Connected Bumblebees: Use Twitter to Follow Bees #buzzisback

Nik Sargent likes to “do things differently”. Nik is a technologist, artist, data collector, photographer, and bumblebee conservationist.

Busy Bees

Nik’s Bumblebee Project started off in 2011 with the goal of getting to know these amazing, social creatures. As he learned more, he found that the bees documented behavioral patterns were different from observed behavioral patterns due to climate change and unusual weather conditions. Nik observed countless hours of camera footage and discovered that the Queen’s hibernation schedule has been completely disrupted leading to disaster of new bumblebees and subsequent pollination which is critical to our food supply. There are many reports of a decline in pollination and is of global significance.

Earlier this year, Nik added sensors and a gateway from ioBridge to help automate and collect more data generated by these busy bees. The bee boxes now monitor temperature, track movement, count bees, and provide real-time feedback from the bumblebees by being connected to the cloud. The project looks to be evolving as new sensors and ideas will be incorporated over time.

“ioBridge is a big step forward in allowing us to automate and correlate environmental and activity data without resorting to manual CCTV analysis,” said Nik in an email interview. “It gives us the freedom not only to view and collect the data from anywhere remotely,  but also share it and tweet it – again helping to raise awareness.”

Nik was able to capture a photo of the first tweet triggered by a Bumblebee.

Video Still of Bumblebees

And, here’s what she said…

Bumblebee Tweet

We were so happy to find out about this project. We didn’t know much about Bumblebees and learned a lot by following Nik’s project. Thanks for sharing and we hope to do our part to help raise awareness of the global impact and never ending curiosity that bumblebees generate.

To get more info about the Bumblebee Project visit LoveBumbl.es and follow the project on Twitter.

Socially Aware Lights, Now Wireless with XBee and ioBridge

Check out the iDigi blog for details of a new project involving CheerLights – a network of interconnected lights. In this project, Noel Portugal created a wireless version of CheerLights using Digi’s XBee radios and the ioBridge IO-204 web gateway. Lights, apps, and objects all stay linked together by listening to the Twitter Stream for colors. When a color gets tweeted to @cheerlights, all of the objects change to that color.

“It’s a way to connect physical things with social networking experiences. We are all connected.” -CheerLights

ioBridge Internet Gateway with XBee Radio

Colors from Twitter are processed via ioBridge’s Internet of Things Platform called ThingSpeak. ThingSpeak is a suite of apps to make things social and interact with each other and social networks. CheerLights takes advantage of the TweetControl app. This app can be used to monitor Twitter and then send a control signal to anything that supports HTTP like thermostats, ioBridge X10 Home Automation gear, kid’s toys, interactive trade show displays… and whatever you come up with next.

[via iDigi / My Web of Things]

CheerLights: a social network of lights

It’s that time of year to spread some cheer and strengthen our connections. We are all connected on this little planet and our latest projects hopes to prove this. ioBridge introduces  CheerLights – a social network of lights that stay in sync with the rest of the lights linked to a messages from social networks. It’s kind of like following a trending topic on Twitter but with physical objects.

Here is a video introduction to CheerLights:

To join the CheerLights project all you have to is build a controller that subscribes to the “cheerlights” keyword, receives the latest color command, and sets the color on your lights. So, when you see the color change know that the color it is now changing all across the world. Instructions on how to build your own physical controller are based around GE G-35 Color Effects Lights and the ioBridge IO-204, ConnectPort X2, or Arduino Ethernet.

The last color processed by CheerLights is accessed through the CheerLights Channel hosted on ThingSpeak. With that data you could this a lot further and build all sorts of applications that read in that color value and do something with it. Your application could be an Android widget that shows the latest color, a set of Christmas lights, ambient orb, or dynamically setting the background color of a website.

ioBridge has been working on a way to distribute a command from a social network and distribute to thousands of end points in real-time – a many to many issue. The technology behind CheerLights paves the way for an alert system that could cascade across the globe.

[via CheerLights.com]

Voice Activated Home Automation with Siri and ioBridge

[mark] tweeted about his “Voice Activated Home Automation” system that uses Siri on the iPhone sending commands to the ioBridge X10 controller.

If you say, “Siri I’m cold”, the iPhone sends a command to the ioBridge API to turn on the furnace. Siri warmly replies, “Lighting the fire place, this is cozy.” What is really neat is how the interface is voice commands, but the language is natural.

Here are some other home automation commands demonstrated in the video:

  • Siri turn on the Christmas lights
  • Siri turn on the living room lamp
  • Siri turn off everything

Markt makes use of SiriProxy to intercept commands spoken at Siri and reroute them to the ioBridge API to control the X10 widgets connected to the ioBridge IO-204. For more information about the project, visit Mark’s blog for a detailed description and things that you need to make your own voice activated home automation system.

[via MarkHodder.com]

Internet of Things on Big Bang Theory

I was watching a rerun of the Big Bang Theory TV show (my wife and I are big fans) last week and there was a pretty funny clip with the guys experimenting with the Internet of Things.   It was in the beginning clip just before the credits in the episode called “The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization” that originally aired on March 17, 2008.

This made me think back at how far ioBridge has come and where they were at that time.  The funny thing about it is the technology they are simulating could have just as well be using an ioBridge module.  Public access for internet users to control things in their house was something only super geeks could do at that time.  At the time this episode aired ioBridge only had a working prototype of public internet interactivity with Jason’s original fishcam that open and closed a gator’s mouth in his fish tank.

Obviously ioBridge has come a long way since that prototype, but it’s interesting to see how the ideas have been bouncing around for years but only now is it starting to get the attention where the number of Internet of Things devices now and in the future are in frequent conversations.

For your viewing pleasure I was able to find it on my search through YouTube and wanted to share it with all the Internet of Things fans out there.