Tag Archives: IoT

Deconstructing Iot: Temboo video-interviews Tom Igoe

via Arduino Blog

igoe-temboo

At Temboo they’ve just started a new web series and the second episode released last week is a video interview with Arduino co-founder Tom Igoe.
He spoke with Vaughn and Claire about the challenges the Internet of Things poses to designers, the relationship between consumer and industrial IoT applications, some of his favorite Arduino creations, and more.

This video is part of “Deconstructing IoT” series: they’ll be putting online new videos every week, and many will feature IoT applications built with Arduino. Stay Tuned!

 

Creating Connected Objects with Massimo Banzi at IDEO

via Arduino Blog

iotYun

Two days of workshop with Massimo Banzi visiting IDEO headquarters in Munich is scheduled for the 28th of February on the topic of smart homes and connected objects. Book your participation (max 20 participants)

The program starts with a brainstorming session, led by IDEO and Massimo Banzi, around Connected Objects and IoT. Then, participants will prototype an IoT device, with a kit that includes an Arduino YÚN and a selection of Tinkerkit sensors and actuators.

Read more about the  #ArduinoTour workshop

Iot in Munich

 

Ready to fly to Sweden? Apply to the Nordic IoT Hackathon 2015

via Arduino Blog

hackathonnordic

Arduino Verkstad is partner of the Nordic Internet of Things Hackathon 2015 organized in collaboration with Mobile Heights & the MVD Project and taking place April 10th-12th, 2015 in the city of Lund Sweden. Programmers, interaction designers, professionals and enthusiasts  are invited to a 50-hour competition for attendees from any part of the globe no matter their technical skills on two topics: Smart Transportation or Smart Home.

The great news is that the organisation is ready to pay travel expenses to up 10 teams from outside Sweden. You can submit your idea or project proposal within the Hackathon’s framework and if it gets accepted they will fly you here to compete against the other teams.

Read more about it at this link

 

Casa Jasmina discussing IoT at Transmediale in Berlin

via Arduino Blog

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This post, written by  Jasmina Tesanovic and Bruce Sterling, was originally posted on Casa Jasmina blog.


 

On February 2, we were in Berlin’s “House of World Cultures” to discuss “Casa Jasmina.” We were participating in the Transmediale Festival, as part of an event roundtable on the topic of “the Internet of Things.”

Luckily, since we’re electronic art journalists, we’ve seen about a million public panels of this kind. It never surprises us when everybody at a round table has a different angle on the problem.

Our own answer, as we described it to the crowd at Transmediale, is pretty simple. “Casa Jasmina” is a new project to build an IoT home that’s (1) open source (2) luxurious and (3) Turinese.

Our panel featured Arduino colleague David Cuartielles, who memorably described Arduino as “fifty guys in six garages in six different countries.” In “Casa Jasmina,” basically, we’re the cool clubhouse in one of those six garages. That is our purpose and nature.

The “Internet of Things” is a very big topic. It’s physically impossible for anybody anywhere to keep up with every IoT appliance, wearable, machine-to-machine app, set-top box, thing-router, platform, protocol, cloud and app. There are so many commercial IoT gimmicks available right now that we could fill the Mole Antonelliana with them from top to bottom. However, we’re not going to try that. Instead we are concentrating on our own distinct approach to the Internet of Things issue.

That’s where the “luxury” aspect comes in. “Lusso Open Source.” We’re interested in “luxury” because we’re Turinese. Italy is into boutique manufacturing and luxury export, especially Italian furniture, clothing, foodstuffs and kitchen gear. Italy’s got lots of hackerspaces and makerspace now: over thirty of them, and the Maker scene is advancing fast. This means that some domestic refinement is in order: Italians need to class this Maker stuff up and sell it to the foreign tourists. That’s what Italians do, such is the time-honored Italian way of life. The traditional craft cachet of “Made in Italy” ought to be followed by the less-traditional digital-craft cachet of “Make in Italy.” Why not?

Since Torino is the manufacturing center of Italy, Torino obviously the place to try this. We’re pretty sure it is bound to happen anyway. “Casa Jasmina” should be a place where concerned people can sit down, have a glass of Piedmontese red and think that prospect over. What does “Luxury Open Source” really mean, anyway? What would Ettore Sotsass, Bruno Munari, or Enzo Mari do about this?

Keep reading on Casa Jasmina Blog >>

instasupersmapp wallss

 

Raspberry Pi Weather Station for schools

via Raspberry Pi

When I first joined the Raspberry Pi Foundation, over a year ago now, one of my first assignments was to build a weather station around the Raspberry Pi. Thanks to our friends at Oracle (the large US database company), the Foundation received a grant not only to design and build a Raspberry Pi weather station for schools, but also to put together a whole education programme to go with it. Oracle were keen to support a programme where kids get the opportunity to partake in cross-curricular computing and science projects that cover everything from embedded IoT, through networking protocols and databases, to big data. The goals of the project was ambitious. Between us we wanted to create a weather experiment where schools could gather and access weather data from over 1000 weather stations from around the globe. To quote the original project proposal, students participating in the program will get the opportunity to:

  • Use a predefined Raspberry Pi hardware kit to build their own weather station and write application code that logs a range of weather data including wind speed, direction, temperature, pressure, and humidity;
  • Write applications to interrogate their weather station and record data in a cloud-hosted Oracle Application Express database;
  • Interrogate the database via SQL to enable macro level data analysis;
  • Develop a website on the Raspberry Pi to display local weather conditions that can be accessed by other participating schools; and
  • Access a Weather Station for Schools program website to see the geographical location of all weather stations in the program, locate the websites of other participating schools, interact with other participants about their experiences, blog, and get online technical support.

