Hey everyone!

I have been following these forums for a long time. Silently observing; silently learning. We took the plunge, bought tonnes of fun modules and mainboards and have been hard at work trying to save all the Kiwi in NZ :slight_smile:

We are using FEZ Cerbuino Bee boards with accelerometers and RF Pipes (thanks Justin) to build a distributed mesh network of sensors in the forest. Right now we are monitoring the state of traps that target pests to native wildlife.

Today was our first day of the field trial! Success!

Thanks everyone for your help, even if you didn’t know you were helping :wink: you guys are a great community and wealth of knowledge!

So we have this mesh network of sensors using RF Pipes as the communication protocol which pumps the data up to an API we built hosted in Azure. Then we surface this data with alerts to a web portal and win 8 app. Mobile apps in the pipeline too!

Pics attached. It may look a little ugly right now but this is the first prototype (the next prototype is being fabricated as we speak…

Jourdan (Team Ohiti)



Really cool project and close to my heart being a Kiwi - well done to you and the lads and i look forward to the MrkII version

Here is part of the MrkII version - complete with ugly green wire (Whoops - it was bound to happen eventually)


Loving the white PCB. The main reason for using it was that ‘it looks awesome’. :smiley:

Awesome post, awesome use of electronics, and awesome use of Décor brand cereal containers ! :slight_smile:

What does the other side look like?


Can you describe this in any more detail?

@ mhectorgato - like this…


Pipe Bee … wonder if anyone thought of doing that before … :whistle:

Sure :slight_smile:

In NZ there are three main pests that are killing Kiwi and other native animals. Both directly and indirectly (destroying their habitats and ruining the ecological balance for their comfort and survival). The pests are Rats, Stoats and Possums.

Current methods for trapping and disposing of these pests requires a lot of man-power, time and money.

There is a company that we have been working with, Goodnature (http://www.goodnature.co.nz).

Goodnature have developed a trap that is self-resetting and much lower maintenance than the current techniques employed in conservation efforts.

We are using an accelerometer in this prototype to monitor when the trap fires, then bounce the data out and up to the cloud. Then we can do some useful stuff with it. Find out which traps are effectively placed, areas where the population of pests has been controlled, traps need maintenance etc.

In future iterations we plan on making maybe a piezo switch module for the detection of the trap being fired. We are looking into other options too. Suggestions are welcome!!!

tl;dr: a lot of Kiwi ingenuity! :wink:

1 Like

Did you… Pipe Bee™ :whistle:

[quote=“jourdant”]Sure :slight_smile:

a lot of Kiwi ingenuity! [/quote]

Sounds like a fun project and nice use of the Gadgeteer system. It’s nice that you are not only sensing the traps doing their job, but also able to use the devices for tracking location and usefulness!

Hope you don’t mind the questions:

  • How are you powering the devices?
  • Is the FEZ Spider the base station & Azure uploader for the RF Pipe nodes?

Just watched one of those Goodnature videos … not so sure that the “pests” think it’s so “good-natured”!! :smiley:

Not at all!

For this prototype, we are just using USB batteries. The ones used for charging cellphones! The next iteration, we are planning on using AAs and LiPo batteries.

If we could develop a board with a hibernate function in a small form factor, it would be even better to power it all off a coin cell battery.

Yes! The nodes that monitor the traps send short packets, an example would be:
EVENT,{trapid},{eventid} and we pull that apart and construct a url and do a simple GET or POST request to it.

We have a shiny Win 8 app that pulls the data back out in JSON and… you know… useful stuff like shiny graphs and such :stuck_out_tongue: other clients are in development too, JSON makes it easy to handle.

At this stage its all a PoC to show its possible and hopefully shape the future of conservation? Or maybe that’s a little ambitious hehe. We just want to inspire! Rapid prototyping with gadgeteer made it easy.

Hehe yeah… When you learn the amount of damage they cause it really puts it into perspective though.

Also just so you know, the traps have come a long way and have achieved the highest humane standards for trapping in NZ. Instant kill.

Very cool - congrats on the project!!


In case anyone wanted an example of why you should use Gadgeteer, this is it and for huge bonus points it even uses Azure, what an incredibly awesome project.

If anyone wondered what a score looked like, this would be a score.

Good on ya Justin for helping out your old home team, again WOW!!!


Very cool.

That is a truly interesting project, especially to me, as I am messing with stuff in woods as well. Is there an option to contact the team behind this to exchange information?

Does this mean that @ Justin actually managed to code a mesh-version of his RFPipe driver?

@ njbuch - i am going to make a battery power board to make it simpler but in short if you just want one way traffic ie passing sensor data down to chain to the mothership you use mode 3 on all the nodes and learn the previous nodes ESN and have pins 4 and 5 tied which retransmits the data…ie no code necessary

Cool, sounds powerful. Is that documented anywhere?