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!
Connecting your XBee to the Internet just got simple. The new XBee Internet Gateway v1.5 runs directly on Windows, Macintosh and Linux computers! All you need is a single XBee with USB adaptor to put entire XBee networks online. With the XIG, you can turn any XBee into an Internet sensor module, create web-controlled motors , online indicator lights, and stream online data to and from any Arduino. Both 802.15.4 (Series 1) and ZigBee (Series 2) XBees are supported. You could create giant sensor networks, analyze and control distant equipment, scrape gossip from Facebook or simply flip switches in your own home!
The XIG is a software gateway that makes it easy to connect Digi’s XBee radios to the Internet. It is able to send data to any web app and can also be linked to the iDigi device cloud for full remote configuration of every radio in your network. Here’s how to get started:
Right now I’ve got a big pile of different sensors, lights, motors, scent emitters and more on my desk. We’re going to demonstrate XBee hookups for ‘em all, then show how they can be linked to one another, hooked up to computers and connected to the Internet. From breathalyzers to joysticks and from wind sensors to air fresheners we’re creating a modular toolbox that should jumpstart all kinds of creative and practical XBee projects. Come and see the beginnings:
Jordan Husney and I created an electrically-operated scale model garage to demonstrate the XBee-iDigi Garage Door Opener for one of the projects we’ll be featuring at the Digi booth for Bay Area Maker Faire 2012 this weekend. It’s an example of building the “12,000-Mile Universal remote” project from Make Vol. 30. With this project you can push any button in your house from anywhere the world using your mobile phone. The project uses a Digi XBee module in an open-source hardware design with the XBee Internet Gateway (XIG) and the iDigi Device Cloud to work its home-improvement magic.
Say hello to Troy and Abed! They’re Digi International’s brand-new XBee-enabled SumoBots and they’re ready to begin training for their debut at Bay Area Maker Faire 2012. They’ll be battling it out in the Digi booth May 19th and 20th, so prepare yourself for a wireless robotic sumo showdown! Here’s a first look:
There’s a terrific new article (login required) in New Scientist featuring my friend and colleague Ted Hays. Back in 2009, Ted created an Internet-enabled bubble gun in the Networked Objects class I taught at ITP. His Bubble Gun announces incoming email with a stream of soapy spheres. It’s a whimsical demonstration of how simple devices can join the Internet, transforming data from chilly abstractions into satisfying interactions. Here’s an excerpt:
Hayes represents a growing movement of tinkerers who are merging the online and physical worlds in surprising ways. Instead of waiting for technology companies like Cisco or Apple to make their gadgets, these “makers” are buying off-the-shelf computer chips, sensors and wireless radios, and doing it themselves. They are transforming their possessions – from plant pots and clothing to thermostats or cuddly toys – to become smarter, connected and social.
…where established companies are still struggling to figure out how to connect with consumers, a growing community of amateurs is busy creating thousands of smart devices. And some technology observers believe that all this activity is revealing how to build an Internet of Things that people actually want to use.
The article, by MacGregor Campbell, also covers independent connected projects like Twine and Arduino. These, combined with radios like the XBee, promise to bring the power of device networking to a broader audience.