After a year of grafting on hardware prototypes and software development I’m pleased to announce that the final PCB design has been committed to manufacture and we are ready to start pre-registering schools who’d be interested in participating in the programme. We have 1000 weather station kits to give away for free so to find out how your school can be part of this read the rest of this post below, but first some background on the project.

If you’ve been on Twitter a lot you’ll have noticed me teasing this since about March last year. Below is a photo of the very first version.

I did a lot of testing to ensure that the components were reliable and wouldn’t become problematic on the software side after a long period of uptime. The goal was to have the Pi controlling everything, so that we could leverage learning opportunity: helping kids to learn about writing code to interface directly with the sensors, as well as displaying and analysing collected data. I settled on the following set of sensor measurements for the weather station:

  • Rainfall
  • Wind speed
  • Wind gust speed
  • Wind direction
  • Ambient temperature
  • Soil temperature
  • Barometric pressure
  • Relative humidity
  • Air Quality
  • Real Time Clock (for data logging purposes)

This seemed like a good enough spread of data. I’m sure some people will ask why not this measurement or why not that. It was important for us to keep the cost of the kit under control; although there is nothing to stop you from augmenting it further yourself.

Once that was nailed down I wrote a few lessons plans, and Lance and I trialled them with with two schools in Kent (Bonus Pastor Catholic College and Langley Park School for Boys).

BBC Schools Report were on site and recorded a short feature about the day here.

We gave the kids one lesson from the scheme of work, showing them how to interface with the anemometer (wind speed sensor) in code. One thing that was clearly apparent was how engaged they were. Once their code was up and running, and was able to measure wind speed correctly, they had a lot of fun seeing who could get the fastest movement out of the sensor by blowing on it (current record is 32 kph, held by Clive “Lungs” Beale). Warning: there is a fainting risk if you let your kids do this too much!

We went away from this feeling we were very much on the right track, so we continued to design the scheme of work. I’m also very glad to report that we’re not doing this all on our own! We’ve partnered with the Met Office and OCR Geography to produce the learning resources that will cover understanding how weather systems work and interpreting patterns in the data.

The scheme is has been broken down into three main phases of learning resources:

  1. Collection
    Here you’ll learn about interfacing with the sensors, understanding how they work and writing Python code to talk to them. You’ll finish off by recording the measurements in a MySQL database hosted on the Pi and deploying your weather station in an outdoor location in the grounds of your school.
  2. Display
    This will involve creating an Apache, PHP 5 and JavaScript website to display the measurements being collected by your weather station. You will have the opportunity to upload your measurements to the Oracle cloud database so that they can be used by other schools. Whether or not you choose to upload your data, you’ll still pull down measurements from other schools and use them to produce integrated weather maps.
  3. Interpretation of Weather
    Here you’ll learn how to discern patterns in weather data, analyse them and use them to inform predictions about future weather. This will be done for both local weather (using your own data) and national weather (using data from the Oracle cloud database online).

My next task was to take the breadboard prototype and create a PCB test version that we could use in a small trial of 20 or so units. I had not done any PCB design before this. So over the course of a couple of days I learnt how to use a free, open source, PCB design tool called KiCAD. I used a brilliant series of YouTube videos called Getting To Blinky by Contextual Electronics to get to grips with it.

Below is my second attempt. This board is what most hardware designers would call a sombrero. The Pi goes in upside down so it’s like a HAT that’s too big!

Weather Prototype KiCAD

I was aware that it was a huge waste of PCB real-estate. However, for the small volume run we were making, it was a convenient way to mount the board inside a cheap IP65 junction box that I wanted to use as the case. Below is the PCB prototype when first assembled. The little silk screen rain cloud graphic was borrowed from BBC Weather (thanks guys).

You’ll notice there are two boards. The small board marked AIR holds the pressure, humidity and air quality sensors. Since these must be exposed to the air they are at risk of atmospheric corrosion, especially in coastal environments. I wanted to avoid this risk to the Pi and the main board so this is why I split those sensors off to a separate smaller board. Below is how they look inside their respective cases.

The Pi sits inside the water-tight box on the left with M20 grommets to seal the cables going in and out. The AIR board on the right has conformal coating (a spray on protective layer), and is connected to the main board by a short length of cable. There are three large holes on the base of its case to allow the air in.

The weather station also needs a reliable network connection for remote monitoring, further code changes, to allow it to upload to Oracle, and to make sure that other computers on your school network can load its web pages.

Most importantly it also needs power. So instead of considering large batteries or solar panels I decided to kill two birds with one stone and use power over Ethernet. This allows power and network connectivity to be supplied through a single cable, reducing the number of cable grommets needed. You might be thinking that WiFi is an option for this; however, school WiFi networks are notoriously overloaded with many mobile devices competing for service.

So, if you go the same way as me, your school will need a long cable to run from the school building out to the location that you choose for the weather station. This basically means you never have to worry about its power or network connectivity. You are welcome to solve these challenges in your own way though, and this can actually be a very engaging and fun activity for the students to do themselves.

