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University of Minnesota – Solar Vehicle

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In 1990, a group of undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota established the Solar Vehicle Project so students could experience engineering and management in a complete product development environment. Over twenty five years and twelve solar cars later, the University of Minnesota’s Solar Vehicle Project became the first team from the United States to compete in the Cruiser Class of the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia. Since then, they returned to this biennial event with their new EOS I solar vehicle in 2015 and were the only cruiser competitor to qualify for both the 2016 Formula Sun Grand Prix and the 2016 American Solar Challenge. The team will be returning to the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge with their new Eos II solar vehicle on October 8, 2017.

Looking to improve the practicality and efficiency of their cruiser vehicle, the University of Minnesota team of approximately seventy-five undergraduate students, has spent the last two years planning, designing, fundraising, and building the Eos II solar vehicle using Digi XBee modules to communicate and log data from the solar car and lead vehicle. In support of these innovative efforts, Digi has sponsored the solar team with four Digi XLR Pro radios to help the team members communicate and log data using a point-to-multipoint Ethernet bridge to create a transparent network connecting computers and networked sensors in all vehicles and the caravan. The team will also have the ability to access locally hosted resources on a dedicated server in the lead vehicle, something they have not been able to do in the past.

Yesterday, we had the honor of meeting the 2017 crew to hand deliver the Digi XLR Pro radios. The energetic and excited team gave us an inside look into their shop, showed us under the hood of the EOS II, and tested out Digi XBee modules while test driving the solar vehicle. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon and be sure to follow this brilliant, hardworking, and fun team on Twitter to cheer them on!

Fill out this simple Digi XBee Project form to feature your project on the Machine Talk blog for a chance to win a free Digi XBee Development Kit.

Simple Garage Door Sensor

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Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Assembly of Parts
  3. Configure the Radio
  4. View It
  5. Use It
  6. Intern Spotlight


Whether you’re pulling into work after a busy morning, driving to the family cabin, or just laying in bed after a long day, the last thing you want to worry about is your car garage door. This example will show you how to install a simple garage door monitor so you never have to worry if your garage door is left open. Using the Digi XBee LTE Cat1 Development Kit and a magnetic reed switch, an SMS can be sent to your phone notifying you if your garage door is opened or closed.

Digi XBee Ecosystem: Let Your Imagination Run Wireless

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Whether you are just learning about wireless communications and Digi XBee or you are an experienced developer, the Digi XBee Ecosystem has everything necessary to explore and create wireless connectivity. This Digi XBee knowledge base provides a limitless world of software and hardware resources, stories of customers solving real wireless challenges, communities eager to connect, and opportunities to feature your own projects in the largest collection on the web. Watch the new Digi XBee Ecosystem video and explore its three main software, hardware, and resource categories.

Digi XBee Software

Using the free user-friendly GUI platform, Digi XCTU, you can easily set up, configure and test everything from simple projects to sophisticated industrial solutions with Digi XBee modules. Check out this section to learn more about the intuitive graphical user interface, Digi XBee API mode, and check out published code libraries.

Digi XBee Hardware

Digi XBee is a complete system of wireless modules, gateways, adapters, and software that are engineered to accelerate wireless deployments on a global scale. Its compact design footprint leverages multiple protocols and RF frequencies suitable for all types of networks including, but not limited to, Thread, 802.15.4, and Wi-Fi open standards. This flexibility reduces manufacturing and engineering costs and accelerates product roadmaps for OEMs. Visit this section for more information about mesh networking, point-to-multipoint communication, and cellular networking.

Digi XBee Resources

In addition to hardware and software tools, the Digi XBee ecosystem provides unmatched resources and support. Here you can ask questions on the Digi Forum, receive answers from community members, and submit projects to be featured on the Machine Talk blog.

>>Fill out this simple Digi XBee Project form to feature your project on the Machine Talk blog for a chance to win a free Digi XBee Development Kit.

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How to Balance IoT Security for Embedded Solutions

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When considering embedded IoT solutions, security is a balance between three parts that are often in tension: economic cost, benefit, and risk.

  • Cost – Pertains to the price for designing security into industrial applications versus “bolting” it on, the urgency of time to market, and the value of your brand’s reputation.
  • Benefit – The benefits of integrated security allow you gain immediate access to critical features such as secure connections, authenticated boot, encrypted data storage, access-controlled ports, secure software updates, and seamless integration of the dedicated on-module Secure Element (SE).
  • Risk – With remote and distributed wireless networks, hackers do not need physical access to devices such as USB outlets or network ports, putting remote industrial applications even more at risk to communication attacks, software attacks, invasive hardware attacks, and non-invasive hardware attacks can be classified in terms of investment, the type of attacker, and equipment involved.

Designing and building connected products can be accelerated by using a secure and cost-effective System-on-Module (SOM) platform, a surface mount form factor that provides simple design freedom with unlimited access to interfaces, and out-of-the-box integrated security that is reliable, allowing you to focus on accelerated product development and delivering products that take advantage of the benefits of connectivity.

