Search Results for 'Xbee'

XBee ZigBee Cloud Kit Winning Awards

xbgw stock dashThe XBee ZigBee Cloud Kit that our team developed last year recently took home several nice industry
awards. We had set out to create a kit simple enough to help non-engineers quickly connect their creations to the cloud yet flexible enough for professionals to build rapid prototypes using advanced programming and cloud-based data sets. The kit is built around Digi’s XBee ZigBee Gateway. It includes code examples and powerful tools for making Internet-connected projects. It also enables remote control of devices and data through a highly customizable open-source dashboard application, pictured here.

IoTInnovations_logo_2015-small-300x164Our XBee ZigBee Cloud Kit won the IoT Innovations 2015 award from ConnectedWorld magazine. ConnectedWorld’s Peggy Smedley notes, ”Building wireless and cloud-connected solutions are made easier for developers as a result of the Digi XBee ZigBee Cloud Kit and XBee Gateway.” We are told that winning products were seen as the most creative and technologically advanced products, services, and platforms currently available for the Internet of Things. That’s pretty great.
M2M_ExcellenceThe kit was also honored with the 2014 M2M Evolution IoT Excellence Award, given by TMC & Crossfire Media. This award “honors innovative products that support the availability of information being deduced, inferred and directly gathered from sensors, systems and anything else that is supporting better business and personal decisions.” We’re certainly happy to be a part of making good decisions!

The XBee ZigBee Cloud Kit includes:

  • xbeezigbeecloudkitOne XBee Gateway – ZigBee to Ethernet/Wi-Fi
  • One XBee-PRO ZigBee 2.4GHz module
  • One development board w/breadboard
  • Cables and power supplies
  • Basic prototyping components: LED gauges, jumper wires, resistors, vibration motor, temperature sensor, audio buzzer and a potentiometer
  • Sample Web application on Heroku
    • Completely open source for easy customization
    • Configurable widgets
    • Integrated with the Device Cloud

You can learn more here about the XBee ZigBee Cloud Kit. Ready to try one out? They’re available from Digi-Key ElectronicsMouser Electronics or Digi’s online store.

XBees in Space

xbee-in-spaceNASA’s Ames Research Center is putting the first ZigBee radio network into space! XBee radios will form a prototype telemetry system on a NASA Soarex sounding rocket launching this coming January, 2015.

The NASA sounding rocket will journey into space around 200 miles above the earth, run experiments and then return ballistically into the Atlantic Ocean. The on-spacecraft ZigBee network will be used to monitor a new parachute-like exo-brake that will be deployed for testing hypersonic braking in the thin upper-atmosphere. Exo-brakes are being tested for returning samples from Earth orbit, and for slowing landers on other planets like Mars where the atmosphere is much thinner than Earth’s.

soarex-7_launch

Soarex launch

A three-node XBee ZigBee network will be used to monitor the exo-brake performance so that no wires need to be added to the device. The nodes will monitor six different acceleration parameters as well as overall temperature and air pressure. Future wireless networks may be used to monitoring the spacecraft structure itself. This network can also be made available to other experiments on the same flight to route their telemetry to an Iridium radio that transmits all the data via satellite back to Earth. This last link is essential because the sounding rocket will not be recovered intact. Like Laika the Soviet Space Dog, NASA’s XBees are taking a one way trip for the benefit of science.

Wireless networks on spacecraft are a new idea. Traditionally all onboard connections use physical cabling. This adds weight, complexity and the need for extra fuel. Because aerospace is a necessarily conservative endeavor, new technologies are typically introduced slowly. Therefore rather than just taking everything wireless all at once, ZigBee is being tested first on missions where the higher risk of new tech is acceptable. After successful trials the systems should be proven enough to go into a hardening process before being incorporated into more critical projects where risks must be kept to a minimum.

Arduino-XBee-NASA

XBee Arduino prototypesc

Modern NASA programs are mandated to avoid the expense of creating custom hardware when viable alternatives are available commercially. Experimental systems like wireless networks for spacecraft are also started on shoestring budgets, often assisted by student engineers. Therefore everything on this ZigBee project is being prototyped using off-the-shelf maker components such as Arduino boards, adapter shields from SparkFun Electronics and XBee ZB radio modules from Digi International. XBee was selected because it is easy to incorporate with Arduino, well-documented and readily commercially available.