Once I had the PCB prototype working I had to get twenty more made and tested. This involved spending hours (it seemed longer) on the Farnell website building up a massive basket of electronic components. When the new boards and components were in my possession we took them down to a local company, EFS Manufacturing, in Cambridge for assembly.

Here are the twenty assembled and tested boards:

And here is another layer of the conformal coating spray going onto the AIR boards in the Pi Towers car park. It was a bit smelly and I didn’t want to gas out the office!

You’ll notice there are small bits of sticky tape on there. This is because the conformal coating needs to protect the solder joints on the board, but not block up the air holes on the sensors. This was a bit of a delicate job involving cutting the tape into tiny shapes, waiting for the coating to dry, and peeling it off using a scalpel.

So then it was just a matter of assembling the 20 kits with everything required to build a weather station. From the power bricks, rain gauges and wind vanes right down to grommets, screws and rubber washers. The trial participants were chosen by us to give us a coverage of field-trial users, schools and promotional partners. We kept one back to put on the roof of Pi Towers, and the rest were shipped at the end of November last year.

Slowly but surely reports have been coming in about these prototype kits being used in schools and code clubs.

Dan Aldred of Thirsk School & Sixth Form College has introduced Weather Wednesdays.

Matthew Manning, who runs the awesome YouTube channel RaspberryPiIVBeginners, made this video about setting his one up:

Andrew Mulholland, of Raspi-LTSP fame, has been using one at a Raspberry Jam where he volunteers in Northern Ireland.

James Robinson’s year 10 pupils from Soham Village College have been working through the scheme of work too.

OCR are putting one on their roof, and we’re still trying to acquire permission from the building owners at Pi Towers so we can put ours up on the roof. (Right now it’s operating from an outside window ledge.) Meanwhile, now that I was confident about it, I handed over the electrical schematic of the prototype to our engineering team. They imported it into the professional CAD package that the Raspberry Pi was designed in, and proceeded to make the Weather Board into an official HAT.

They have gone through it and essentially reworked everything to the same standard that you would expect from our products. So here it is, feast your eyes. You snap off the one side, and that is the equivalent of the small AIR board on the prototype.

Weather HAT labels

If you join our weather station scheme, this is what you will get, along with all the wind vanes, screws and other bits you’ll need. The plan is to mount the HAT onto the Pi using standard 11 mm stand-offs. Those will then mount onto a perspex sheet, and that sheet will screw into the electrical junction box. Nice and cheap.

The Raspberry Pi Weather Station kit is a great way to get your pupils involved in a wide range of computing activities whilst undertaking a practical science experiment. There is lots of opportunity for cross-curricular discussion on the science of meteorology, geography and global climate change. You will also get to participate in a global programme with other schools around the world. We have 1000 weather station units to give away to schools that sign up. The supporting educational resources are written in the English language and targeted at students aged around 15-16 years old; however we’re anticipating participation from pupils both younger and older than this. If your school would like to be one of this thousand then please sign up on THIS PAGE.

People we would like to thank:

In case you missed it above, here’s the School Sign Up again.

Casa Jasmina Project is about to roll, with style

via Arduino Blog

oscola

The location of the Casa Jasmina apartment will officially be inaugurated here in Torino (Italy) on the 20th of February, together with the celebration of  the 3rd birthday of local Officine Arduino and Fablab Torino.

The two following days (21-22 of February) we’re going to start producing the first connected things for the apartment in a workshop with the support of Jesse Howard, a designer focusing on new systems of making.

He’ll fly in from Amsterdam and run a 2-day session together with Lorenzo Romagnoli (Casa Jasmina Project Manager) and Stefano Paradiso (Fablab Torino Coordinator) with the goal of designing and manufacturing an Open Source Connected Lamp (OSCOLA).

The workshop is suitable for designers, artists, hackers, and everyone interested in Arduino and open source design and in order to stress the idea of open design, participants will be asked to reinterpret, modify and redesign an open source lamp proposed by Jesse Howard.
A minimum familiarity with of CAD drawings, digital fabrication techniques and Arduino are recommended but not strictly necessary.

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By changing materials, shape, use cases, mechanics, and interaction, we are going to create a family of open source lamps.
Arduino Yún will be used to make the lamp interactive, enabling the user to turn it on or off remotely; change the light color; use the light to visualize data etc, or connect one lamp to an other.

The OSCOLA workshop (book your participation!)  consists of 16 hours of class taking place at Fablab Torino and a ticket is valid for two people.  At the end of the workshop, each couple of participants will bring home their IoT open-source lamp and a copy will be reproduced to stay at Casa Jasmina!

Making it a special XMas on the Arduino Store with Gift Guides

via Arduino Blog

ArduinoGift14

Regardless of your budget, time and flair, there’s a perfect pick to put under your friends’ and relatives’ tree this year. We created a series of Gift Guides to help you be more relaxed and efficient in finding the best solution for all. You can check below and find out also some good news regarding free shipping (check at the end of the blogpost!)

Kids

glowinghouse

Winter holidays and Christmas is the time most of the people focus on kids and family in the most broader sense. And never like today we have the chance to make a present and open up new worlds to the little ones.

