$25 Texas Instruments SensorTag is a Bluetooth LE Devkit with 6 Sensors

Yesterday, I wrote about Wimoto Motes, tiny Bluetooth LE devices with several sensors that can be controlled and monitored via an iOS app, and soon by an Android app, as well as Linux devices. Each mote costs $39 plus shipping, and one commenter mentioned the price may be a bit too high. A Google search for “bluetooth sensor” immediately brings TI SensorTag, which looks somewhat similar, except it is a Bluetooth LE development kit, includes 6 sensors (but no light sensor), and only costs $25 including shipping. SensorTag Specifications: Bluetooth 4.0 low energy (CC2541) SoC 6 sensors connected via I2C: IR Temperature sensor (TI TMP006) Humidity sensor (Sensirion SHT21) Pressure sensor (Epcos T5400) Accelerometer (Kionix KXTJ9) Gyroscope (InvenSense IMU-3000) Magnetometer (Freescale MAG3110) Power – Single cell coin cell battery (CR2032), quiescent current consumption of 8uA, allowing years of battery life. FCC, IC and ETSI certified solution Dimension – 71.2x36x15.5 mm, […]

Wimoto Motes are Tiny Bluetooth Sensors for iOS, Android, and Linux Devices

Wimoto Motes are small (30x30x8mm) wireless sensors that communicate temperature, humidity, soil moisture… values to your iPhone, iPad, Android, and Linux (yes, including the Raspberry Pi) devices via Bluetooth. They are said to last for about a year on a single CR2032 battery and don’t require an Internet connection to work, but you can still upload your data to Wimoto cloud service via the app, or use an optional mote.cloud bridge to do it for you in realtime via Wifi. There are currently 4 Motes: Climote – Measures light (0 to 60,000 lux), temperature (-25 to 85 C) and humidity. Used to monitor a room environment (bedroom, cellar, greenhouse,…), and tell you if you need to make adjustment Growmote – Measures sunlight (0 to 60,000 lux), soil moisture (5 levels) and temperature (-25 to 85 C), to make sure your lawn or flowers are not  thirsty. Thermote – Measures an object temperature […]

Toradex Open Sources Oak USB Sensors & Interface Boards

Toradex Oak product family is a range of USB sensors enabling measurement of humidity, temperature, motion, orientation… and USB expansion boards with relays, digital I/O and more. Following feedback from customers who needed to customize the designs, Toradex decided to fully open source those sensors and interfaces by releasing hardware files and the source code under Creative Commons License ‘Attribution CC BY’. This release brings 13 USB sensors to the open source community: Oak USB Sensor Atmospheric Pressure Oak USB Sensor 3 Axes Acceleration Oak USB Sensor Angular Rotation Oak USB Sensor Humidity Oak USB Sensor IR Distance Triangulation (10-60cm) Oak USB Sensor IR Motion Detection Oak USB Sensor Luminosity (LUX) Oak USB Sensor Orientation (3-Axes Accelerometer & Magnetometer) Oak USB Sensor 3 Axes Tilt/Inclination Oak USB Sensor IR Distance Triangulation (10-80cm) Oak USB Sensor 2 Channels Thermocouple Oak USB Sensor 4 Channels Capacitive Proximity Switch Oak USB Sensor RGB […]

Le Labo Citoyen Gasser – Raspberry Pi Based High Precision Pollution Monitoring System

“Le Labo Citoyen” is a recently founded French non-profit organization aimed at “promoting and experimenting with innovating and free technologies for the citizens and the environment”.  Their first project is to gather pollution data (NO2, O3, and SO2 levels) in Paris using 2 (soon to be) open source components: Gasser – Self-contained mobile sensor currently powered by the Raspberry Pi ThingStream – Open source IoT datastore which should be similar to iDigi Cloud, except you can just store data in your own server or on “Le Labo Citoyen” servers. Gasser has four main parts: Sensor(s) – Alphasense B4-series sensors (black and red component in the top left of the  main box) with accuracy of up to <10 ppb (parts-per-billion). Cost: ~110 Euros. They currently only use the NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) sensor. ADC & Computer – Raspberry Pi (Cost: ~30 Euros) & Delta-Sigma ADC (Cost: ~30 Euros). Communication Medium – Huawei […]

FRAM (Ferroelectric Random Access Memory) and Texas Instruments MSP430FR57xx MCUs

I’ve recently received a complementary book entitled “Texas Instruments FRAM MCUs for DUMMIES” sent by Mouser, that provides technical and practical information about FRAM (Ferroelectric Random Access Memory) – pronounced F-RAM – and Texas Instruments MSP430FR57xx MCU series which makes use of this relatively new type of memory. FRAM is a non-volatile memory with power and write speed & endurance characteristics that almost matches SRAM capabilities, and leave traditional Flash and EEPROM memory in the dust in terms of performance, as you can see from the table and diagram below. At constant speed, FRAM consumes 250x less than Flash/EEPROM. Please note the FRAM write speed also depends on the MCU used, and a MCU @ 8MHz can write the FRAM @ 1400 kBps (Source: TI). However, you won’t see this type of memory in devices like smartphones anytime soon because the maximum size currently manufactured is 1MB, density is higher […]

Freescale 12-axis Xtrinsic Sensor Platform Technology for Windows 8 / RT

Freescale announced the Xtrinsic Sensor Platform, a 12-axis sensor development reference platform for Windows 8. This 12-axis sensor platform includes several sensors by Freescale and other companies: Xtrinsic MMA8451Q 3-axis accelerometer Xtrinsic MAG3110 3-axis magnetometer Xtrinsic MPL3115A2 precision altimeter, pressure, and temperature sensor An analog ambient light sensor A selection of 3D gyroscopes are also supported This platform is powered by Freescale ColdFire+ MCF51JU128VHS MCU which combines, configures and processes sensor data with Freescale sensor fusion software to match the requirements of Windows 8/RT. Xtrinic sensor platform communicates with the host device via USB. It does not requires extra drivers as it uses standard HID drivers. You can watch the video below which is an introduction (including some technical details) and demo of the system. Strangely, I could not find a similar Freescale 12-axis reference design for Android or Linux, and I’m not sure why they would limit this hardware […]

Designing An Android Sensor Subsystem: Pitfalls and Considerations – Android Builder Summit 2012

Jen Costillo of Lab 126 discusses the Android sensor subsystem at the Android Builder Summit in February 2012. Abstract: This lecture will arm Android device architects with the tactical knowledge they need to navigate the Android Sensor subsystem and make knowledgeable design choices to improve user experience and improve battery performance. The talk will address: Hardware architecture and trade-offs including latency, power, and software architecture implications: Wake up events and power considerations Gesture Detection Algorithm processing location and considerations Testing methodologies (Creating tools to aid develop and collect data. This talk targets the kernel/firmware developer responsible for the sensor architecture. They should be familiar with kernel drivers, embedded systems, hardware bring up, Android services, and the C language. You can also download the presentation slides on linuxfoundation.org website. Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and […]