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The Pool by Jen Lewin: XBee Art at i Light Marina Bay Festival

 

The Straits Times
Jen Lewin’s project The Pool, is stealing the show at this year’s i Light Marina Bay Festival. The festival aims to promote environmentally-responsible behavior and artists are incorporating recyclable materials and energy efficient lighting in their interactive art installations.

The Pool consists of over 100 interactive pads that emit colorful light and react to users’ movements. As participants move across the installation the pads send out colors and blend together to create a stunning visual display. Each pad has a simple set of rules that reacts to information being sent to and from sensors on every pad throughout the Pool. More than 100 XBee 802.15.4 radios send this information wirelessly from an Arduino in each pad that creates the colorful reactions. The project is monitored and updated remotely using a Digi Connectport X2e XBee gateway via Device Cloud.

The Pool was even featured on the front-page of The Straits Times, Singapore’s most widely read newspaper. Congrats Jen! The next stop for The Pool will be at Vivid Sydney May 23.

Check out Jen Lewin’s website to see more of her work.

Look What I Made: XBee Project Updates

We come across amazing XBee projects every day, so we wanted to remind you that we’re constantly updating the XBee Project Gallery. Here are just a few of the latest additions.

Glassees
Students at UC Berkely hacked Google Glass with XBee to enable control of home appliances. If you want to turn a lamp on, all you have to do is look in its direction! Learn more about the project here.

Indigo V Water Sensor
The Indigo V research team used XBee to collect data from sensors as they traveled across the Indian Ocean from Cape Town to Singapore. Learn more about the project here.

Dog Detection System
Axel built this system after discovering his dog causing havoc in the trash bin. Using a couple Arduinos and some XBees he is now alerted when ever his dog enters the room. Learn more about the project here.

Do you have an XBee project you would like featured in the XBee Project Gallery? You can submit your own or someone else’s project here.

This Week in the Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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The Internet of Things is developing and buzzing all around us. Throughout the week we come across innovative projects, brilliant articles and posts that support and feature the innovators and companies that make our business possible. Here’s our list of favorites from this week’s journey on the Web.

IPv6PocLab

Photo Courtesy of IPv6PocLab.org

Arduino Tutorial 1: Let’s Make XBee Talk! via Norwegian Creations

Internet of Things in Five Words: Sensor, Monkey, Radio, Cloud, Paris on Computer World

Winners of Postscapes Internet of Things Awards

Beer and Tech Collide: It’s all Science in Wired

Motion Sensor via XBee Connected Arduino from IPv6PocLab

Please tell us in the comments below or Tweet us, @DigiDotCom- we would love to share your findings too. You can also follow all of the commentary and discussion with the hashtag #FridayFavorites.

Look at What I Made: New XBee Projects

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We come across amazing XBee projects every day, so we wanted to remind you that we’re constantly updating the XBee Project Gallery. Here’s just a few of the latest additions.

XBee Piano
This project was built by a team of students as a part of Duke University’s first hackathon. The build consists of large pads set on the ground that detect pressure and relay signals to the computer. Attached to the a computer is an Arduino Uno with an XBee. Click here to learn more about the piano.

Social Synapses
Inspired by the co-reliance that enables students to push their intellectual boundaries, Alexandra Olivier and Andrew Reiter created an interactive installation, “Social Synapses”, in the science center of Wellesley College. Get more information about ‘Social Synapses’ here.

Multi-Robot Formations
Multi-Robot Formation Control by self-made robots. The robot formation responds to the users shape drawn on a tablet. Robots are controlled by wireless communication with XBee and Arduino FIO. You can read more here.

Have a project you’d like to be featured? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us at @XBeeWireless. We also tweet about projects and XBee news and updates every day, follow us to see the latest and greatest!

This Week in the Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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The Internet of Things is developing and buzzing all around us. Throughout the week we come across innovative projects, brilliant articles and posts that support and feature the innovators and companies that make our business possible. Here’s our list of favorites from this week’s journey on the Web.

Arduino TRE

A video overview of the XBee product line from Parallax

The Urban Sensor Hack Series by Makezine

How We’ll 3D Print the Internet of Things on Readwrite

Optimize Field Operations with Remote Monitoring from Field Technologies Online

Arduino Announces Two New Linux Boards on Makezine

Please tell us in the comments below or Tweet us, @DigiDotCom- we would love to share your findings too. You can also follow all of the commentary and discussion with the hashtag #FridayFavorites.