Yes. I’m talking about the experience you have playing with littleBits Base Kit for the first time. It’s an excitement for electronics you can share with kids and teenagers also happening when playing with Bare Conductive Pen, Voltage Village  Glowing House or the TV-B-Gone Kit designed to shut off any TV. They are like an entire universe hiding into a game box!

Explore the gift guide dedicated to kids

 

IoT & Connectivity

Arduino Yún - Unboxing

IoT and connected devices  has absolutely exploded in the past year, so if you’ve got coders and startuppers on your gift list, these ideas could save your time. In this gift guide you’ll find a selected list for different tastes and for sure there’s something for everyone.

From the well known Arduino Yún to the Annikken Andee for Android  smartphones designed to make mobile integration simple, you can learn how to build Wireless Sensor Networks and test the power of Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy with Blend Micro.

Explore the gift guide dedicated to IoT

 

Home Lab

materiakit

Some people say that in the future our homes will be fully automated, with refrigerators ordering your milk when it’s over, and other gizmos enabling the materialisation of a truly smart home. Is this what we want? Probably we’re not sure yet but there are a few tools  that you can buy for your house that will get you and your friends to feel like what it means to have a home lab.

Starting from a Materia 101 kit to 3d print cool decorations for Christmas and you can take your holiday time to build it with the help of some friends. Or use some quite days to dive in the world of electronics exploring Make Electronics book by Charles Platt or tinkering with some components you’ve never had time to explore like the Arduino Wireless SD Proto Shield or the Tinkerkit DMX Receiver .

Explore the gift guide dedicated to Home Lab

 

Fashion Tech

easywearable

Fashion and tech are closer than ever these days. Textile sensors make every interactive project comfortable to wear and easy to prototype. Soft potentiometers, Textile push buttons, Stretch sensors connected to an Arduino Lilypad are the best components to explore this promising field. You can begin with the Open Softwear book 2nd edition plus the Easy Wearable Kit and then move forward with  yellow EL-Wires to brighten your winter. If you want to explore new approaches not related with electronics, then try  the DIY alternative to print fabrics using light with Lumi KIT Red or Blu.

Explore the gift guide dedicated to Fashion

 


 

Arduino Store is now offering FREE SHIPPING to Europe via GLS for all orders over €100, below 3 Kg overall weight. GLS delivery will take 4-5 working days to reach you. In December, this may take longer due to end-of-the-year seasonality. Should you need delivery by Dec. 24th, we strongly advice you to place the order before Dec. 15th. Learn more about shipping

iData Truck: an Internet of Things lorry

via Raspberry Pi

Andy Proctor drives a container delivery truck. He’s embedded a Raspberry Pi in the dashboard and turned the truck into an IoT device – saving time on updating his office on his movements, and learning Python and some electronics at the same time.truckproject

Andy says on his blog:

When we have the container loaded at the customer’s address we have to phone in and when it’s been unloaded do the same.  We also let the office know when we have our shipping container lowered on the trailer or lifted off at the port.  This normally means going through the switchboard to an operator and passing him simple information 4-5 times a day (with 50 trucks).  They then update the software and then book the container with the next location, so I’ve automated it and learned how to use Python Programming.

Andy explains how everything works in this video.

We asked him on Twitter whether code and schematics are available: he said not yet, but he is planning on building a new website soon to host them.

Andy, if you’re ever in Cambridge with your truck, please let us know. We’d love to have a closer look! In the meantime, we’re going to be watching Andy’s truck’s progress via its Twitter feed, which publicly tweets every event that it logs.

“Making Connected Devices” keynote at Maker Faire Rome

via Arduino Blog

MassimoBanziMFR

Are connected objects the next big thing? Will they really become part of our life?
Watch Massimo Banzi keynote at Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition to learn more about the Arduino approach to this topic:

 


 

Arduino and Bruce Sterling Launching an Open-Source Apartment

via Arduino Blog

banzi-apartment

Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi, announced at MakerCon the collaboration between the open-source microcontroller and futurist Bruce Sterling. The Open-Source Apartment will be located in Torino, near Arduino Italian headquarters and it will serve as a test ground for the latest developments from the open source community, being outfitted with furniture from OpenDesk and a variety of hardware creations.
Watch the video below and more details will be available during Maker Faire Rome:

The internet of trees makes smart birdhouses using Arduino Yùn

via Arduino Blog

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The connected birdhouse is a project prototyped during a workshop ran by Massimo Banzi at Boisbuchet, last August in France. It was developed using Arduino Yùn, by Valentina Chinnici, who shared with us the project, and two other students taking part to  the week of learning-by-doing around the theme of  the Internet of Trees.

They redesigned a traditional object, a wooden birdhouse to be placed outdoor, and connected it to a lamp shaped like a nest, to be placed indoor:

The connected birdhouse was in fact an interactive object able to communicate to the nest/lamp the presence of a bird inside the house, and accordingly to a color coded signal was giving also some informations about the size of the bird itself. In the event of a bird entering into the house, the nest/lamp remotely controlled via WiFi by an Arduino Yùn, was turned on. The nest/lamp received the notification from the birdhouse translating it firstly with a rainbow effect. After few seconds the light changed according to the weight of the bird (green, yellow or red).

The LED strip used for the nest lamp was an Adafruit Neopixel strip controlled by an Arduino Yún.

On this blog you can find the sketch to make it work and create one yourself.

