Building A Distributed Sensor Network

Alasdair Allan (Babilim Light Industries), Kipp Bradford (The Kippworks)
Open Hardware
Location: E145/146
Average rating: **...
(2.88, 16 ratings)


This hands-on workshop will walk you through building a simple distributed sensor network. Using an Arduino board, off-the-shelf sensors, and XBee radios, we’ll show you how to put together an individual sensor platform (commonly known as a “mote”) and how to network more than one of these platforms together to build a small scale distributed network. Based around Alasdair and Kipp’s latest book “Distributed Network Data” you can follow along build your first sensor mote.


* A Data Sensing Lab Shield Kit is required in order to participate. You will be charged a fee of USD$164 (on top of your registration fee) for the kit when you register. You will be provided with the kit onsite at the conference with proof of registration.
* Some experience with working with the Arduino is assumed.
* A laptop (with the ability to install software and drivers)
* USB cable

QUESTIONS for the speaker?: Use the “Leave a Comment or Question” section at the bottom to address them.

Photo of Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan

Babilim Light Industries

Alasdair Allan is a director at Babilim Light Industries and a scientist, author, hacker, maker, and journalist. An expert on the internet of things and sensor systems, he’s famous for hacking hotel radios, deploying mesh networked sensors through the Moscone Center during Google I/O, and for being behind one of the first big mobile privacy scandals when, back in 2011, he revealed that Apple’s iPhone was tracking user location constantly. He’s written eight books and writes regularly for, Hackaday, and other outlets. A former astronomer, he also built a peer-to-peer autonomous telescope network that detected what was, at the time, the most distant object ever discovered.

Photo of Kipp Bradford

Kipp Bradford

The Kippworks

Kipp Bradford is an educator, technology consultant, and entrepreneur with a passion for making things. He is one of the USA Science and Engineering Festival’s Nifty Fifty. He is also the Demo Chair of the Open Hardware Summit and a featured innovator at Frost & Sullivan’s GIL 2013. As the former Senior Design Engineer and Lecturer at the Brown University School of Engineering, Kipp taught several engineering design and entrepreneurship courses. He has founded startups in the fields of transportation, consumer products, HVAC, and medical devices, including the Data Sensing Lab and Revolution By Design/. Kipp is a Fellow at the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce at Philadelphia University, and an Adjunct Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design. He coauthored Distributed Network Data. He serves on the boards of RIMOSA, The Providence Athenaeum, the community arts organization AS220, and on the technical advisory board of MAKE Magazine, in addition to co-organizing Rhode Island’s mini Maker Faire.

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Picture of Jon Guidry
Jon Guidry
07/25/2013 4:13am PDT

Will any slides be posted for this presentation? I know it was mostly hands on, but wasn’t sure if there was anything substantial to post. Thanks.

Picture of Shirley Bailes
Shirley Bailes
07/19/2013 2:47am PDT

@Jon, no you do not. We are providing all those parts for you. See you soon.

Picture of Jon Guidry
Jon Guidry
07/19/2013 12:04am PDT

If you buy the sensor kit, do I still have to bring an Arduino and USB cable?


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