To help designers and builders effectively respond to the IoT security mandate, Digi experts developed Digi TrustFence™, a fully integrated, tested, and complete Linux device security framework. The built-in security of Digi TrustFence provides immediate access to critical features and easy integration to handle security for your embedded IoT device.

>>Check out this IoT Device Security Technology Brief to protect your embedded devices with a balanced security framework.

WiseConn’s DropControl Sensing Solution Embeds Wireless Connectivity with Digi XBee

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The ability to control water consumption is critical to the success of both small scale farmers and large scale agriculture. Irrigation control experts, WiseConn, designed the DropControl solution to help farmers remotely monitor fields, collect data, and transmit information back to the farmer’s control station, where it can be either programed to make decisions autonomously or managed locally using low-power wireless sensors featuring Digi XBee radio modules. There are currently 1,500 sites and 300 business operations in Peru, Chile, and California that are achieving better yields, improving the quality of crops, saving up to 30 percent on their water consumption, and reducing greenhouse gases after installing DropControl irrigation system.

Having initially relied on open source software stacks connectivity, WiseConn’s eagerness for innovation lead them to integrate Digi XBee Pro 900HP embedded modules combined with DigiMesh networking protocol. “The keys to us were Digi’s low power consumption, ISM compatibility, and the long range,” Ulloa said. “Just as important, we are able to use Digi’s peer-to-peer mesh network. Irrigation and long-range flow control need robust P2P communications that don’t rely on a constantly-connected central coordinator. We had a lot of confidence in Digi. Thanks to the Digi mesh protocol, we were able to focus our resources on irrigation functionality – and not worry about networking intricacies. We also liked Digi’s long product lifecycles. We’ve had, essentially, the same pin layout and firmware for the past five years.”

>>Visit Digi Customer Success stories to see how customers are inventing new business models and changing their respective industries.

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Communicate with Therapist Bot Using Digi XBee Cellular and XCTU

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Assemble the Parts
  3. Communicate with ELIZA
  4. Your First Counselling Session
  5. Accessing Other Servers

1) Introduction

XCTU is a free multi-platform application designed to enable developers to interact with Digi RF modules through a simple-to-use graphical interface. By using XCTU and the Digi XBee cellular, you can connect to many servers such as the ELIZA Therapist Bot, Echo, and Daytime.

In XCTU you can directly communicate with radio modules using the AT console. All the data you send through the serial interface is queued for transmission by the module, and all the data received by the module is sent through the serial interface. To communicate between devices in the console, you can use the AT Console Log which displays all sent (blue) and received (red) data characters.

Using the Digi Xbee Cellular Modem and XCTU, you can chat with the ELIZA Therapist Bot. ELIZA is an artificial intelligence (AI) bot that emulates a therapist and can perform simple conversations. Every conversation with ELIZA can be viewed through the XCTU Console Log. In this example, we will provide step by step instructions on how to connect to the ELIZA server.

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Internet of Things Device Security: Five Simple Steps (video)

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Device security is a critical and complex step in designing an Internet of Things strategy. Digi’s Chief Technology Officer, Joel Young, discusses five critical areas of IoT security.

Cover these, and you’re on the right path:

  • secure boot
  • authentication
  • protected ports
  • storage
  • secure connections

In this five minute video, Joel shares which questions to ask and what steps to take in order to ensure strong IoT device security.

You can get the transcript of this video here, and learn more about Digi TrustFence here.

i.MX6 Ultra Lite Demos for Building Low-Power Connected Applications

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To help designers and engineers effectively build low power IoT applications with cloud connectivity Digi experts Martin and Andreas have provided two demonstrations to highlight low power applications using Digi ConnectCore 6 and 6UL system-on-module solutions featuring the NXP i.MX6 and i.MX6 UL applications processors. Cloud connectivity capabilities and a fully integrated, tested, and complete Linux device security framework are important features to consider when choosing a SOM platform.

Digi ConnectCore for i.MX6UL Cloud Connectivity
This demo shows an interesting application running on the certified Microsoft Azure Cloud to show facial recognition and to analyze emotion. Using a temperature sensor, small display screen, and USB camera captures a picture of our Field Applications Engineer Manager, Martin Shulte-Hobein, and wirelessly sends it to the cloud to be analyzed for emotion.

Build Low Power Applications with Digi ConnectCore for i.MX6UL
Watch this demonstration of the unique low power capabilities of the ConnectCore 6UL SBC, the ConnectCore 6UL SOM, and its integrated Microcontroller Assist. Digi Solution Sales Expert, Andreas Burghart, shows the efficiency of power saving suspense mode, instant wake-up, and support for external event triggers which are all key features for building low-power applications.

>>Design and build your connected products on an industrial Single Board Computer platform today with the Digi ConnectCore 6UL Development Kit.

Contact a Digi expert and get started today! Contact Us
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