Building Sensors with Alasdair Allan using an Arduino and XBees

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Building data streaming sensors with Alasdair Allan:

As a part of Make’s Urban Sensor Hack series, Alasdair Allan builds a temperature and humidity sensor live and streams the data to his computer. He carefully walks you through each step of the building process by building a circuit with an Arduino, writing code, and creating a wireless connection with a Digi XBee. If you’re just starting out or interested in making your own sensor network, this is a perfect video to help you take that first step.

Urban Sensor Hack

Make’s Urban Sensor Hack series sets out to bring makers together to discuss how to set up your own sensor networks.  The series takes place over Google Hangouts until October 15 and features some amazing makers such as Alasdair Allan, Kipp Bradford, Sean Montgomery, and many more. This is a great resource of information as you build your own sensor networks and search for creative uses for sensor data.

More videos to come from Make’s Urban Sensor Hack series, so stay tuned and check out the upcoming schedule.

This Week in the Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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The Internet of Things is developing and buzzing all around us. Throughout the week we come across innovative projects, brilliant articles and posts that support and feature the innovators and companies that make our business possible. Here’s our list of favorites from this week’s journey on the Web.

Interview with Adam Wolf, Co-Author of Make: Lego and Arduino Projects

Reserve your spot for a 3-hr hands-on training experience with Freescale & Digi International

Building Internet Enabled Things with Arduino XBee and Nodejs by Bryan Paluch

iDigi at the M2M Evolution Conference & Expo; Named Best Horizontal Platform

Connecting a Capacitive Touch Keypad to the Programmable XBee on Digi Examples & Guides

Do you have a link to share? Please tell us in the comments below or Tweet us, @XBeeWireless — we would love to share your findings too. You can also follow all of the commentary and discussion with the hashtag #FridayFavorites.

Interview with Adam Wolf, Co-Author of Make: Lego and Arduino Projects

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We’re truly lucky here at Digi International to host some of the most innovative minds who are leading the inception of the Internet of Things. Today, we’re sharing the story of Adam Wolf, a Firmware Engineer at Spectrum Design Solutions and a recently published author of Make: LEGO and Arduino Projects: Projects for extending MINDSTORMS NXT with open-source electronics.

Adam came to Spectrum Design Solutions last August from Lockheed Martin. He usually works on embedded Linux projects on drivers as well as front-end programs on small devices.

The Motivation 
Adam works on two or three projects a month, so his skills touch a vast range of solutions. One of the most recent products he worked on is a hand-held style medical device designed to read ion concentration from sweat that can detect diseases. He also worked on an Android tablet for a company that had their own audio chip for background noise cancelation for a phone. “The projects come in and you work on them and then they leave fast. So, you get to work on tons of different projects and there’s brand new stuff all of the time,” Adam said.

Before working on all of the various projects at Spectrum, Adam was still craving more hands-on time. So, he and Matt Beckler started a side project, Wayne and Layne. Through this side project and attending Maker Faire each year, he realized that elementary school kids had obtained incredible skills through the Lego League program. They could make complicated RC project with motors and sensors. But, parents were having a hard time stimulating these skills when the school year was over. Adam identified that parents had no way to get their kids working on projects and that expanding knowledge was a problem.

Co-Author and writer for Wired and MakeJohn Baichtal, also wanted to make a more technical project hooking up Arduino and Lego. They met at a local hackerspace and did 5-6 projects that had the widest spread in complexity. In their book, those topics are introduced in order. The first project is a “draw bot” that drives around your table and draws lines. One of the last projects, the Gripper Bot, is a complex tank with an arm that uses six motors and four XBees.

‘Making’ Accessibility 
In addition to teaching and sharing knowledge, Adam has worked to increase simplicity and accessibility. One year, while working with many schools and camps, Wayne and Layne created a kit that was a word game with a small LCD on it to be programmed on a computer. When they went to do the programming, the school computers were locked down. IT was trying to give admin rights on the computers, but after much time and frustration Adam realized that he needed to make a project where anyone with a PC could gain access. Blinky Grid and Blinky POV were born. Now, you can link your kit up on your monitor and press the button on the webpage and it blinks squares back– the timing of the blinks wirelessly programs. Once the device is on a website, you can open it from anywhere.