Soarex-Payload-Area

Soarex payload bays

The system is being designed with a little help from my Building Wireless Sensor Networks book, and a lot of expertise from the NASA team. If this first test goes well, the next version will be more customized and could include the Programmable XBee or even the XBee Plus Arduino board that I’ve been prototyping over the last few months.

The project team at NASA includes Richard Alena and Thom Stone, who have written papers including ”Fault tolerance in ZigBee networks” and “ZigBee – A Smart, Viable, Wireless Architecture for Spacecraft Avionics.”

 

Here’s video from a prior launch of the Soarex rocket that will carry XBee radios where no XBee has gone before:

XBee Plus Arduino

The XBee Plus Arduino is an XBee radio-sized Arduino-compatible microcontroller that can be “stacked” directly underneath the radio. It is intended for use with devices that already use the XBee’s 20-pin footprint. Future designs could easily utilize other microcontrollers or host sensors.  The goal is to create plug-and-play tools for prototyping new concepts that extend the popular radio’s feature set. A few iterations have created a prototype that works well, supports USB programming, wireless programming, I2C, SPI, digital and analog I/O!

XBee Plus Arduino

This is the second iteration of an Arduino-compatible board the size of an XBee that fits right underneath the radio. It uses the ATMega32U4 so in Arduino you can program it as a Leonardo board.

“XBee Plus Arduino”  board design 

IMG_2932 IMG_2934IMG_2930 IMG_2933sta

Features

  • I2C

  • SPI

  • scriptable interruption of:

    • all UART transactions

    • XBee pin sleep controls

  • local support for:

    • association indicator

    • commissioning button

  • 17 total digital i/o pins (14 Arduino, 4 XBee)

    • 6 configurable as ADC analog inputs

    • 4 configurable as PWM analog outputs

    • 2 attachable interrupts

  • USB serial programming

  • wireless programming

  • EEPROM

  • multiple UARTs

  • Use of all Arduino libraries, e.g. servo, stepper, displays, capacitive sensing, rfid, sd cards etc.

Pinouts

Bottom of XBee Plus Arduino:

Xbee-Stacker-2-bottom-pins

Physical PinFunctionArduino Connection
1Power supplyVCC
2Arduino software TXD11 (softserial TX)
3Arduino software RX, PWMD10 (softserial RX)
4MISO (spi), digital i/oMISO (spi)
5input for Arduino resetRESET
6digital i/o, analog outputD9
7MOSI (spi), analog input, digital i/oMOSI (spi)
8analog input, digital i/oD8/A8
9PWM, interrupt, digital i/oD7
10GNDGND
11SCK (spi), digital i/oSCK (spi)
12SDA (i2c) interrupt, digital i/oD2/SDA (i2c)
13SCL (i2c), interrupt, PWM, digital i/oD3/SCL (i2c)
14analog input, digital i/oD4/A6
15PWM, digital i/oD5 pwm
16analog input, PWM, digital i/oD6/A7 pwm
17analog input, digital i/oA3
18analog input, digital i/oA2
19analog input, digital i/oA1
20analog input, digital i/oA0

Top of XBee Plus Arduino

XBee Stacker 2 top pins

XBee Physical Pin Function XBee Connection
1Power supplyVCC
2Arduino RXD0 RX
3Arduino TXD1 TX
4
5 -
6
7
8
9control for pin sleepD12
10GNDGND
11
12CTSA4
13
14voltage referenceVCC
15association output<led>
16RTSA5
17Arduino Reset (p1) via cap.<capacitor> for reset
18 -
19 -
20

Schematics & Board Layout

XBee Plus Arduino 2.0-board

XBee Plus Arduino 2.0-schematic

Code

Sample code library

Program as an Arduino Leonardo board!

arduino-leonardo-program

 

Licensing

Not determined, leaning toward open source hardware.

New LilyPad XBee

LilyPad XBee radioThe LilyPad XBee sew-in wearable radio created by myself and Kate Hartman just got an update to add a reset button and improve its manufacturability. This board can be paired with LilyPad wearable sensors, custom built sensors and a variety of output devices to create a complete wireless wearable system. Available from Sparkfun for just $14.95 with discounts available for larger quantities. Get yours today!

 

LilyPad XBee frontLilyPad XBee sideLilyPad XBee back

 

 

XBee Stacker

The Stacker is an XBee radio-sized Arduino-compatible microcontroller that can be “stacked” directly underneath the radio. It is intended for use with devices that already use the XBee’s 20-pin footprint. Future designs could easily utilize other microcontrollers or host sensors.  The goal is to create plug-and-play tools for prototyping new concepts that extend the popular radio’s feature set. A few iterations have created a prototype that works well, supports USB programming, wireless programming, I2C, SPI, digital and analog I/O!

