Waggling is not hard, but it’s not trivial either. We are scientists, and Waggle is an Open Source platform for science so it can be modified and adapted to your project if you are familiar with Linux and basic Internet networking. We have three different Waggle kits:
Ok, it may not be as homely as the name suggests, but our desktop units do not get style points, except that the Chicago School of the Art Institute helped us design the laser-cut pieces. The UglyLab kit comes with everything needed to test Waggle and investigate how to add new sensors. UglyFriends who want to test and enhance Waggle by tinkering with an UglyLab kit need to have a good understanding of Linux (Ubuntu) system administration, Internet networking, and web services. A little experience with Arduinos would be helpful.
Being ugly is so much more fun when you are outside in the wild. Our UglyBox Kits start with an UglyLab setup and add some ugly rainwear for mounting in fields, on roofs, or on the tops of busses. From a technical perspective, they are no more complex, but simply weatherproof. Specifically, a vanilla while waterproof box (IP65 – NEMA 4) with some windows for the cameras and a “stevenson” shield for the sensors that need access to air but need to be protected from rain water. UglyBoxes are typically powered by Power Over Ethernet (POE) and are connected to some form of lighting protection.
Thanks to the Chicago School of the Art Institute, the Array of Things Kits will be spectacularly beautiful and stylish. We think you will probably want one for your home too. However, they are a bit more complicated to share with folks at this point. The designs are still being tweaked, and the enclosures won’t be ready until early 2016. So for now, you will have to endure Ugly. Please drop by the AoT website occasionally and look for updates.
We hope to be shipping UglyLab Kits to our Ugliest friends in November 2015, followed quickly by our UglyBox kits. Cost? Well, we are a research group, and need to recoup the costs of the raw parts and any time spent assembling and configuring prototype units. Depending on the final sensor list, we expect UglyLab kits to run about $1200, and UglyBox weather proofing kits will add about $200 for a total of $1400. That does not include a broadband cell modem or data plan. The basic Waggle unit expects you to have WiFi or ethernet connectivity.
Please contact us if you are interested in testing, improving, and developing for the Waggle platform.