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Thing. An unexpected journey. Devoxx UK 2014
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Thing. An unexpected journey. Devoxx UK 2014

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An excursion into the internet of things... with a software engineers eye on the product and hardware design perspective

An excursion into the internet of things... with a software engineers eye on the product and hardware design perspective


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  • 1. THINGAn unexpected journey Sculpture: “Electrolux Death Ray” 
 by: Greg Brotherton at: brotron.com
  • 2. A walk on the hardware side from a networking guy. As networking and things collide the search for right-shifting experiences with things from functional (but sucks) to a unified experience with well-factored services, devices and human interactions will be required. This talk logs the journey of a software engineer in the shoes of an electronic engineer and product designer to better understand the "internet of things".
  • 3. THINGs? What is the internet of
  • 4. Internet of Things (noun) - a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data … – “Internet of Things” - added to Oxford English Dictionary - August 2013
  • 5. – “Internet of Things” - a better definition - Darach Ennis, October 2013 Internet of Things (noun) - a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday people can easily network everyday objects, allowing them to send and receive data …
  • 6. THINGs A pre-history of the internet of
  • 7. Starting with electricity (skipping smoke signals etc..)
  • 8. Edison did not invent the electric light. He invented the first commercially practical incandescent bulb (and first practical use of electrically interconnected networks) …
  • 9. May 24th 1844. Morse sends first telegraph from Washington D.C. to Baltimore. The message was “What hath God wrought”, Numbers 23:23.
  • 10. "Mr. Watson,! Come here!” Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone call to his assistant Thomas A. Watson. The Victorian internet of things era begins…
  • 11. – March 10th, 1876
 Alexandar Graham Bell. “Mr. Watson - ! come here. I want 
 to see you” Bell’s Lab Notebook: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trr002.html
  • 12. Heathrow RADAR
  • 13. 
 Ra(dio) d(etection) a(nd) r(anging). 
 
 A system for detecting the presence, direction, distance, and speed of aircraft, ships, and other objects, by sending out pulses of high- frequency electromagnetic waves that are reflected off the object back to the source. ! ! Origins: 
 