XBee Stacker 2

This is the next iteration of an Arduino-compatible board the size of an XBee that fits right underneath the radio. It uses the ATMega32U4 so in Arduino you can program it as a Leonardo board.

“XBee Stacker 2″ Arduino/ATMEL board design 

IMG_2932 IMG_2934IMG_2930 IMG_2933

Features

  • I2C

  • SPI

  • scriptable interruption of:

    • all UART transactions

    • XBee pin sleep controls

  • local support for:

    • association indicator

    • commissioning button

  • 17 total digital i/o pins (14 Arduino, 4 XBee)

    • 6 configurable as ADC analog inputs

    • 4 configurable as PWM analog outputs

    • 2 attachable interrupts

  • USB serial programming

  • wireless programming

  • EEPROM

  • multiple UARTs

  • Use of all Arduino libraries, e.g. servo, stepper, displays, capacitive sensing, rfid, sd cards etc.

Pinouts

Bottom of XBee Stacker 2:

Xbee-Stacker-2-bottom-pins

Physical PinFunctionArduino Connection
1Power supplyVCC
2Arduino software TXD11 (softserial TX)
3Arduino software RX, PWMD10 (softserial RX)
4MISO (spi), digital i/oMISO (spi)
5input for Arduino resetRESET
6digital i/o, analog outputD9
7MOSI (spi), analog input, digital i/oMOSI (spi)
8analog input, digital i/oD8/A8
9PWM, interrupt, digital i/oD7
10GNDGND
11SCK (spi), digital i/oSCK (spi)
12SDA (i2c) interrupt, digital i/oD2/SDA (i2c)
13SCL (i2c), interrupt, PWM, digital i/oD3/SCL (i2c)
14analog input, digital i/oD4/A6
15PWM, digital i/oD5 pwm
16analog input, PWM, digital i/oD6/A7 pwm
17analog input, digital i/oA3
18analog input, digital i/oA2
19analog input, digital i/oA1
20analog input, digital i/oA0

Top of XBee Stacker 2

XBee Stacker 2 top pins

XBee Physical Pin Function XBee Connection
1Power supplyVCC
2Arduino RXD0 RX
3Arduino TXD1 TX
4
5 -
6
7
8
9control for pin sleepD12
10GNDGND
11
12CTSA4
13
14voltage referenceVCC
15association output<led>
16RTSA5
17Arduino Reset (p1) via cap.<capacitor> for reset
18 -
19 -
20

Schematics & Board Layout

XBee Stacker Arduino 2.0-board

XBee Stacker Arduino 2.0-schematic

Code

Sample code library

Program as an Arduino Leonardo board!

arduino-leonardo-program

 

Licensing

Not determined, leaning toward open source hardware.

Digi Employee Hackathon: XBee Wi-Fi Visits Logroño

logrono-lie-detect-robFor the latest Digi Hackathon, I headed overseas to hold our first ever creative construction event at Digi’s office in Logroño, Spain. Using XBee WiFi Cloud Kits, the four teams hacked away for what was the most competitive session yet. In a matter of hours, each team had to quickly brainstorm, build, and present their cloud-connected projects. Their results were terrific.

Projects included:

  • The Garbage M.A.N.: Smart garbage containers monitoring for smart cities
  • Germinator Plus: An automated system for remote greenhouse seed germination monitoring.
  • Lie-Detect-o-Meter: A mobile battery-operated wristband lie detector for public questioning.
  • The Smart Plug-Y-Play: A power consumption monitor and remote control for computers and other electrical appliances.

Read more and see pictures on the Digi blog.

Digi Employee Hackathon: XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit

Hack10

Last week, we held a Digi Employee Hackathon to put the new XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit to the test. This is one of several ways we are working on designing outstanding user experiences for new Digi products. With the kits, the teams were able to build projects that connected with the cloud right away. One team member reported, “I got from the box to the cloud in under 20 minutes.” Using the kit’s dashboard, new widgets were  developed to whimsically represent data being collected by Device Cloud. Rain, food safety and even child development were addressed by our project teams.

I’m looking forward to doing more of these internal hackathons in the coming year. They’re fun!

Read more about this hackathon on the Digi Blog.

