Wireless Sensor Node Development

After playing around with some xBee transceivers, i thought, why not develop our own caad wireless sensor nodes based on the ZigBee protocol.

On the left, you can see fast prototyped xBees, ready for communication.
On the right, you see the xBee serial port receiver tunneled through an UART level converter.


1st Protoytpe

So I've worked out this early prototype node - built from some SparkFun parts... The heart is an Arduino mini pro 3.3V/8MHz with a xBee transceiver on top. On the sensor part, an scp1000 to measure air pressure and temperature, plus an LIS3LV02DQ 3D acceleration sensor. Soldered and glued all together and here it is :


Glued Prototype

Christoph Wartmann with his node

The advantage of this node is that our students can develop some by themselves, easily and affordably.

You can see the results after a semester here. They've built up some pretty nice wireless networking applications. Feel free to take a look here: http://www.embedded.arch.ethz.ch/Projects/SocialBalls



2nd Prototype

The nodes have been working well since then, but we've made some improvements. We've developed one from scratch. It has an Atmel heart with Arduino pre-installed. Some digital/analog in and out for further prototyping. An xBee for wireless communication. 3D-Acceleration sensor. Air-Pressure sensor. It can be driven by one 100mAH 3.3V lipo and/or charged by a little flexible solar cell, and programmed wirelessly.
You can see the result here:


Machine fabricated Prototype Wireless Sensor Node

Machine fabricated Prototype Wireless Sensor Node

Machine fabricated Prototype Wireless Sensor Node

Machine fabricated Prototype Wireless Sensor Node

Machine fabricated Prototype Wireless Sensor Node

Machine fabricated Prototype Wireless Sensor Node


more to come... feel free to mail me your comments: wartmann{at}arch.ethz.ch

by Christoph Wartmann
Assistant: Etienne Ribeiro