Home
Chibi Release v0.90 and Introducing chibiArduino | Print |
Blog - Chibi
Written by Akiba   
Sunday, 14 November 2010

It's been approximately one year since the Chibi wireless stack has been released and its been quite an adventure. The stack has been pounded on by quite a few users and they've provided some excellent feedback and recommendations. At version 0.90, the stack is basically stable with this release incorporating some new features and bug fixes. 

I'd also like to announce the first release of chibiArduino, the Arduino port of the Chibi stack. Chibi was originally designed for hardware hackers and the open source hardware community as an easy way to add wireless communications to their designs. The dominant platform in the community is the Arduino and so it was natural to port the software to it. I only wish I had done it sooner.

The chibiArduino project has the same code base with minor modifications specific to the Arduino environment. The cmdArduino code was integrated into chibiArduino since a command line is a very useful tool and used quite often when dealing with wireless. There are also two additional files at the toplevel that serve as a wrapper to the main Chibi functions and are needed by the Arduino environment. I decided to keep the projects separate so that it was clear which code was specific to the Arduino. To use the chibiArduino code, it just requires unzipping the source files inside the "/Arduino-XXXX/libraries" directory where the Arduino-XXXX stands for the version number of the Arduino build.  

Here are the main new features and bug fix:

Read more...
 
Introducing the Freakduino-Chibi, An Arduino-based Board For Wireless Sensor Networking | Print |
Blog - Store
Written by Akiba   
Sunday, 14 November 2010

I’m happy to announce the release of my latest design, the Freakduino-Chibi.Yes, there has been mixed reviews about the naming. It’s ranged from “seriously?” to outright laughter. I decided to go with it though because it does express two things that I think are important. The first is that it’s an Arduino-compatible board and the second is that it’s related to my original Chibi boards .

Before I get into the actual board, I should probably talk a bit about the background behind the design of the boards. The original Chibi protocol stack and Chibi boards were meant to be an entry level way for people to get involved in wireless sensor networking and data collection. But after observing people in Tokyo Hackerspace and in my microcontroller workshops, I realized that there were still some things missing.

Read more...
 
Hackerspaces and Technology | Print |
Blog - Misc
Written by Akiba   
Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I recently gave a talk on hackerspaces at the New Context Conference in Tokyo . The theme of the conference was social media marketing so you can pretty much assume I was outside of my normal circle of electronics geeks. We were actually invited to participate by a member of CrashSpace , a hackerspace in LA, so I figured I might as well talk about hackerspaces in the context of a physical social network. Needless to say, I deviated from the theme pretty quickly. 

I mostly talked about why hackerspaces exist, why they're needed, and what goes on inside Tokyo Hackerspace. Hackerspaces are really an interesting phenomenon that has kind of blown up in the past two years. This is a graph of the number of hackerspaces started over time from hackerspaces.org. 2010 isn’t finished yet, but it already looks like it will outpace the number of hackerspaces started in 2009:

 hackerspaces1

 Here’s a graph of the total number of hackerspaces:

Read more...
 
FreakLabs Does A Video Tour Of Akihabara | Print |
Blog - Misc
Written by Akiba   
Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I haven't updated the blog in awhile, but that doesn't mean things aren't busy here in the lab. I recently did a video project for Tokyo Hackerspace on a guide to Akihabara . Surprisingly enough, it made the rounds on HackaDay , Make , Slashdot , and Engadget . It was pretty crazy and I completely didn't expect that kind of response. It just shows that there isn't a lot of information on what really goes on in the back streets of Akihabara. Most of the shops are pretty hard to find and I get so many requests for a tour of Akihabara that we decided to do the video.

Read more...
 
Interconnecting Smart Objects with IP - A Book Review | Print |
Blog - Misc
Written by Akiba   
Tuesday, 07 September 2010
The Internet of Things is a buzzword that’s generating quite a bit of hype at the moment. I’m seeing it all over the place to describe all types of disparate things but mostly being used as a marketing term. I suspect that the majority of the people that use the term don’t fully understand its meaning or how it will be implemented/used. That’s why I was very pleasantly surprised when I picked up the book “Interconnecting Smart Objects with IP” by Adam Dunkels (author of the ContikiOS, uIP, lwIP, and general programming extraordinaire) and JP Vasseur (distinguished engineer at Cisco, co-chair of IETF’s ROLL working group, and one of the chairs for IPSO).

I don’t really know JP Vasseur, but I’ve been an admirer of Adam Dunkel’s work since I started in wireless sensor networks. In my mind, ContikiOS is one of the best operating systems/environments ever designed for wireless sensor networks, or what I like to call, "engineering hell". But that’s a different story.

