FSCONS video: One Wire Sensor Networks

Videos from FSCONS 2010 has begun cropping up on vimeo.com lately, which means that I have gotten the chance to see the talks I missed during the actual conference, when I was too busy downloading videos from SDHC cards to disk.

I’m sure glad that I had such a great team of people handling the task of recording, so that my “managing” of them was entirely unnecessary. You guys (pesa, coypu, bumby) are the best.

´╗┐Anyway, I just finished watching the “One wire sensor networks” talk by Mattias Wecksten, and I have to say, I got an urge to try that stuff out. The video is about 50 minutes long, but well worth the watch if you ask me.

The idea is that you have a central system, with some logic, and to that system, via a simple serial bus you attach sensors and actuators (umbrella term: “nodes”).

And since these components are meant to be cheap, you could attach many of them. Like for instance, outfitting an entire house with these little nodes.

Since the central system is an ordinary GNU/Linux system you have all the power of timed events (through cron or at), and all the logic that bash, perl, python, C or [INSERT YOUR FAVORITE LANGUAGE HERE] can provide you with.

And then you have the sensors, which will respond to requests for reading, and actuators, which will do simple stuff you tell it to do (like switching something on or off).

Mattias did speak a little about the protocol being used over this one wire, but, as you will see, you won’t actually need to learn that protocol, or even know how to interact with it, to be able to create and use your own sensor network.

A thing which really warmed my heart about this talk was that Mattias took the time to speak about integrity and security. I like it when people don’t just assume things will work out for the best. It is reassuring to know that there are people out there who actually think about such things.

I’ve never been much of a hardware guy, I likes me sum programming y’know? But this seemed so ridiculously easy that I felt that even I could probably succeed in creating something useful with this.


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