New products, Conferences, Books, Papers, Internet of Things

Archive for August, 2008

Cell-Sized Batteries are Arriving

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) the week of August 18, the MIT team describes assembling and successfully testing two of the three key components of a battery. A complete battery is on its way.

“To our knowledge, this is the first instance in which microcontact printing has been used to fabricate and position microbattery electrodes and the first use of virus-based assembly in such a process,” wrote MIT professors Paula T. Hammond, Angela M. Belcher, Yet-Ming Chiang, and colleagues.

Further, the technique itself “does not involve any expensive equipment and is done at room temperature,” said Belcher, the Germeshausen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering.

More info can be found here

Sentilla Software Suite for Mac OS X, General Availability

Have you been willing to program your motes on a Mac Book Air?

If so, this seems like your go! go! time with the Perk kit.
The new release of the Sentilla Suite for OS X features:

  • Full Java compliance with CLDC 1.1
  • Native Sentilla Work IDE
  • Firmware burning for both gateways and motes
  • Sentilla Hostserver for OS X for managing mote applications
  • Samples, tutorials, and cheat sheets
  • Download and run applications from Sentilla Labs

There is also a release for Ubuntu on its way.

More info in their forum and here.

Release of TinyOS Eclipse Plugin "YETI 2"

The Distributed Computing Group at ETH Zurich has made a beta version of its Eclipse Plugin for TinyOS 2.x public. The new plugin supports real time error detection, code completion, navigation within source files, and flashing from within Eclipse.
An installation guide and help for first steps is available at Suggestions, comments and bug reports are welcome, contact information are on the download page.

Tinyos @.x plugin

Build and Share Java Projects at Sentilla Labs

Sentilla has launched Sentilla Labs. A new website that showcases different applications that Java developers are building with their products.

It currently has a dozen cool projects. Say for example Gmail in Mote Form… have the 8 leds on your mote read 10110110 and you know, 182 unread messages await. Oh well.. fridge and bathroom monitoring may turn more useful and or fun to you.

Gmail on a mote

The site is an open invitation to the community to build and share projects. You may want to participate or keep an eye on it. It would start growing insanely, soon.

More details in this press release.

TinyOS 2.1.0 released

The TinyOS Alliance is happy to announce the release of TinyOS 2.1. Version 2.1 incorporates many new features and improvements, including optional run-time memory safety and a threads package, as well as support for the iris and shimmer platform, improved dissemination protocols, and the Flooding Time Synchronization Protocol (FTSP). Instructions for installation and upgrading can be found on the TinyOS documentation website.

more info here

Wireless Sensors Learn From Life

European and Indian researchers are applying principles learned from living organisms to design self-organising networks of wireless sensors suitable for a wide range of environmental monitoring purposes.

Monsoon rains in the Indian state of Kerala often bring increased risk of landslides. What can be done to warn nearby communities that a landslide is imminent?

One answer is to use a wireless sensor network to monitor geological conditions. Wireless sensors are becoming popular because the sensor nodes are small, simple and cheap and require no cabling to connect them together and to the control centre. They can be used for numerous purposes and are well suited to environmental monitoring.

More info can be found here

IPv6 gets a workout at Olympics

P Version 6 (IPv6) is making its international debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, being deployed throughout Olympic Park in several operational systems.

An IPv6-based video surveillance system is operating at 58 Olympic facilities, including arenas and stadiums across Olympic Park. IPv6-capable sensors, controllers and video cameras provide Olympic officials with the ability to monitor all areas of the Olympic facilities.

The devices use one of IPv6’s best features: stateless auto configuration. Auto-configuration allows new devices, particularly non-traditional devices, to be added to networks quickly and easily with little advance configuration. The IPv6-enabled video cameras used in Beijing automatically configure their IPv6 addresses and other parameters when they’re connected to the network. The cameras are then accessible and controllable through central software programs that automate their configuration.

The cameras connect to the network through standard Ethernet cable or wireless links, which is simpler than traditional closed-circuit cameras that use coaxial connections. The Beijing Olympics Committee has promoted this system to the 2012 Olympic Committee.

More info here

Networks of the Future: Extending Our Senses into the Physical Worl

The picture of a future with wireless sensor networks-webs of sensory devices that function without a central infrastructure–is quickly coming into sharper focus through the work of Los Alamos National Laboratory computer scientist Sami Ayyorgun.

Proponents of this new technology see a world with deployments to improve a wide range of operations. Engineers could wirelessly monitor miles of gas and oil pipelines stretching across arid land for ruptures, damage, and tampering. Rescue workers might detect signs of life under the rubble of a collapsed building after an earthquake, thanks to a network of sensors inside the structure. Armed forces could keep an eye on a combat zone or a vast international border via a sensor network that could promptly provide alerts of any intrusion or illicit trafficking.

“It’s not easy to envision the impacts that sensor networks will make, both socially and economically,” Ayyorgun said. “Like many other researchers, I think they are likely to rival the impact that the Internet has made on our lives.”

More info here.

Is Home Automation The New Green Choice?

According to various reports, home automation control systems such as Control4 or Clipsal C-Bus are not only becoming a necessary amenity in any high-end home, but it seems they have also become the new weapon in the war to fight global warming.

Therefore the premise is that these systems can also minimise or eliminate the wasted energy from lights left on by accident, redundant loads from home equipment in the “off” state, thermostats set too high or low for usage patterns or climate conditions.
For more information please follow the link

Paper: Censor Networks, A Critique of “Sensor Networks” from a Systems Perspective

In this paper Bhaskaran Raman and Kameswari Chebrolu from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, present a critique of the field of WSN. They say that literature in this domain falls into two main, distinct categories: (1) algorithms or protocols, and (2) application-centric system design. A striking observation is that references across these two categories are minimal, and superficial at best. They argue that this is not accidental, and is the result of three main flaws in the former category of work. Going forward, an application-driven, bottom-up approach is required for meaningful articulation and subsequent solution of any networking issues in WSNs.

The paper is available here. Enjoy the reading!