateways to Enterprise Systems and you get a picture of an industry on the move.
If you are using TmoteSky or TelosB wireless motes in your lab, there are now 3 new plug-in sensor boards available from EasySen:
a) The SBT80 Eight Modality Sensor Board: a total of 8 sensor channels makes this the ideal board for sensor fusion tasks. It features 2-D magnetic, 2-D acceleration, temperature, acoustic, IR and light sensors.
b) The Wi-Eye Surveillance/Security Board: This board contains sensitive acoustic, IR motion, and light sensors. Heat signatures can be detected from more than 300 feet away. The board allows for very low sampling rates with “event back dating” capability.
c) The SBT30-EDU Board: a very low cost prototyping board for educational and development purposes. It features a connector for external devices and a prototyping area plus 3 integrated sensors. They offer deep volume discounts on this board.
EasySen is a provider of customized design and consulting services for specialized sensor suites, sensor fusion, navigation algorithms, and swarm systems.
You may visit them here for more info and online ordering.
ArchRock, most famous for their products that bring IPv6 connectivity to sensornets, has raised $10 million in a second round of venture funding. Investors include New Enterprise Associates, Shasta Ventures, and Intel Capital. ArchRock was founded by UC Berkeley faculty David Culler and students and co-workers from UC Berkeley and Intel Research Berkeley. This is one of the bigger investments to date for a sensornet startup (Ember has raised much more capital but their focus is ZigBee and not sensornets, others like Crossbow and Dust Networks have also raised much more than $10 million). Read more here.
Note: Thanks to Joe Polastre for his clarifications on capital raising of some sensornet companies.
|M2M Magazine, a print publication in the U.S. covering machine-to-machine technology, just announced a new report on sensor networking.|
WSN Blog had a sneak preview of the report, and it is very interesting and informative. Articles in the report include:
- Market Snapshot: A breakdown of the business models for 25 key companies
- Application Roll Call: A master list of the applications of sensor-network technology.
- 20 Questions: Answers to the most important questions about sensor networking.
The report also includes articles from several leading sensor-network technology providers as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and ABI Research.
You can download the complete report for free at www.m2mmag.com/sensors.
The book “Security and Cooperation in Wireless Networks”, by Levente Buttyan and Jean-Pierre Hubaux, is available for free download (until it is published by Cambridge University Press). Also available are the PPT slides and the PDF files accompaining the book. As the authors say: “To summarize, our purpose is to avoid that ubiquitous computing becomes a pervasive nightmare.”
The book’s website is http://secowinet.epfl.ch/.
Although it’s not yet small enough to be suitable for widespread deployment, Shannon Spanhake’s pollution monitor is already generating a lot of interest. Calit2 engineer Don Kimball and his circuits lab colleagues constructed the prototype for sampling and transmitting the pollution data. As conceived by Spanhake, the device – dubbed “Squirrel” – is more than an exercise in shrinking a battery, sensor-on-a-chip and Bluetooth transmitter into something small enough to clasp to a belt or purse, and creating a software database and program to show current carbon-monoxide readings on the cell-phone display.
The wireless carbon-monoxide sensor sends data via Bluetooth to the cell phone, which displays current data on its screen and communicates the pollution levels to a master database.