Arduino Tour goes to London: 21st of September – Workshop on #Iot

via Arduino Blog

arduinoPlant

Next 21st of September Arduino Tour is finally landing in London for a one-day workshop, starting at 10am at The Maker Works London, UK. (max. 18 people).

This edition of the official Arduino workshop is focused on the world of the Internet of Things and will allow participants to experiment with a botanical kit including an Arduino YÚN, plants and sensors. The workshop teaches you how to turn your plants and virtually any object into connected, responsive elements using Arduino YÚN.

Arduino YÚN is the combination of a classic Arduino Leonardo and a small Linux computer, able to connect to a network or Internet via Ethernet or WiFi. Arduino boards are able to read inputs – light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or even a Twitter message – and turn it into an output – activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online.

Check the program and book your participation >>

Pinoccio: Mesh All The (Internet Of) Things

via Hackaday» hardware

PinnThere’s a problem with products geared towards building the Internet of Things. Everyone building hardware needs investors, and thus some way to monetize their platform. This means all your data is pushed to ‘the cloud’, i.e. a server you don’t own. This is obviously not ideal for the Hackaday crowd. Yes, IoT can be done with a few cheap radios and a hacked router, but then you don’t get all the cool features of a real Things project – mesh networking and a well designed network. Pinoccio is the first Thing we’ve seen that puts a proper mesh network together with a server you can own. The Pinoccio team were kind enough to let us drop in while we were in Rock City last weekend, and we were able to get the scoop on these tiny boards from [Sally] and [Eric], along with a really cool demo of what they can do.

The hardware on the Pinoccio is basically an Arduino Mega with a LiPo battery and an 802.15.4 radio provided by an ATmega256RFR2. The base board – technically called a ‘field scout’ – can be equipped with a WiFi backpack that serves as a bridge for the WiFi network. It’s a pretty clever solution to putting a whole lot of Things on a network, without having all the Things directly connected to the Internet.

Programming these scouts can be done through Arduino, of course, but the folks at Pinoccio also came up with something called ScoutScript that allows you to send commands directly to any or all of the scouts on the mesh network. There’s a neat web-based GUI called HQ that allows you to command, control, and query all the little nodules remotely as well.

In the video below, [Sally] goes over the basic functions of the hardware and what it’s capable of. [Eric] was in Reno when we visited, but he was kind enough to get on a video chat and show off what a network of Pinoccios are capable of by emblazoning their web page with Hackaday logos whenever he presses a button.


Filed under: hardware

Open Source Hardware Camp 2014

via OSHUG

Open Source Hardware Camp will take place in the Pennine town of Hebden Bridge. For the second year running it is being hosted as part of the technology festival, Wuthering Bytes. However, this year OSHCamp will have the Waterfront Hall to itself on the Saturday and Sunday, with a separate Festival Day taking place on the Friday and with talks on a broader selection of technical topics.

Details of the OSHUG talks and workshops can be found below and the Wuthering Bytes website will be updated in due course with details of the complete programme of events.

Note that socials are planned for both the Friday and Saturday evenings, with the former being hosted at the Town Hall and where there will be a bar, food available and music and a live performance, and the latter will be hosted at a local hostelry that serves food.

Hebden Bridge is approximately 1 hour by rail from Leeds and Manchester. Budget accommodation is available at the Hebden Bridge Hostel, with private rooms available and discounts for group bookings. Details of other local accommodation can be found at www.hebdenbridge.co.uk.

Any questions should be directed to the Discussion List.

Saturday :: Talks

Linux bootloaders and kernel configuration

Linux is popular in embedded devices, but most use it once the kernel has booted and don't consider how it was started. This talk explores just what happens when you first start an embedded device that is running Linux, and will look at common bootloaders, such as U-Boot, along with kernel boot options. Finally, we will look at useful kernel configuration options for embedded devices.

Melanie Rhianna Lewis started a life long love of electronics as a child when her Dad helped her make a "crystal" radio with an ear piece, a coil of wire, a diode and a radiator! At the same time the home computer revolution started and she would lust after the "build your own computers" advertised in the electronics magazines of the time. She never got one but did end up the proud owner of a BBC Micro. Melanie learnt everything she could about the machine and including assembler, operating systems, drivers, interrupt, and, thanks to the circuit diagram in the Advanced User Guide, digital electronics. After the BBC Micro came the Acorn Archimedes and so started a long relationship with ARM processors. In the 90s Melanie became interested in Linux and then developed one of the first ARM Linux distributions running on an Acorn RISC PC. The hobby became a job and Melanie currently works for an embedded device consultancy near Bradford where a lot of her work is still with ARM processors. Recently Melanie became a sporty person and now spends a lot of her time hitting girls. She will probably bore you with tales of roller derby!

Open source archaeological geophysics - is it achievable?

The advance of technology into Archaeology has allowed geophysical surveys to "peer into the ground" and direct the diggers to the most likely "targets". However, as anyone whose watched Time Team will know, using Resistivity and Magnetometry doesn't always guarantee results. Such equipment is not usually within the financial reach of most hobbyists. However, the recent explosion of the Arduino, Pi and other cheap electronics has meant making such surveying equipment may be possible.

