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Waspmote: Wireless Sensor Networks Open Source PlatformJune 20, 2012

Waspmote is an open source wireless sensor platform specially focused on the implementation of low consumption modes which allows the sensor nodes ("motes") to be completely autonomous, that is battery powered. Lifetime of Waspmote sensor nodes may go from 1 to 5 years depending on the duty cycle and the radio used. Waspmote was launched by Libelium in November 2009 and now, Cooking Hacks will start distributing a Starter Kit to its followers.

It all started 5 years since we at Cooking Hacks designed the famous "Arduino XBee Shield" in collaboration with the Arduino Team and gave it to community as the first open hardware shield for Arduino (2007). Our idea was to create wireless sensor networks with Arduino + XBee (already 5 years ago!). However, Arduino couldn't fit the Libelium's corporate customers requirements due to two main reasons. On the one hand it is the consumption: the 5V-3.3V regulator can not be turned off and thus it is not possible to implement a sleep mode. As a result, a constant consumption of 50mA discharges any battery load within a few days or even hours. On the other hand the platform needed to be radio certified as the nodes are meant to be deployed in real scenarios like cities, factories, houses, etc. For this reason we needed a platform ready for the three main certification requirements: CE (Europe), FCC (US) and IC (Canada).

In order to meet the above requirements we decided to create a new device specially designed to work with low consumption modes and with a completely modular philosophy and that is how Waspmote was born. In the creation of Waspmote as well as the Libelium team composed by David GascĂłn, Marcos Yarza, and Alberto Bielsa, took part David Cuartielles (in his role of freelance researcher) in order to ensure compatibility with the Arduino programming environment (IDE), allowing Arduino Community to use Waspmote in the same way.

Two years after releasing Waspmote, there is a growing Community of Developers using it as a standard platform for the Internet of Things. Besides its outstanding technical features, they like its horizontal, modular and Open Source approach. Now, we want to extend this platform to our Cooking Hacks followers by distributing different Development Kits, so that anyone can try it.

All the info about the platform in Cooking Hacks and Libelium sites:

http://www.cooking-hacks.com/index.php/documentation/tutorials/waspmote
http://www.libelium.com/waspmote

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