Maker Faire: XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit Wins Editor’s Choice

IMG_4249

The new XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit won an Editor’s Choice award at Maker Faire NYC! My team at Digi International has been hard at work all summer bringing together this modular kit to help users  create XBee Wi-Fi connected devices for the Internet of Things. There’s a development board with all kinds of input and output components plus modular widgets to make building online web interfaces for seeing data and controlling devices a snap. The kit gets online right out of the box, and contains additional loose components to help you create your own circuits and wire them to the web. Look for an XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit release in November.

We also showed off the beta of Digi’s XCTU configuration tool and presented “Make it Awesome: How to Internet-Enable Your Project.” Here’s some more photos from our fabulous weekend at Maker Faire NYC:

IMG_4218 IMG_4221 IMG_4229

2013-09-21-17.44.46 2013-09-21-17.05.01 2013-09-22 11.25.58

2013-09-22 12.01.04 2013-09-21-11.10.05 IMG_4249

 

XBee Stacker 1

THIS IS THE OLDER VERSION OF THE STACKER. PLEASE SEE THE NEWER VERSION HERE.

This new project creates XBee radio-sized components that can be “stacked” directly underneath the radio. Each Stacker will add additional features like microcontrollers and sensors for devices that already use the XBee’s 20-pin footprint. The goal is to create plug-and-play tools for prototyping new concepts that extend the popular radio’s feature set. A few iterations have created a prototype that works great!

XBee Stacker Arduino

The first design is an Arduino-compatible board the size of an XBee that fits right underneath the radio, creating a Arduino-programmable XBee.

XBee Stacker Arduino 1.1

“XBee Stacker” Arduino/ATMEL board design v1.1 xbee-stacker-1.1-side xbee-stacker-1.1-front xbee-stacker-1.1--with-radio

Features

  • I2C

  • SPI

  • scriptable interruption of:

    • all UART transactions

    • XBee reset

    • XBee pin sleep

  • pass-through of:

    • on/sleep indicator

    • association indicator

    • RSSI indicator

    • commissioning button

  • 18 total digital i/o pins (14 Arduino, 4 XBee)

    • 6 configurable as ADC analog inputs

    • 4 configurable as PWM analog outputs

    • 2 attachable interrupts

  • USB serial (via bootloader firmare) programming, using adaptor cable

  • wireless programming

  • ICSP for firmware access

  • EEPROM

  • multiple UARTs

  • Use of all Arduino libraries, e.g. servo, stepper, displays, capacitive sensing, rfid, sd cards etc.

Pinouts

Bottom of XBee Stacker Arduino:
Base PinPhysical ConnectionFunction
1VCCPower supply
2Arduino D9Arduino software TX / PWM out
3Arduino D8Arduino software RX
4Arduino D12MISO (spi) / digital i/o
5Arduino D2input for resets
6XBee 6passthrough RSSI output
7Arduino A4SCA (i2c) / analog input
8Arduino A2analog input
9Arduino D3input for pin sleep / PWM out
10GNDGND
11Arduino D11MOSI (spi) / digital i/o / PWM out
12Arduino A0analog input
13XBee 13passthrough on/sleep output
14Arduino A3voltage reference / analog input
15XBee 15passthrough assn output
16Arduino A1analog input
17Arduino D10SS (spi) / digital i/o / PWM out
18Arduino D13SCLK (spi) / digital i/o
19Arduino A5SCL (i2c) / analog input
20XBee 20passthrough commissioning
Top of XBee Stacker Arduino
XBee PinPhysical ConnectionFunction
1VCCPower supply
2Arduino D0Arduino RX
3Arduino D1Arduino TX
4
5Arduino D4control for resets
6base 6passthrough RSSI output
7
8
9Arduino D5control for pin sleep
10GNDGND
11
12
13base 13passthrough on/sleep output
14VCCvoltage reference
15base 15passthrough assn output
16
17capacitorArduino Reset (p1) via cap.
18
19
20base 20passthrough commissioning

Wireless Programming (Arduino XBee OTA)

This XBee Stacker can be programmed wirelessly using an Arduino setup first prototyped by me, then greatly improved by Limor Fried and later Shigeru Kobayashi. I’m borrowing it back now, thanks everyone!

