Wireless winter weather wonders - weather prediction with a swarm of *Bees
February 21, 2013
Here's a little project I've put together using a bunch of components from Seeed Studio:
On the receiving end is the other RFBee connected via USB to my laptop with the UartSBee board:
The idea is to wirelessly transmit the pressure sensor reading to my laptop where I can do something fun with the data, like predict the weather.
There are several great things about the RFBees:
- Inexpensive (around $20) almost drop-in replacement for an XBee for some applications
- Its an Arduino (ATMEGA 168) packaged in the XBee form factor - program it like an Arduino, with a radio!
I say almost drop-in, however only the RX, TX, VCC and GND are pin-compatible with the XBee and they won't communicate directly with another XBee so you would need a pair of these for a project.
I've written a small sketch using the Arduino tool to read the pressure from the sensor and transmit to the laptop. On the laptop, I've written a Processing sketch to display the most recent readings from the sensor, and display a graph of the readings over the last few hours:
The pressure has been dropping for a few hours now and we are getting quite a bit of snow as I'm writing this.
Some notes about programming the RFBee - the original firmware provided by Seeedstudio is written with an older version of Arduino. They do provide a more up-to-date library here for Arduino 1.0+ but it is not well documented at this time. I was able to get their example code working well enough to read the sensor and send the data and things seem to be working for now. If there is interest I can post the code for the sensor node and the processing sketch...
Now, how can I apply this stuff to my next robotic project?