A small research project involving an informal collaboration between members of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society (DAS) & Derby Makers is exploring whether a high accuracy GPS unit, Magnetometer and a resistivity probe can be made and yield worthwhile results within a budget of £1,000. DAS has kindly funded this research and we are about 50% of the way through the GPS project. This talk will introduce the project and take a look at progress to date.

Tony Brookes was firstly an engineer and then worked in IT for a while (!) Now working part-time, hobbies easily fill the time available. Drawn to archaeological and historical research by way of Time Team, he now tries to apply open source software (Scribus, Inkscape, Qgis) and hardware (Arduino, et al) to investigating parish history and other interesting topics.

An open source aquaponics control system

Aquaponics is a closed system of food production that farms fish alongside vegetables, and this talk will look at the development of an open source aquaponics control system for the Incredible AquaGarden project in Todmorden, highlighting certain features of the design and exploring some of the difficulties encountered and how these have been addressed.

A control and monitoring system with an event-driven 'flowchart' interface will be presented, where data about aspects such as pH, temperature and light level etc. are collected and logged in order to monitor the environment. The system responds dynamically to control the level of water in the plant growing bed, to maximise the yield. Some design decisions and technical aspects of the system will be demonstrated and discussed, together with the open source model for sustaining the project.

Finally, we will look at the operational Node-RED installation in Todmorden, showing how the system is collecting readings and controlling the water level, and we'll talk about how MQTT has been used to loosely couple the code running on the Arduino with Node-RED on a Raspberry Pi.

Gareth Coleman is a inventive hardware hacker who's talent lies in connecting diverse devices. Dr Naomi Rosenberg is a freelance software developer with a background in formal logic who works on a wide variety of platforms. They both get a especially enthusiastic about open hardware, free software and empowering humans.

From Idea to Finished Product: A Tale of DFM and CEM

With numerous easily accessible embedded platforms around and concepts such as rapid prototyping and crowdfunding now being useful things as opposed to just buzzwords, designing the Next Big Thing without leaving your study is becoming a common story for makers and tinkerers.

While it is true that going from an idea to a finished product has never been easier thanks to the abundance of design resources and affordable manufacturing services, designing for volume manufacturing requires a different mindset that usually does not apply to casual weekend hacks. From component choice to packaging and logistics, there are several elements that needs to be taken into consideration, as they may cause significant headaches otherwise.

This talk will provide an overview of electronics manufacturing process, covering details such as managing design data, handling dependencies, component and process choices, testing and certification and several other aspects of DFM: Design for Manufacturability.

Omer Kilic is an Embedded Systems hacker who likes tinkering, a lot. He also likes tiny computers, things that just work and good beer.

Driving milling machines with Linux

Driving a milling machine with Linux is fairly easy and LinuxCNC (previously known as “EMC”) even provides a real-time distribution install disk. However, driving the machine is only half the story and gcode generation is at least as important.

This talk will share experiences using a mill and a router with Linux, looking at PCB manufacture, engraving, 3D milling, casting, tool paths, materials, tools and parametric design.

Matt Venn has run hundreds of creative science workshops for thousands of children and adults around the world. For the last year, he has been working with teachers in preparation for the computer science curriculum changes; creating and leading courses, workshops and projects.

When he's not inventing new ways of getting people excited about science, Matt plays music, invents puzzle boxes, practices martial arts and maintains bikes.

Oxford Flood Network - easier to Apologise Than to Ask Permission

Oxford Flood Network is a citizen sensing project which monitors water levels around the city, in streams, rivers and even under floorboards, sending water levels back to the Internet using low-powered wireless.

The network explores the possibilities of a smart city that is created by its citizens, rather than a more typical top-down deployment. Sensor networks are generally used to collect data about us for reasons and agendas chosen by others, but we can build sensor networks too; crowd-sourced data can be gathered for your agenda — providing evidence for your issues.

In this talk we will hear how Oxford Flood Network has developed an open source model for hardware and software, and the challenges of sticking mysterious boxes under bridges.

Ben Ward is founder of Love Hz, promoting the use of white space spectrum for open innovation in the Internet of Things. A survivor of the dotcom bubble, subsea bandwidth glut and the UK broadband wars, he's still surprisingly optimistic about the future.

An introduction to writing applications for the Parallella board

Parallella is a credit card-sized computer with a many-core accelerator that allows it to achieve high floating-point performance while consuming only a few watts. In this talk we will take a look at the Epiphany architecture and how to use the eSDK to write highly parallel applications for it, using hardware and software features to benchmark code and optimise performance.

Simon Cook leads Embecosm's work on LLVM and is author of the standard guide to the LLVM assembler. He is also an expert on low-energy compilation and is lead engineer on the MAGEEC project. Simon holds a double first class honors degree in Computer Science and Electronics from Bristol University.

Radio Then and Pararchive: decentralised, pervasive, and open story telling

Radio Then is a citywide cultural history experience, telling stories about Manchester’s jazz and popular music heritage using a small, Arduino-powered radio. Participants explore the city and tune in to archival broadcasts related to places, people, and events of note. In actual fact, the ‘radio’ contains GPS and audio breakouts to track its location and cue audio tracks depending on its coordinates.

The project is being created to showcase findings from Pararchive, an AHRC project being conducted by the University of Leeds, in partnership with the BBC, National Media Museum, Science Museum Group, and Manchester Digital Laboratory, among others. Pararchive represents an opportunity for members of the public to engage with archives, decentralising the material from archive holders, and offering alternative and personal perspectives on events.

