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XBee Controls Adam Savage’s Robugtix Spider

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A Hong Kong based company, Robugtix, makes bio-inspired multi-legged robots. That’s right, robotic, XBee-enabled, spiders. And, it just so happens that this eight legged robotic is a favorite of Adam Savage, host and famous maker on the show MythBusters. It was even featured on his YouTube series, Inside Adam Savage’s Cave.

The realistic (and slightly terrifying) arachnid is a 3D printed robot that is extremely lightweight and can very closely mimic the biological movements of a spider. It’s controlled wirelessly by joysticks on a remote control with XBee. The remote includes four joysticks for complete control of the robot, so you can do more than just move left/right and forward/back.

XBee-PRO 900HP: 28-Mile LOS Range

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Super Long-Range 900 MHz XBee-PRO® Module with DigiMesh®

This little 1.3 x 1 inch XBee® radio packs a serious punch, with a 28 mile range in the 900 MHz frequency band. With interfaces that include UART or SPI, 15 digital I/O pins, 4 ADC pins, and 2 PWM outputs, the XBee-PRO 900HP is capable of wirelessly connecting virtually any device or sensor and transmitting data across long distances.

Companies have utilized this module to develop some amazing products, like intelligent wireless street lighting systems, mission-critical radiation detection systems at power plants, and even beacon systems used in firefighting suits.

 Key features:

  • Superior outdoor LOS range of up to 28 miles
  • Over-the-Air firmware updates eliminate costly “truck rolls”
  • Software-selectable channel mask for interference immunity
  • Advanced sleep modes include sleeping routers, pin sleep, cyclic sleep for minimal power usage
  • Pin-compatible with other XBee modules DigiMesh and point-to-multipoint networking topologies
  • Simplified AT command set or advanced XBee API accelerates time to market

XBee-PRO 900 HP modules and development kits are available now. To learn more, please download the datasheet, visit the product webpage or contact us for more information.

Have you built a cool wireless product using the XBee-PRO 900HP? Let us know about it!

Want a free XBee-PRO 900HP S3B Development Kit? Answer the XBee Puzzler at the end of our latest Tech Tip for your chance to win a kit!

Digi Enables almerys’ Critical Cardiology Telehealth Application in France (M2M Now Magazine Case Study)

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“We wanted to be up and running quickly and Digi provided us with the rapid development environment we needed. Its solutions were easily integrated into our IT platform. The solution was ready in less than two months, and enabled us to get to the market quickly.” – Robert Boualit, health services director at almerys

Heart failure is the leading cause of emergency hospitalization in patients over 60 years old. For those suffering from heart disease, changes in body weight are a crucial indicator of their health and response to treatment. Remote monitoring for patient weight “warning signs” can avert emergency hospitalization, improves the health of patients and has massive cost-saving implications for health care systems worldwide.

Digi and almerys, a subsidiary of Orange Business Services, have helped develop and implement a cardiology telehealth pilot project in the Auvergne region of France. The Cardiauvergne project, which utilizes Digi’s ConnectPort® X3, Digi TransPort® 41 and Device Cloud by Etherios™, performs in-home monitoring to collect a patient’s weight data daily, and transfers it quickly and securely to a medical co-ordination unit where medical decisions are made.

Since the Cardiauvergne project began in September 2011, 315 patients have been monitored and 600 health crises have been averted. This is just one example of how Digi is improving patient care by connecting critical devices – see our Medical Brochure to learn more about how Digi and Etherios are expanding the mobility and frequency of patient health care.

Digi Helps Wildlife Research Institute Study Bear Hibernation with Remote Monitoring Solution

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The business of connecting machines may seem as far from nature as you can get. But, this remote monitoring system is a great reminder that machines are incredible tools we can use to learn more about the things we care about– in this case, bears.

Digi developed a remote monitoring solution for the Wildlife Research Institute (WRI) that allows the Institute to monitor bears in their dens during hibernation. One particular bear, Lily, has hibernated deep in the Minnesota woods where there is no access to landline Internet service. To establish a camera uplink to Lily’s remote den, WRI is using the Digi TransPort WR21 wireless router which provides a high-speed Internet connection over Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network.

