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Cyber Security Vs. Physical Security: Is One More Important?

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Cyber security has attracted a tremendous amount of attention lately due to recent cyber-attacks that have been publicized in the news. Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices have given users the amazing ability to connect devices in distant, isolated areas saving time and money, while minimizing risk. However, this connectivity comes at a cost. Remote devices can be susceptible to cyber-attacks such as hacks, viruses and spyware invasions that can go undetected until it is too late. Remote devices can also be even more prone to physical unauthorized access or damage because security focus tends to be elsewhere.

While cyber security is not to be downplayed, physical security should not be overlooked and is equally concerning. Physical attacks could jeopardize critical units like Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, Intelligent Electronic Devices (IEDs), and Smart Cities and Transportation management solutions. This could lead to widespread, costly and hazardous damage to city services, water systems and even more.

Awareness is critical when trying to determine a balanced security solution for IoT applications. Below are some key questions to be considered as you assess threats and determine the best solutions.

● What type of information must be collected? The data typically falls into two categories – alarm data and log data.
● What type of sensors will be needed?
● Will the sensors use radio, Wi-Fi or cellular for connection, or a combination of two or more?
● What power source is available? Battery, hardwire, or other?
● Will managers and security personnel have insight into what actions to take?

Find out the answers to these questions and learn how to keep your physical assets safe and secure>>

This Week in The Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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Smart Stitches Send Doctors Information on Wounds as They Heal
Modern medicine has come a long way thanks to IoT, and researchers at Tufts University who are working towards pushing the limits even further with the development of “smart stitches”. Learn how these “smart stitches” are designed to close wounds while simultaneously updating doctors on the healing progress.

7-Eleven delivers by drone in Reno including, yes, Slurpees
Are you thirsty but it’s too hot to walk to the nearest 7-Eleven? Well, read how you can have slushies, donuts, and more delivered to your door step courtesy of the first delivery drone built by tech company, Flirtey.

Developing Blockly for Propeller: Our Team Includes Three Student Interns Who’ve Progressed Quickly
In addition to helping develop the Blockly for Propeller demo system; these teenage geniuses have been working hard on a few projects of their own. Check out Blake’s Intruder Alert system he made using Digi XBee, Roxy’s M&M Color Identifying robotics project, and watch Carson’s 0.95” OLED in action.

BuzzCloud Wants to Take the Sting Out of Urban Beekeeping With Its iBuzzHive
With Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) on the rise, even the honeybees are taking to IoT in hopes to make beekeeping possible (and painless) in Urban environments. Watch how BuzzCloud plans to use 3D-printing and IoT to save the troubled population of these important pollinators:

Facebook’s Internet-Broadcasting Drone Takes to the Skies for the First Time
In effort to increase internet access across the world, Facebook built a solar powered, lightweight, 42 m wide drone named Aquila. See for yourself how Facebook designed Aquila to stay airborne for 90 consecutive days.

All-Terrain Rover

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All Terrain RoverBy Deepankar Maithani

This all-terrain vehicle is able to navigate over difficult environments. A complex servo system allows the treads to actuate in order to climb stairs. Like many robots, this rover uses XBee for wireless control, but Deepankar took the project one step further by equipping the robot with sensors.

Onboard the robot are temperature and gas sensors. Additionally, there is a camera that relays a live video feed into the GUI running on the user’s computer. The GUI shows, in real-time, the sensors values and other information. Users can even illuminate the camera’s view by activating a set of LED lights. The robot also logs data during the trip such as RPMs and distance traveled. After the robots trip, a CSV file is generated for analysis.

All Terrain Rover 2

Click here to get more details about the project on Deepankar’s blog.

 

Digi XBee Tech Tip: How to Conduct an Digi XBee Range Test

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Have you ever wanted to test the strength of connections in your XBee network? Within the Digi XBee configuration software, XCTU, you can perform a range test. This will tell you the amount of packets received and the RSSI values at the local and remote nodes. This video will take you through the steps necessary to perform a range test.

You can download XCTU at this link: http://www.digi.com/xctu

We hope you found this tutorial helpful! Let us know what you’d like to learn in the next Digi XBee Tech Tip: http://bit.ly/xbeetechtip

Introducing The Official XBee Java Library

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Creating XBee applications just got way easier. Gone are the days of toiling away for every inch of code. In order to make it as simple as possible for you to write applications that interact with XBee, we have created the XBee Java Library. This library supports ZigBee, 802.15.4, DigiMesh and Point-to-Multipoint XBee devices!

xbjlib_diagram_hd

The project includes Java source code, unit tests for the library, and multiple examples that show how to use the available APIs. The examples are also available in source code format.

Here’s a list of what’s included in the library:

  • Configuration of local and remote XBee devices:
    • Configure common parameters with specific setters and getters.
    • Configure any other parameter with generic methods.
    • Execute AT commands.
    • Apply configuration changes.
    • Write configuration changes.
    • Reset the device.
  • Transmission of data to all the XBee devices on the network or to a specific device.
  • Reception of data from remote XBee devices:
    • Data polling.
    • Data reception callback.
  • Reception of network status changes related to the local XBee device.
  • IO lines management:
    • Configure IO lines.
    • Set IO line value.
    • Read IO line value.
    • Receive IO data samples from any remote XBee device on the network.

So whether you’re designing an intelligent lighting application, completely automating your home, tracking your dog’s activity level, or anything else you can dream up– you no longer have to start from scratch. Visit github.com/digidotcom for access to the library and more information.

Augmented Guitar

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Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 9.53.44 AMBy Colin Labadie

Colin wanted more than what 6 strings could offer from his guitar. Typically a guitar player will turn to additional FX pedals to create sounds and effects, but all this can be done with software too!

Using sensors, Arduino, and XBee installed on the guitar, the sound is sent to a computer running MaxMSP for processing. MaxMSP is a programming environment that allows you to process sounds in seemingly infinite ways.

As you can see, various buttons are also installed on the front of the guitar. This allows the player to control which sounds to trigger with just a push of a button. In addition to the arcade-style buttons, there is an Apple Trackpad, which controls multiple sound effects to create unique sounds.

This project is definitely one worth hearing, so take a listen and get a run-down of the project from Colin in the video below!

UPDATE: The Germinator is Alive!

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A couple weeks ago, we shared the projects our team in Logroño built for the Digi Employee Hackathon. Here is quick  update on ‘The Germinator Plus’ project. These pictures were taken two weeks after planting and as you can see, the project is in full force!

The Germinator Plus makes it easy to adjust the environment for different species of plants by using Device Cloud, XBee, a microcontroller, and sensors. The sensors monitor heat, light, and water levels and the system maintains the conditions needed for that species of plant. Read more about the project in the full Digi Employee Hackathon post.

Pollux’NZ City

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Pollution Monitoring Network

By CKAB Tech

The pollux’NZ City project aims at creating a network of autonomous wireless network of sensors that uploads the measures on any data silos on Internet.

“There are two main components to the system. On the right is a base station which collects the data from the array of sensor, one of which is shown on the left. Each sensor runs off of a battery, but features a PV solar panel which keeps the power source topped off. It uses an Arduino to drive the system, and an XBee radio for communications. There’s a PM10 particle pollution sensor, temperature, sound, nitrogen, and oxygen sensors. The base station also uses an XBee radio to poll the network, but it’s not driven by an Arduino. They’ve gone with the ARM-based BeagleBone to manage the data.” –Mike Szczys, Hackaday

Read about the project on Hackaday
Check out the project’s summary page and GitHub repository  here.

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