James Medd is an artist, musician, and maker based in Manchester. He teaches all things digital in the north west of the UK, and creates whimsical, entertaining, and accessible interactive artworks. He currently leads Arduino Manchester, a community group for Arduino users in Manchester, and will be developing more interactive audio experiences at Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio later this year, as a winner of their graduate and new talent competition.

Commercialising your ideas

Whether you're taking the time to build something fun, or have a solution to a problem you have faced, you are 'in your own right' an inventor.

One of the biggest challenges inventors face isn't making their product work, it's generating a living to continue inventing. Having spent over a decade in both sales and business development I have witnessed people use various methods to overcome this hurdle. I hope to share with you some of my experiences to provide you with some ideas you can take away and use when looking to turn a hobby or bright idea into a financial success. Our topic of conversation will take us from having a light bulb moment, to securing orders and reaping the rewards.

William Stone is the Head of Channel Strategy for hardware manufacturer, Ciseco. He is responsible for various commercial areas of the business including the very familiar responsibility of growing Ciseco's rapidly expanding chain of partners and distributors. Now with 36 recognized distributors worldwide, Ciseco has a growing presence and reputation in electronics manufacturing and Internet of Things (IoT).

OpenTRV: energy technology that saves householders money

The OpenTRV project aims to provide software, hardware designs and excellent interoperability to allow UK and EU householders to as much as halve their heating bills and carbon footprint with simple to fit hardware costing around £100 per house. Everything is freely available under liberal licensing — even our 3D printed enclosures — to enable adoption and cost savings.

Damon Hart-Davis gets excited about electronics, parallelism, robotics, distributed systems and resource efficiency, and solar PV and halving space-heating carbon footprint with cheap microcontrollers (OpenTRV) are two of his current passions. Damon has been working on “mission-critical” systems in banking for most of the last 20 years and before that founded one of the first UK Internet Service Providers.

Interfacing with SPI and I2C

SPI and I2C are industry standard methods of interfacing IO devices to micro-controllers and CPUs using just a few connections. SPI requires four wires and I2C just two.

This talk introduces SPI and I2C. It describes how they work and how you use them. It will look at common IO devices that connect via SPI or I2C. Finally it will look at controlling SPI and I2C devices from two example controllers, the Arduino and the Raspberry PI, in languages such as C and Python.

Speaker: Melanie Rhianna Lewis.

Introduction to Baserock

Baserock is a new set of open source tools for creating "appliance" operating system images. The aim is to close the gap between source code repositories and the code running on a device. This talk will go over Baserock's philosophy, what it provides and how you can try it out today.

Sam Thursfield likes it when technology is surprising in a good way but does not like it when it is surprising in a bad way. He spends a lot of time trying to reduce the amount of code that is required to do things. He has been known to play the trombone in and around Manchester.

Concurrency in the real world with xCORE and XC

There are many cases where a simple microcontroller won't cut it and the FPGA design route may be too drawn out and costly, particularly if your background is in software.

With the XMOS multi-core microcontroller architecture and toolset it's now possible to tackle complex hardware problems using familiar software and algorithms, avoiding the need to work with Verilog or VHDL. The XMOS XS1 microcontrollers provide tens of nano second resolution and deterministic, predictable, real-time operation in software. The XMOS toolset enables designs to be simulated and analysed, and signals to be monitored and scoped all within the IDE.

The XC extensions to C provide simple interfaces and tasks to write concurrent programs, taking care of nasty race conditions and parallel usage errors. xCORE open source libraries help break down complex domain-specific tasks, allowing you to focus on developing applications. While XMOS Links enable microcontrollers and boards to be chained together in a divide and conquer manner, allowing you to orchestrate your own hardware solutions.

This talk will introduce the XMOS technology and explore a selection of real world applications.

Alan Wood has been working with concurrent and distributed programming for over a decade. His recent work includes smart grid, control, and motion systems based on XMOS' concurrent technology. He is a long term advocate and moderator (aka Folknology) for xCORE and other SHW communities, such as TVRRUG, as well as a founder of hackspace, SHH.

Compered by:

Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal, plastic, electronics and software. His day job is IT-based business improvement for SMEs. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to optimise energy use. Paul graduated in electronics and was responsible for hardware and software product development and customer services in several product and service start-ups, switching to consulting in 2000.

Sunday :: Workshops

Some workshops will provide tools, boards and components etc. However, subject to demand this may involve an element of sharing and please feel free to bring along equipment and components, but note that you must be able to take full responsibility for your own personal safety and that of others in respect to these. Common sense must be exercised!

Let's build a flood network for Hebden Bridge!

Split into two teams, one will attempt to install flood sensors on the beautiful Hebden Water just outside the venue, while the other links these these to the Internet using readily available technology.

Proven hardware designs will be used to show you how can send water levels back to the Internet using low-powered wireless links, and sustainable approaches to citizen sensing will be explored.

Run by: Ben Ward.

Workshop notes: you may want to bring wellies if you plan to join the sensor installation team! Also feel free to bring sensors and boards that you think may be useful.

Building applications that sense and respond to the real world

Following on from their talk, Naomi and Gareth will be joined by Paulo Marini, the Tormorden project's resident aquaponicist. Together they will facilitate a hack session to help you build applications that respond to the real world.