Early Inspiration and Community Impact
For as long as he can remember, Adam has wanted to make electronic toys. In sixth grade, he and Matt Beckler put their paper route money together and bought a Parallax microcontroller kit. “We build it and ran it in DOS [Basic], and we were so excited. But, after about three hours, we realized that we couldn’t do much more with it. There were no magazines or resources for kids. We didn’t know anyone who knew about microcontrollers. That’s why I’m happy to be a part of fixing that problem for kids today. It used to be so hard– even if you had the money to enter the arena. Now, with the Internet and hackerspaces, people will gladly teach you for free.”

With Adam working hard himself to inspire and tech kids about electronics, he has his own set of mentors that motivate his mision. In the DIY community he finds Evil Mad Scientists efforts to be exciting. And, closer to home, Adam looks to his wife, a teacher, for techniques on clearly explaining projects. “If I can explain it to a fifth grader, I can explain it here at Digi or through a webpage,” Adam said.

If you would like to connect with Adam you can find him on Twitter on his personal account @AdamWWolf and @Wayne&Layne. If you have questions about this post, questions for Adam or interviewee suggestions please leave them in the comments section below or follow us on Twitter.

Recommended Reading: The Internet of Things

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way we do business, collect information and live our lives. We’ve compiled a growing list of recommended books that will get you (or keep you) at the forefront of the inception and growth of the IoT.

We’ll be updating this list with your suggestions and newly released books on a regular basis.

Update: January 24, 2013

M2M Communications: A Systems Approach by David Boswarthick, Omar Elloumi, Olivier Hersent

The Internet of Things: Key Applications and Protocols by David Boswarthick, Omar Elloumi, Olivier Hersent

Interconnecting Smart Objects with IP: The Next Internet by Jean-Philippe Vasseur & Adam Dunkels

Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication services: High-impact Technology – What You Need to Know: Definitions, Adoptions, Impact, Benefits, Maturity, Vendors by Kevin Roebuck

LEGO and Arduino Projects: Projects for extending MINDSTORMS NXT with open-source electronics by John Baichtal, Matthew Beckler, Adam Wolf

—March 26, 2012 

Building Wireless Sensor Networks by Rob Faludi

Getting Started with the Internet of Things: Connecting Sensors and Microcontrollers to the Cloud by Cuno Pfister

Making Things Talk: Using Sensors, Networks, and Arduino to see, hear, and feel your world by Tom Igoe

Making Things Move DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists by Dustyn Roberts

Programming Interactivity by Joshua Noble

Shaping Things by Bruce Sterling

ZigBee Wireless Sensor and Control Network by Ata Elahi

Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design by Mike Kuniavsky

Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing by Adam Greenfield

What have you read lately? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us your suggestions for the list.

XIG Stock Tracker

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Digi’s own Dave Olson created the XIG Stock Tracker or a “stock fortune teller.” It wirelessly provides real-time updates of the DIGI, or any, stock status using the XBee Internet Gateway for windows. Stock updates as soon as they happen– talk about a great office ornament.

Dave used an Arduino UNO, an Arduino XBee Shield, an XBee, XStick and a USB Serial Programming Board.

He then set the AT commands for the XBee and XStick to sync them. If you’re creating your own, you can use this reference for the proper XBee settings.

Next, download and run the XIG code for windows, located here.  Select the COM port that your XStick is plugged into.

Plug the XBee into the XBee shield and plug the shield into the Arduino UNO. Connect the UNO to your machine with a USB serial chord.

The Arduino code reads in and parses the DGII NASDAQ website. If the DGII stock is up pin 13 (green LED) is turned on. If the DGII stock is down pin 12 (red LED) is turned on.

Green and red LEDs connected to pins 13 and 12, respectfully.

Using a 9V battery and an enclosure that can be hung on the wall, you now have a real-time, wireless view of the Digi stock price status without any direct internet access.

Note: The XIG DGII Reader only requires internet connection from your laptop and can get you a live reading as long as you are within XBee range.

Are you interested in trying other projects? Visit the Digi Examples Site. You can also see Dave’s other project, the XBee Enabled Ice Fishing Pole here.

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