Category PhD

Teaching Programming Using Arduino

As a PhD student I seem to spend substantial amounts of time teaching, marking or writing worksheets and practicals. Although I should probably be spending this time writing my thesis or doing other research work, teaching is something I’ve always enjoyed. This year at Aberystwyth we completely reorganised our first year. One of the big changes […]


I’ve recently become aware of Moteino, a very low cost but powerful platform for wireless sensor networks. Felix at LowPowerLabs has done a fantastic job designing and building the devices, which come with 4Mbit of flash and a 433/868/915MHz transceiver, all for less than $20. Moteino is based around an Atmel 328p, running at 16MHz, […]

Resetting an Arduino from Software

I should preface this post with the fact that it is rarely necessary to reset a microcontroller as part of the normal operation of your program. That being said, it may sometimes be appropriate. I use it when I “reset” a node and clear it’s EEEPROM. There are a few ways to reset an Arduino […]

NERC: Networks of Sensors

I recently had the opportunity to attend NERCs (Natural Environment Research Council) third, and final, “Networks of Sensors” Annual Technology Showcase Event. It was particularly interesting as my area of research falls under sensor networks, in particular real-word deployments. It was a good opportunity to see what others had done with a fair bit of funding. […]

Time synchronisation with Arduinos and XBees

Before I detail how I tackled the problem and my results, I will quickly explain some of the concepts relating to the problem.  Skip ahead if you just want answers. What is it? Imagine you have two perfect time keeping devices, but you start them at different times. If they are truly perfect, the difference […]

Improved Data Visualiser

So I managed to find some time to make a few improvements to my data visualisation program. In no particular order they are: Threaded file loading, which stops everything from locking up while the data is loaded and processed. I didn’t expect it to take long to load the files but actually processing them into […]

Quick Data Visualiser

I have had a network of 5 nodes deployed for almost two weeks now and I thought it would be good to be able to visualise the data. Again it’s written in Java because I seem to be enjoying working with it at the moment! Needs a lot of work, but not bad for a […]