“We are allowing the Wildlife Research Institute to gain valuable insights into the activity of bears during hibernation by establishing a 4G connection in the wilderness,” said Joel Young, senior vice president of research and development and CTO of Digi International. “We have connected hundreds of thousands of remote devices throughout the world, and this application is a great example of how technology can be used to take control of widely-deployed assets.”

Using the video uplink, researchers could see how Lily prepared for birth during hibernation and how she reacted to the cubs just after birth. A second camera was also installed outside of Lily’s den that records activity near the den during warmer months.

Digi also helped the WRI connect scales that detect when a bear is present in the den. When the bear steps on the scale, weight is recorded and the sensors trigger the camera to begin recording. 

“It’s incredible that with a small amount of money and effort, these low-tech devices have been made smart just by adding connectivity,” said Jim Stroner, a research program volunteer and special products development manager with Digi International. “This application is a great example of how connected devices can impact society, and we are extremely pleased to be a part of this exciting and valuable research.”

Jim’s photo of Lily even won the 2013 Winter Nature Photo Contest and was featured on Science Friday. You can see all of Jim’s photos on his website, StronerWildlife.com.

You can also read Verizon’s post on the system here.

Now, we ask you– if you could remotely monitor anything what would it be?

Wireless Devices Answer the Call for Help via McKnight’s

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This article was written by Kelly Besecker, Vice President for Sales and Marketing at AFrame Digital and Steve Popovich, our Vice President of Business Development at Digi International.

As a result of rising medical costs and an increasing number of patients with chronic conditions, many senior living facilities are seeking wireless monitoring solutions for managing patients’ health in addition to life-safety. For all patients or residents, any change or decline in their condition needs to be detected as quickly as possible to allow for early intervention.

According to a study conducted by IMS Research, more than 50 million wireless health monitoring devices will ship for consumer monitoring applications during the next five years. Such devices offer personalized care for a variety of health scenarios, including fall risks.

Falls are a major health risk. It is estimated that one in three persons over the age of 65 is likely to fall at least once a year. Personal emergency response systems can help by providing a “panic button” device that a senior can press if an accident occurs.  However, a 2008 study by the British Medical Journal found that 80% of people over the age of 90 who wore monitoring devices never pushed the alert button after a fall, either because they didn’t want to bother anyone or were unable to do so.  If a fall goes undetected, the results can be devastating for both the patient and the senior living facility.  Remaining on the floor, even for a few hours, can lead to problems such as dehydration, low body temperature and skin sores due to pressure. Additionally, senior living facilities can face the loss of revenue, lawsuits and license revocation if falls go undetected.

To prevent undetected falls, senior living facilities are now looking for solutions that feature a built-in accelerometer that measures movement and orientation, and can automatically sense falls. When a fall is detected, it sends an alert where it is deemed appropriate, such as a caregiver or nurse station. With automatic alerts, caregivers are able to act more quickly to provide assistance. In addition, automatic detection allows a trend to be developed over time that may indicate an increase in instability over time. If the system also determines the location of the resident, a pattern of difficulty with certain locations or time of day may emerge.

Of course, it is everyone’s goal to prevent falls before they happen. Most falls are associated with one or more identifiable risk factors such as weakness, confusion and certain medications. Research has shown that identification and attention to these risk factors can significantly reduce fall rates. Companies such as AFrame Digital have introduced technology that is designed to detect changes so medical personnel and caregivers can be alerted before a fall happens.

AFrame’s MobileCare™ Monitor system, a wrist watch-like device, wirelessly communicates a user’s motion and location data to a cloud-based monitoring and alerting system. The AFrame system’s capabilities include emergency call, impact detection, location tracking, along with activity and vitals tracking and trending. The solution uses ZigBee wireless technology, provided by Digi International, to connect to the network, and the iDigi Device cloud to make system management easy.

Read the Full Article on McKnight’s 

WaveForum 2012: Solutions, Experts and Answers

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We’ll be talking wireless technology, M2M solutions and device cloud connectivity at the seventh annual WaveForum this November in Miami, Florida. WaveForum brings together industry experts from around the world to share knowledge and experience. The three-day event will feature over 25 different sessions covering a variety of topics including:

  • Cloud Computing for M2M networks
  • RF Basics & Site Survey
  • Cellular Basics
  • XBee Platform
  • Mesh Networking
  • Embedded Wi-Fi
  • Satellite Solutions
  • Advanced Cellular Technology
  • Solutions and services for business efficiencies

We’d love for you to join us! 