Run by: Gareth Coleman and Dr Naomi Rosenberg.

Workshop notes: Bring your own hardware to work on, such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino etc. if you can, and they'll try to find ways to get your projects connected.

Do you want to build a robot? #meArm assembly workshop

How about starting with an Arm? With just a screwdriver and enthusiasm you can build an Open Source Robot Arm. If you bring an Arduino or Pi with you, you're free to stay on with your meArm and tinker with the code too.

The meArm is a project to get low cost robot arms into the hands of as many people as possible. Started in February this year it's made fast progress through open development. Already "home brew" (those not from the laser forges of phenoptix in Nottingham) versions have been spotted in the UK, Switzerland, the USA and Mexico!

Ben Gray is a proponent of Open Hardware and founder of phenoptix, a maker business based in Beeston, Nottinghamshire. Ben graduated from the University of Exeter with a chemistry degree and a fledgling phenoptix before moving to Nottingham to complete a PhD in theoretical physical chemistry. Through the open hardware movement he has been able explore the wonderful world of electronics and take phenoptix from a pocket money project to the full time job it is today.

Workshop notes: Bring along a laptop and, if you like, an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

Introduction to Bus Pirate

The Bus Pirate is a universal open source hardware device that can be used to communicate using various buses, such as SPI, I2C, UART and JTAG, with various devices. The Bus Pirate is, per the designers, intended to "Eliminate a ton of early prototyping effort with new or unknown chips."

This tutorial will introduce the Bus Pirate. Describe how to configure it and install the software required to use it. It will then look at some basic interfacing to devices via SPI and I2C. It will work through how you can 'sniff' buses. Finally it will look at use the Bus Pirate as a simple frequency measurement and generator device.

Run by: Melanie Rhianna Lewis.

Workshop notes: bring along a laptop (Bus Pirate is supported under Windows, Linux and OSX) and, if you can, some hardware to debug. There will be a limited number of Bus Pirates available, but if you have one please bring it along.

Building your first Parallella application

This workshop follows on from the previous day's talk and participants will build a simple project which targets the Parallella board and uses all 16 cores of the Epiphany floating-point accelerator.

Run by: Simon Cook.

Workshop notes: Please bring along a laptop and, if you have one, a Parallella board (a limited number of boards will be available for use by those who do not own one).

The real world works concurrently and so can you

This workshop will take you through the basics of embedded concurrent programming using an XMOS multi-core startKIT. We will cover basic parallel processing extensions to C (XC) using tasks, interfaces, timers and ports. We will also get some insight into our running code using xSCOPE, a real-time debugging system built in to the XMOS tools. In addition we will use software modules to drop in rich functionality from the open source xCORE libraries.

Run by: Alan Wood.

Workshop notes: bring along a laptop and any devices you would like to interface.

Design a PCB Shrimp and have it fabricated

The Shrimp is a super low cost Arduino clone. It makes an excellent teaching resource, and is usually delivered as a 'breaded shrimp' - using a breadboard. For hackers, it's a great way to knock up a quick, cheap microcontroller circuit.

In this workshop we'll make a PCB version of the shrimp — a more robust and Arduino shield compatible version — and you will be guided through the process of drawing the schematic, laying out the PCB and optionally placing an order with OSHPark for your very own PCB shrimp.

Participants will be working in pairs. Boards will cost about £6 each. Kits of components can conveniently be ordered from shrimping.it for £4.

Run by: Matt Venn.

Workshop notes: bring along a laptop.

OpenTRV build and getting started

Kits will be available to solder and boards and cables to buy, along with valves that will be used to demonstrate how you can use Arduino-based technology to halve your heating bill.

Run by: Damon Hart-Davis.

Workshop notes: Please bring your own soldering iron, solder and AA batteries if you would like to build a kit to take away, and be aware that SMD soldering experience and a steady hand will be required to solder the TMP112 temperature sensor.

NOTE:

  • There are separate tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • A light lunch and refreshments will be provided each day.
  • Please aim to arrive between 09:00 and 09:15 on the Saturday as the event will start at 09:20 prompt.
  • Internet of things with Arduino Yún and Yaler

    via Arduino Blog

    ArduinoYun and Yaler

    Explore this tutorial  demonstrating how the Arduino Yún can be controlled from anywhere with any internet connected web browser. The solution is provided by Bo Peterson using the Yaler service which means that the Yún can be reached from any network without knowing the IP-address, and without any port forwarding on the router where the Yún is connected.

    A common problem in home automation and internet of things applications is that it is difficult to reach devices connected behind wifi routers from the outside. There are different approaches to overcome this problem:

    • Port forwarding and static ip addresses. This solution requires the user of the connected device to know how to configure a router and have access to router administration which is not always possible. A Yun tutorial with port forwarding is found here.
    • Polling is a technique where the connected device at regular intervals checks with an external server if the device should take action. This solution requires no configuration of the router but it creates extra network traffic and response delays.
    • A third way is to use WebSockets which is a way of providing real time full-duplex communication over TCP. Spacebrew is a good open source toolkit for connected devices using WebSockets. Autobahn is another infrastructure that can be used.
    • Reverse HTTP is the solution that will be used in this tutorial. We will use Yaler which is an open source relay infrastructure that gives access to connected devices with very little configuration.

    Follow the tutorial and get the code at this link.