 Dr Christian Doppler discovers effect of pitch changes over distance in 1842.! Dr Heinrich Hertz discovers reflectivity of radio waves in 1886. ! Initial Application:! ! Research into electromagnetic DEATH RAYS by British Air Ministry in 1934. No, i’m not kidding: http://www.doramusic.com/Radar.htm ! !
  • 14. Henry Tizard Robert Watson-Watt Arnold Wilkins Harry Wimperis Could such a death ray be constructed and used against aircraft?
  • 15. Could such a death ray be constructed and used against aircraft? £1,000 standing reward to anyone who can build a death ray that can kill a sheep at 100 yards
  • 16. RADAR - So analog. Much age. Very antique… RADAR - In theory, it can BBQ sheep at 100 yards…
  • 17. ADS-B - Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast 1090MHz From Death Ray to Plane to Plane collision avoidance? Oh the irony… Cheap SDR 15 quid, ebay
  • 18. github: antirez/dump1090
  • 19. THING Design a
  • 20. Design a thing • Design radio mesh network capable using uC embedded device for home area networking • Use CAD/CAM and surface mount technology • Require modular packaging interface for ease of prototyping wireless sensor, and other internet of things domains. • Use free, open source technology where possible
  • 21. THING Survey existing
  • 22. RF
  • 23. Design a thing • Design cheap radio mesh network using uC embedded device for home area networking • Use CAD/CAM and surface mount technology • Require modular packaging interface for ease of prototyping wireless sensor, and other internet of things domains. • Use free, open source technology where possible
  • 24. 9.48USD is ~ 5.65GBP for 10. That’s 60p each. #winning
  • 25. THING Prototype a
  • 26. Prototype Using Arduino Pro Mini
  • 27. THING Implement a
  • 28. Circuit Design Eagle CAD
  • 29. Board Layout Eagle CAD
  • 30. Create CAM (gerber) files CAD -> CAM scripts are manufacturing specific
  • 31. Order PCBs, … wait (weeks) CAD -> CAM scripts are manufacturing specific
  • 32. Solder, test and rework May (probably will) require another revision or three to manufacturing before everything is 'good'
  • 33. THING Evolve a
  • 34. Evolve a thing • Design cheap radio mesh network using uC embedded device for home area networking • Use CAD/CAM and surface mount technology • Require modular packaging interface for ease of prototyping wireless sensor, and other internet of things domains. • Use free, open source technology where possible
  • 35. Modular?
  • 36. No better platform…
  • 37. …to integrate with! but how to make the PCBs lego shaped with lego size holes?
  • 38. Packaging. How? Dude, you’re a programmer, so … Write! Code!
  • 39. 3D shape model Using OpenSCAD
  • 40. Project 3D to 2D outline Using OpenSCAD
  • 41. Convert to CAD instructions Using a simple ruby script
 https://github.com/bryanduxbury/falconer/blob/master/dxf_to_eagle.rb
  • 42. Run script in CAD Using a simple ruby script
 https://github.com/bryanduxbury/falconer/blob/master/dxf_to_eagle.rb
  • 43. Design and layout circuit Routing is hard to master. Don’t trust the auto router!
  • 44. Order PCBs, … wait (weeks) CAD -> CAM scripts are manufacturing specific
  • 45. Design some more… More fun to play with IoT the more things you have to play with!
  • 46. Design some more… More fun to play with IoT the more things you have to play with!
  • 47. Design some more… More fun to play with IoT the more things you have to play with!
  • 48. Lego mesh networks! Testing is fun, especially when you add kids…
  • 49. Design a thing • Design radio mesh network using uC embedded device for home area networking • Use CAD/CAM and surface mount technology • Require modular packaging interface for ease of prototyping wireless sensor, and other internet of things domains. • Use free, open source technology where possible
  • 50. OSS and services used
  • 51. OSS Software • RF24 - https://github.com/maniacbug/RF24 • RF24 Network -
 http://maniacbug.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/rf24network/ • Adafruit NeoPixel library - 
 https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_NeoPixel • Adafruit MCP23008 library -
 https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit-MCP23008-library
  • 52. Networks all the way down • Serial communications. Both sides must agree baud rate Images from: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-peripheral-interface-spi/all
  • 53. Networks all the way down • Serial Peripheral Interface. (Used by NRF module) Images from: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-peripheral-interface-spi/all
  • 54. Networks all the way down • Serial Peripheral Interface. Bidirectional Images from: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-peripheral-interface-spi/all
  • 55. Networks all the way down • Serial Peripheral Interface. Daisy Chaining Images from: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/serial-peripheral-interface-spi/all
  • 56. Networks all the way down • Even the LEDs used here embed networking circuitry and can be daisy chained 4mm 4mm
  • 57. SDLC Dependencies on external manufacturing processes (eg: new PCBs) mean some evolutions require waits of up to 3 weeks. So bug fixing can take a long time
  • 58. Bugs, there’ll be a few And they cost you cash money each time! aagh fook! (ugh, wrong way round!) monkey patching!
  • 59. Surface mount takes practice But, the results are far more stable than breadboarded or perf-boarded prototypes.
  • 60. Surface mount takes practice But, the results are far more stable than breadboarded or perf-boarded prototypes. LOOK inside the LED. See?
 Yes, circuit inside!!!
  • 61. O'Legs Arduino based prototyping modules integrated with Lego.
 Will be fully open sourced (soon!) Designed for (geek) parents and kids to play together!
  • 62. A question on the future • Can the internet of things be componentized or modularised in much the same way as lego so that ordinary people can more easily design and build their own bespoke connected things? • Or will proprietary protocols, proprietary connectors and impenetrable standards conspire to keep these things apart? • Is this a cause for concern? • Is this a death ray or gateway for at home innovation? • It’s up to us (the creatives)
  • 63. IoT Is this a death ray or gateway for at home innovation?
  • 64. Thanks • Omer Kilik. My friend, colleague and hardware mentor. Has guided my learning in circuit design and taught me surface mount soldering.
  • 65. Questions? @darachennis