WaveForum Asia
Nov. 7-8, 2012
Shenzhen, China

Nov. 28-30, 2012
Miami, FL, USA

WaveForum Latin America
Nov. 28-30, 2012
Miami, FL, USA

We even have a special discount for our online supporters. Use “WF12SM” at checkout for $100 off of your ticket. Register here.

Want to chat about the event? Follow updates and commentary: #WaveForum on Twitter and Facebook.

Top 5 Lessons about Wireless in Healthcare

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Meet our guest blogger: Eric Abbott is a technology executive with a deep understanding of healthcare IT and telecommunications infrastructure. With over 20 years of experience, Mr. Abbott is responsible for leading product management initiatives at ExteNet Systems. Prior to joining ExteNet Systems, Mr. Abbott served as a Senior Product Manager for Motorola, Inc. There, he led the development of advanced applications and communication systems for healthcare, public safety agencies, and enterprise customers. His background also includes medical informatics, healthcare IT, business strategy, operations, and systems engineering.

The convergence of healthcare IT with wireless technology has achieved tremendous strides in improving access to care, timeliness of care, patient safety, and the quality of care. Indeed, real-time, contextual access to the healthcare enterprise EMR has enabled new delivery method paradigms, as evidenced by the rise of mobile health modalities. Healthcare vendors have responded with a rich suite of new products, applications, and services to create an infrastructure environment of connectivity between people, things, and processes, thereby promoting continuity of care between a healthcare organization’s EMR and wireless medical devices and instruments. Examples range from biometric machine-to-machine (M2M) medical device sensors that form body area networks to applications running on a commercial wireless device such as an iPhone or iPAD.

Healthcare organizations dealing with the world of wireless have learned the following top 5 lessons.

1. Security and privacy is paramount.
Physical, technical, and operational safeguards are critical necessities when dealing with multiple families of wireless devices. Bring your own device (BYOD) practices enhances potential vulnerabilities, and reliance on native security and privacy methods is not prudent given strengthened HIPAA requirements and emerging requirements.

2. Sizing and selection of infrastructure is critical towards assuring high levels of availability to users.
Wireless technology offerings have evolved beyond Wi-Fi. Healthcare organizations must understand how to use and select broadband technologies such as 4G LTE and Bluetooth inside and outside the 4-walls of the hospital.

3. Financing of wireless services is a reality.
Traditional, fixed capital Wi-Fi based systems are yielding way to hybrid wireless systems that include commercial wireless service offered by public wireless carriers. Financing of commercial wireless infrastructure given their up-front capital and recurring operations costs is an important consideration from an operations standpoint.

4. The extent of offered wireless services is a key consideration.
Potential interference, inherent capacity limitations and constraints, and assured interoperability between wireless systems mandates intelligent wireless management methods such as service access control and network access control.

5. HIT workflow and technology integration is fundamental for success implementations.
Semantic interoperability between end-processes requires rigorous integration practices that include attention to latency, throughput limitations, and other technical metrics. Additionally, clinical workflow integration from a cultural and organizational standpoint is necessary via training and best practices process methods in order to facilitate adoption. In turn, these achieve operational efficiencies and thus the expected return on investment.

Want to read more on wireless in healthcare? You can read our last M2M healthcare post, “An Introduction to M2M and Healthcare,” here.

XBee Example for Feeling the Force

The newest tutorial on Digi’s XBee Examples site teaches you to create a wireless force sensor or FSR. The force sensor sends out a signal that varies depending upon how hard you press on it. It can be used to measure weight or pressure.

Additional examples for XBee radio sensors and outputs are being posted regularly, all summer long. Follow our RSS feed to collect ‘em all. For example last week’s Digital Input example could be used to detect whether a cat is on a mat. But if you need to know how fat is that cat on the mat, then then Matt Richardson’s new Feeling Force example is for you!