CUmote wireless data node

By Andrew B. Godbehere

A CUmote is a small, low-power, highly-configurable wireless node operating in
any of the 16 channels between 2.40 and 2.48 GHz as defined by the IEEE
802.15.4 standard. A CUmote may run in several different modes and does not
need to be fully compatible with the 802.15.4 standard. CUmotes can be
configured to operate at several levels of complexity to best suit a variety of
student applications. Full compatibility with 802.15.4 or Zigbee is possible,
though not provided with the CUmote infrastructure.

The hardware comprising a CUmote is designed to be small yet flexible. It
consists of a radio board (utilizing Atmel’s AT86RF230 radio) and a
microcontroller, which is capable of controlling the radio. Requirements for
alternative microcontrollers will be mentioned later, but the CUmote
infrastructure supplies a standard microcontroller board which interfaces neatly
with the radio board and takes advantage of Atmel’s ATMega644
microcontroller. Additionally, either of the radio or microcontroller boards can
plug into a breadboard to allow easy system prototyping and experimentation.

The software which runs on a CUmote is designed for a single-application
system. The provided software offers lower-level software layers on which
applications may be built with ease. In its current version, the CUmote software
does not interface with any embedded operating systems, though the software
could be modified to suit such a purpose.

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