Parts

2 – XBee 802.15.4

1 – XBee Explorer USB (or XBIB, or similar)

1 – USB cable

Configure Your XBees

XBees are factory configured for 9600 baud. The Arduino IDE typically sends programs (sketches) at 57600 baud. In addition, Arduino needs to reset the microcontroller on your remote board just before sending over a new sketch. This is cleverly accomplished by linking one of the base station’s hardware handshaking lines briefly to the reset line on the remote Arduino-based microcontroller. Here’s the chain of events:

  1. User clicks the upload button in the Arduino IDE. That’s it! The remaining steps happen automatically…
    • Arduino (technically AVR Dude) opens the local serial port, automatically bringing the RTS line low.
    • The RTS line is connected to pin DIO3 on the local XBee Explorer so that pin it goes low in tandem.
    • The local, base station XBee has pin DIO3 configured as a digital input, and sends that low state to the remote XBee, the one plugged in to the XBee Stacker board.
    • The remote XBee has pin DIO3 configured as a digital output, initially high. When it receives the low state from the base station XBee, its own DIO3 goes low too.
    • DIO3 on the XBee Arduino Stacker is connected to the Arduino microcontroller’s reset line, but via a capacitor so only a burst of the low signal gets through, just enough to reset the microcontroller.
    • The reset microcontroller goes into bootloader mode and accepts your new Arduino sketch over-the-air, then begins running that new sketch. All by itself and without wires!

Label one XBee “Base” and use X-CTU, CoolTerm or even the Arduino IDE’s Serial Monitor to give the “Base” XBee the following settings:

PAN ID 1234 ->  ATID 1234 (I recommend that you choose your own unique PAN ID)
MY ID 1 ->  ATMY 1
DESTINATION HIGH 0 ->  ATDH 0
DESTINATION LOW 2 ->  ATDL 2
BAUD RATE 57,600 ->  ATBD 5
DIGITAL IO 3 input ->   ATD3 3
CHANGE DETECT 3 on ->  ATIC 8

Label the other XBee “Remote” and give it the following settings:

PAN ID: 1234 ->  ATID 1234 (always match the “Base” radio’s PAN ID)
MY ID: 2 ->  ATMY 2
DESTINATION HIGH: 0 ->  ATDH 0
DESTINATION LOW: 1 ->  ATDL 1
BAUD RATE: 57,600 ->  ATBD 5
DIGITAL IO 3: output high ->   ATD3 5
INPUT ADDRESS 1: -> ATIA 1
UART OUTPUT disable ->  ATIU 0

If you are using CoolTerm or another Serial Terminal, use ATWR to save the configuration to your XBee’s firmware.

After you change their baud rate the radios will no longer respond at 9600 baud. Be sure to change the baud rate in X-CTU or CoolTerm to 57600 if you want to check or update their configurations.

Configure Your Hardware

The “Base” XBee’s DIO3 and RTS pins need to be connected together. If you are using an XBee Explorer, simply solder a jumper or wire between these two pins.

Nate at Sparkfun shows the solder jumper you will need.

(If you are using Digi’s XBIB board or a different adapter, find the appropriate pins and then short them together either with some solder or with a bit of wire. Either method is reversible.)

Upload Sketches

Now you can start uploading Arduino sketches wirelessly! Simply:

  1. Connect your “Base” XBee into the modified XBee Explorer USB  (or  your own adapter) connect it to your computer with a USB cable.
  2. Stack your “Remote” XBee onto the XBee Arduino Stacker and provide it with power (a second Explorer or XBIB is an easy way to power it for tests).
  3. Select “Arduino Uno” in the Tools:Board menu and select the correct serial port from the Tools:Serial Port menu.
  4. Open the sketch you’d like to upload.
  5. Click the Upload button!

Should you get an error message, try again in case it’s just a one-time glitch. Next carefully recheck each connection and configuration item, one at a time. It’s very common to get something set wrong the first time you try this so go through it methodically and patience will pay off.

Schematics & Board Layout

XBee_Stacker_Arduino_schematic-1.1

XBee_Stacker_Arduino_board-1.1

Licensing

Not determined although open source hardware is top of my list right now.

Connecting Light Spans England’s Coasts with XBees

This week I’m heading to Newcastle upon Tyne in the U.K. for Connecting Light, 400 giant illuminated balloons that will cross England coast to coast along Hadrian’s Wall, a 2000-year-old Roman barrier. This will be my first exposure to 73-mile-long art! The interactive installation was networked with help from me and Digi using Programmable XBees and the venerable iDigi Device Cloud. Connecting Light was conceived and built by my friends at the YesYesNo collective, including artists Zach Lieberman and Molmol Kuo. You can see it in person in the U.K., or watch it online the evenings of August 31 and September 1st.

This video shows them testing it few weeks ago, along the New York City waterfront: