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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.

Taking the Internet of Things to the Farm | How We Get to Next

10 Perfect DIY Projects for Makers Who Love Their Pets | Makezine

4 Ways the Internet of Things Brings us Closer to ‘The Jetsons’ | Mashable

Quality Assured with the Internet of Things | M2M Now

Arduino TRE Developer Edition, 2nd Round of Beta Testing | Arduino Blog

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.

XBee Visits World Maker Faire New York 2014

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Maker Faire is one of our favorite events of the year. We get to meet everyone that’s making with XBee, introduce others that may not be familiar, and see amazing projects like giant robotic giraffes and connected motorcycles. We’ve got tons of pictures to share with you from what was a great event.

XBee Projects

And if you stopped by our booth and looking to build any of the demos we had on display, visit examples.digi.com for instructions. Or if you’ve built a project with XBee, be sure to submit it to the XBee Gallery.

Thanks again to everyone that stopped by to hangout with us. Have photos or videos from Maker Faire that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter!

Meet the Kit that Connects You to the Internet of Things ASAP

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In this video, Digi’s Chief Innovator, Rob Faludi, shows you how easy it is to build a Wi-Fi enabled hardware prototype and develop an application for the Internet of Things with the XBee WiFi Cloud Kit. The kit wirelessly connects with Device Cloud by Etherios out of the box, so you can build custom widgets that interact with your cloud-connected hardware.

Interested in seeing more ideas of what is possible with the XBee WiFi Cloud kit? Check out the projects that came out of our employee Hackathon in Logroño.

World Maker Faire 2013 Recap

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We had a blast at this year’s World Maker Faire in New York! We hope that you enjoyed it as well. We want to say thank you to everyone that stopped by our booth. It was great meeting face to face with our fellow XBee fans and makers.

New XBee Wifi Cloud Kit Wins Editor’s Choice at Maker Faire

XBee Maker Faire Editor's Choice

The new XBee Wi-Fi Cloud kit won an Editor’s Choice at this year’s World Maker Faire in New York. The kit makes building an internet connected device fast and simple. Users can even build custom online dashboards for data visualization and remote control of their devices. Keep an eye on our TwitterFacebook Page, and Blog for more information as the official release nears.

Check out these articles for a recap of World Maker Faire 2013:

Maker Faire: When Will We Make Cars and Phones at Home? on the BBC

At Maker Faire New York City, DIY Movement Pushes into the Mainstream via The Verge

NASA highlights Asteroid Initiative at World Maker Faire from Red Orbit

Intel’s Futurist Introduces Open Source 3D Printed Robot at Maker Faire on Gizmag

In case you missed it, you can sign up for the new X-CTU Beta here.

And keep an eye on the XBee Gallery for new projects we found at Maker Faire!


Maker Faire XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit Drawing: Congratulations to our Winners

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We want to say thank you to everyone that stopped by at World Maker Faire in New York!  Thank you for participating in our drawing for the new XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit. All winners will be notified via email over the coming week. Below are the winners from our drawing, congratulations!


XBee Wi-Fi Kit Winners from World Maker Faire NY 2013

  • Brent Bovenzi
  • Irving Derin
  • Claude Cantave
  • Tim Marion
  • Michael Margolis
  • Matthew Kue
  • Ziv Schneider
  • Alex Lee
  • Neil Moloney
  • Bill Fastenau

The XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit
This new kit helps users quickly connect XBee Wi-Fi enabled devices to the Internet of Things. The kit includes a development board with a number of inputs and outputs and modular components that allow you to build online dashboards for device control and data visualization.

World Maker Faire NY 2013: Make Your Project Awesome

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World Maker Faire NY is only a week away! We’ll have project demos for you to check out, a new development kit, and we’ll be giving a talk on connecting your projects to the Internet. It’s going to be an extremely fun weekend. If you’re going to Maker Faire, be sure to stop by the Digi booth.

We’re excited to be debuting our XBee Wif-Fi Cloud kit, which makes internet-enabling your project easy.  Maker Faire attendees also have a chance to sign up for the beta version of our new X-CTU software.XBee_Cloud_Kit (1)

Digi’s Rob Faludi, and Liz Presson will be presenting September 22 at 12:00p.m. EST on the Electronics Stage. They’ll show you how an internet connection can improve your project and turn it into something amazing. This will be a great first step to get your projects connected to the internet. Everything from how to get started, what technologies to use and examples of great internet enabled projects.

There’s lots happening at Maker Faire and we hope to see you there!

Featuring MakerBot: 3D Printing at Your Fingertips

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MakerBot Industries is a Brooklyn-based company founded by Bre Pettis, Adam Mayer, and Zach “Hoeken” Smith that produces 3D printers. MakerBot’s mission is to bring desktop 3D printing into the home at an affordable price.

In addition to their online store, MakerBot opened a retail location in Manhattan. ”Come to the MakerBot Store in New York City to get a taste of some of today’s most exciting technology, right at your fingertips. See the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer in action, making new things while you watch. Browse our selection of sculptures and models made on MakerBot machines right here in our Brooklyn workshop. Better yet, leave with a totally unique gift for yourself, or someone you think is cool enough to own something made on a MakerBot.”

Walking by the store is enough to get a glimpse of the 3D printing action that’s inside. Here are some photos of the window display where you can see items such as a 3D printed toy truck, a cupcake and this 3D building that was generated with a printing time of just over 5 hours.

A Notable Note

Recently, MakerBot donated two Replicator 2 3D printers to a two-person team that created a robotic hand for a boy in South Africa. “Folks at Makerbot heard about the project and donated two Replicator 2 3D printers to the pair who were then able to create parts by sending CAD files back and forth. In a few days, Liam had a prototype hand and the pair continued to refine and improve the model.”

You can read the full story on TechCrunch, Two Makers Come Together To Make A Robotic Hand For A Boy In South Africa.

If you’re in New York, MakerBot is launching a series of workshops, classes and lectures for anyone eager to learn the nuances of 3D printing. The company’s retail location will feature lessons like “Setting Up and Maintaining Your New MakerBot” on Friday nights from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.. At $35 per class (this varies depending on which one you attend) space is limited, so register in advance. Not in NYC? MakerBot is all about connecting with their community, you can interact with the MakerBot crew on Twitter and check out their Facebook Page here.

Do you have a 3D printer? If so, what have you made? We’d love to see your photos on Twitter or Facebook!

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 Digi Design Services 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.

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