Tag Archives: Smart Citizen

Beehives are going open source

Want to make your own printable, smart beehive to track colony health, reverse colony collapse disorder and promote international bee recovery? Then check out this open source beehive project helmed by an international team of ecologists, beekeepers, Makers, engineers and open source advocates.

“We’ve designed two downloadable, printable beehives: the Colorado Top Bar and the Barcelona Warré. These hives aim to prioritize bee colony health, make beekeeping more accessible and will ultimately allow you to log and study the health of your colony,” an open source beehive rep explained in a recent Indiegogo post.

“Your contribution will help us develop sensors to enhance our hives, connecting them to the Internet to log data about what is causing the bees to disappear around the world. This data can be used to study colony health build hard evidence against the causes of the problem – and generate policy change [as well] informed solutions moving forward.”

At the heart of the open beehive initiative is the Atmel-powered (ATmega32U4 MCU) Smart Citizen Kit (SCK). The open source platform – developed by Fab Lab Barcelona – comprises three layers: a hardware device, a website and online API and a mobile app.

Essentially, the first layer is a piece of hardware comprising two printed-circuit boards: an interchangeable daughterboard or shield and a data-processing board.

“It carries sensors that measure air composition (CO and NO2), temperature, light intensity, sound levels and humidity,” the open source beehive rep said.

“Once it’s set up, the ambient board is able to stream data measured by the sensors over Wi-Fi using the FCC-certified, wireless module on the data-processing board. The online component of the Smart Citizen Kit is used for logging and visualizing the data measured by the hardware.”

Interested in learning more? You can read more about the open source beehive initiative on the project’s official page here.

Video: Making goes mainstream at CES 2014

Writing for Makezine, Mike Senese says Atmel’s tricked-out CES 2014 MakerSpace illustrates just how mainstream the Maker Movement has become.

“Atmel has typically focused on the microcontrollers and components inside many consumer devices, a role that puts them squarely in CES territory,” Senese explains.

“They also provide the processor inside most Arduino boards, connecting them closely with the world of making.”

As Senese notes, Atmel MCU Applications Manager Bob Martin is one of the architects of the company’s CES 2014 MakerSpace, which is tastefully decorated with brown pegboard and well-stocked with a plethora of hand tools.

“With a variety of various Arduino-compatible boards, including the environmental sensing Smart Citizen, as well as various build projects like Martin’s obstacle-avoiding Hexbug hack, the area highlights how attractive making has become as a consumer endeavor,” Senese adds.

“Promising new low-cost Arduino-based development boards, as well as a nation-wide education tour for 2014, Atmel is staying firmly connected to Makers.”