Saturday 17th March, 2012
10:00am to 11:00am
The session will be about so called microcontrollers, Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN), and the architecture to support them. A microcontroller is a small computer on a single integrated circuit containing a process core, memory, and programmable input/output peripherals. A WSN is a distributed system consisting of small sensors that allow you to track different things in your household like whether the oven is turned off (power), the temperature, when a window opens (mechanical), is Grandma still move-in (PIR), or if there is an alarming rise of nuclear radiation in your home.
We will start with the microcontroller and end with a WSN connected to the Cloud.
One of the best choices for microcontrollers is the Arduino. Are you a .Net developer? Try the Netduino running Microsoft’s .Net Micro Framework.
One of the best choices to transmit data wirelessly is Bluetooth. Many devices support this standard. We will explore the pros/cons of this technology.
Another choice is the so called ZigBee standards. It’s a standard that is used in the industry a lot. Also it does two things very well:
It’s robust. If a few nodes get damaged or lose power, they won’t bring the network down.
Its energy efficient: The electromagnetic force has one inherent trouble: its field intensity deteriorates by the square of the distance. ZigBee simply makes every node in the network a repeater of data that comes from other nodes.
Here a fun project will evolve to log sensor data directly to the cloud using a local network without any middle tier. That is, your data goes right from the microcontroller and then out to the cloud to be logged as a data point. The architecture to support cloud based microcontrollers will be evaluated and explored as we build our device, web services, and sites.
Brian Carter is the founder of Chippewa Software Technology (ChipSoftTech), a leader and visionary of software for personal, business, and research computing. bio from Twitter
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