Before I get into what I thought of the book, I think it might be appropriate to give a bit of background on why I’m writing this post. In my opinion, the internet is basically a set of standards that everyone agrees to abide by. That standardization is what allows manufacturers and users to adopt the technology with confidence, knowing that they won’t be the only ones or part of a minority of people using it. That also inspires confidence that time spent learning the technology and standards, how to use it, and developing applications for it won’t be wasted. I think this is the reason why the internet became so popular within the last however many years/decades.
Read more...
 
Weatherproof Wireless Enclosure Build Tutorial | Print |
Tutorials - Hardware
Written by Akiba   
Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Hi all.

No, I haven't been dead these past few weeks. I've actually been spending a lot of my free time researching how to build a weatherproof enclosure for the rice farm sensing project in the Tokyo Hackerspace. I've mentioned it previously and the project takes place in Kamogawa which is about an hour and a half outside of Tokyo. The place is a complete contrast to Tokyo and has problems with monkeys, boars, poisonous snakes, and some nasty bugs. Overall, quite interesting, although I am a bit scared of poisonous snakes.

Anyways, we'll be going out there this weekend to check out the terrain and I thought it might be good to bring out a prototype of what I have in mind for the outdoor sensor network project. There's not enough time to build a finished device, but I figured that I could at least put together a mock up that's very close to the real thing. It would at least give people in the hackerspace and others involved an idea of what I mean when I'm talking about agricultural sensor networks. 

The real difficulty in keeping anything outdoors for extended periods of time is how to ruggedize it to withstand the elements. Nature has a way of decomposing anything you put in front of her, and since there's going to be issues with wild animals, it would have to withstand being hit, bitten, nibbled on, and trampled as well. 

Read more...
 
2010-07-23 Status Update - Arduino, Hackerspaces, and Gothic Punk | Print |
Blog - Misc
Written by Akiba   
Friday, 23 July 2010
So far, it’s been a pretty interesting and eventful year but extremely busy, so I decided to take a short summer break. I wanted to take some time off to do stuff I’ve been interested in but been putting off because of all the tasks I’m dealing with every day. One of the things I’ve been thinking about is the Arduino platform. I bought my first Arduino a couple of weeks ago but never had a chance to play with it so this was the perfect chance to get my hands dirty with it.

My first run at the Arduino was quite an enjoyable experience. I can see how it’s become such a useful platform for hobbyists and enthusiasts because it’s a very quick and easy way to prototype designs without having to build or port your own libraries.

The main reason I’ve been looking into the Arduino is because I’m trying to find an easier way to teach embedded electronics and programming to people at the hackerspace. Microcontrollers are fine and dandy, but setting up the toolchain, building from the command line, and tweaking a bunch of registers can get fairly intimidating to people that don’t do it on a regular basis.

Read more...
 
Tutorial - Using CmdArduino | Print |
Tutorials - Software
Written by Akiba   
Friday, 23 July 2010

The Arduino Command Line Interface, aka CmdArduino, is a simple shell that can be run on an Arduino. It's nothing fancy and its main purpose is to allow users to easily call their functions on a running Arduino via a simple serial terminal. It also allows users to pass in arguments from the command line into the functions they wrote so they can easily toggle pins, set blinking speed, set pwm duty cycles, or whatever else might need command line user input. Using it is fairly simple and just requires unzipping the files into the "Arduino/libraries" sub-directory in the Arduino program folder. The following is a tutorial that goes into more detail about how to implement CmdArduino in a sketch and easily add user functions to the command table. 

Read more...
 
ATXMega Board Release...Finally! | Print |
Blog - Store
Written by Akiba   
Monday, 12 July 2010

Hi all.

Sorry about the delay in releasing the ATXMega boards. There's some good news and bad news.

The bad news is that there won't be SPI DMA support. I was validating the SPI DMA feature and found that DMA transfers for an SPI master can't be made directly to an SPI port. They can only be made to a UART configured as an SPI master. This would have required swapping two pins, but still wouldn't have been much of a problem. The real issue is that when I configured a UART as an SPI master and sent data through it, I ran into what looks like a hardware bug that leaves some SPI transfers incomplete. Here's a shot of a 2-byte transfer:

 

Hence, I've made the decision that I won't be supporting the DMA to SPI feature. I apologize since I believe there were some people that were looking forward to that feature. For people looking for DMA'd wireless transactions, I'd recommend the EconoTAG from Redwire. Its based on the Freescale MC13224 and supports DMA to the radio FIFOs. It's also designed and supported by Mariano Alvira who is a frequent contributor to open source and the Contiki project. 

The good news is that the memory to memory DMA feature is working so that people doing a lot of block copying can now offload that from the MCU.

Anyways, that was the last thing standing in my way to release the ATXMega boards. The boards are now in the shop and I've also put together a set that consists of an MCU board, radio, antenna, and standoffs.

Thanks for the patience and sorry about not supporting that feature. Here are the links to the products:

ATXMega MCU Board Link

ATXMega MCU + Radio Set Link

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Results 73 - 81 of 391

Contact

Feel free to email me:

Contact