In working with lead users in the area of wireless sensor networks, the mobile phone comes up quite often as the tool of choice for controlling and monitoring the network. The ZigBee alliance recently came out with a press release on how mobile phones and some PDAs will be outfitted with ZigBee capability making the phone an ideal tool for controlling a wireless sensor network. The press release states
“ZigBee mobile devices include mobile telephones and personal digital assistants with embedded ZigBee technology or using a ZigBee subscriber identity module (SIM) card. These devices act as a mobile terminal and/or as a sensor control device anywhere there is a ZigBee network or ZigBee access point.”
More info here.
The Sun SPOT documentation for both the original (Green) and latest (Orange) releases has just been posted to:
This includes Javadoc, Developer’s Guide, Theory of Operations, several application notes, etc.
Also included is the start of a FAQ, so please suggest additional questions that should be answered in the FAQ.
IMEC has fabricated an energy harvester to generate energy from mechanical vibrations by using micromachining technology. Output power as high as 40 micro-Watts was obtained, thereby achieving the range of required power for wireless sensor applications. The harvester comes with a model that can be used to optimize the device during design.
For an input vibration with a resonance frequency of 1.8kHz and an amplitude of 180nm, a maximum experimental output power of 40 micro-Watts was measured. This comes well in range of the amounts of power needed by wireless sensor applications, such as the pulse-oxymeter developed earlier by IMEC and IMEC-NL, operating from the Holst Centre in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
More info here.
A technology developed for NASA to conserve water for plant growth during long-term space flights has been adapted by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB) to serve another purpose. Now, crops can tell farmers they need water. The farmers just need to clip a tiny sensor to their potato or corn leaves. When the plant feels it needs some moisture, data from the leaves will be sent wirelessly over the Internet to computers linked to irrigation equipment. This should save millions of dollars per year in Colorado only, and it will also be eco-friendly by reducing the amounts of water used for irrigation.
More info here.
Crossbow Technology’s Imote2 platform was nominated for the “Best of Sensors Expo” award in the ‘Communications and Networking’ category. The “Best of Sensors Expo” Awards honor the most exciting new products on display at the Sensors Expo and Conference, which took place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, last week. On Wednesday, June 13th, the awards were announced and the Imote2 platform received a bronze award for its breakthrough capabilities.
An interesting video with Arshan Poursohi from Sun talking about using Sun SPOT devices in Project Black Box is available here. Project Blackbox is a prototype of the world’s first virtualized datacenter–built into a shipping container and optimized to deliver extreme energy, space, and performance efficiencies. Sun SPOTs are used to monitor environmental conditions as well as vibrations.
The Med-Hoc-Net conference this year was held from June 12-15, at the Ionian University, Corfu, Greece.
While the main topic is Ad hoc networks, there are many papers which are specific to sensor networks applications and protocols. There is also a complex system and bioinspired approach toward WSN.
Links to all the papers presented can be found on the respective Sessions from the Technical Program, there is also a Tutorial and PhD Student Workshop from the first day, whose papers are also available.