Mike Riley (@MRiley)presented mainly on low cost micro controllers, specifically Arduino micro controllers.
Arduino = most popular and cost-effective.
Arduino (and all other micro controllers) needs Actuators (like motors) and sensors
Ethernet shields allow for wired networking (TCP based networking)
Xbee Radios (for wireless) -not 802.X as they need lots of power
Need a server to do the ‘real’ information processing. Not going to want to do intense work on the micro but instead have it call web services to do the heavy lifting.
NetDuino = popular with .NET Dev’s… Comes built in with Ethernet board… and can use C# to program it.
These devices can use serial communications.
Best place to get schematics/plans already drawn up by others: Instructables.com and Google searches.
Recommend creating REST-based web services… connect via serial comm library. Keeps things light weight.
Designing the mobile client interface:
- Test first with a simple web page exposing services via HTML UI.
- Hook up UI to REST-full implementation
- When viewing data, optimize UI to show key elements.
Adafruit.com and Sparkfun.com are the choice sites to go to when you want to get hardware add ons (actuators, sensors, etc)
Mike mentioned this topic leads well into the idea of a “Internet of things” … and how this is so new… it’s ‘hacker’ space. Refers to the networked interconnection of everyday objects.
Overall the session certainly peaked my interest in the NetDuino kit (as I would consider myself more of a .NET guy) as there are some really neat things you can make/program in this space. I would also be very interested in seeing how 7th/8th graders would interact with this platform. Seems like one that could certainly ignite a passion for computing/robotics/engineering/etc.