Rensselaer Center for Open Source Software

Eric Oswald

So, rather than describe what the project is here (there's a wiki for that! - not that we've posted anything there yet), we're going to jump right in with our first progress update. We are now in the process of trying to get free dev boards from Cypress and investigating hardware for this project, as well as beginning to design breakout boards for the TQFP 100 PSoC 5LP s. Getting these hardware portions of the project started early will let us jump into actually starting the embedded code within a week or two, and start the x86 frontend within a month. The PSoC and related hardware will form the data collection system, which will connect a variety of off the shelf and custom sensors with an embedded linux system, which will process the realtime data and display/log it in a meaningful manner. We are also beginning to investigate options for the embedded linux system - we are essentially looking for an industrialized version of a Beagle Bone Black. The durability of this system will be key, as it will likely be exposed to oils and solvents, vibrations from the car, and other harsh conditions that a consumer grade system would not hold up to. We are hoping to make a decision and order this linux computer within the next 2-3 weeks, which will allow us to get started with the computer side of things as soon as the data collection prototype is working (even if it is just spitting out dummy test data at first).

We want to know what you'd like to see in SelfSecured! If you have an idea for a feature or something you would like to suggest, please submit it through this Google Form: We welcome any and all suggestions and appreciate all the feedback, and we're excited to start working on the project!
SelfSecured • 1 day ago
Since the last demo, a few more features have been added - most notably, the volunteer login, the way visits are handled (displayed, edited, etc.), and the textbox with helpful prompts for food pantry volunteers.

Here is the volunteer login screen:

There is no password required at this point; all we are doing is getting the volunteer's id, so it can be recorded in visits, or the volunteer's information can be edited and viewed.

Here is the screen for viewing a volunteer's information:

When a volunteer is deactivated, they will not show up in the selection-menu on the login screen; however, an option in the "Actions" menu in the left-hand corner, will allow a user to view all volunteers, whether active or not.

When a volunteer is logged in, their id is recorded, and the next screen opens up. Here is an example client being viewed in the next screen:

You can see the textbox of helpful instructions on the left-side of the screen. These instructions are specific to the Provision Food Pantry that this database has been built for. 

Under visit information, there are many more options available. Selecting the new visit button, the visit information changes to the following:

 Note that the name of the volunteer logged in is automatically filled. The date is pre-populated to today, but can be changed if need arises. Longer notes are now possible. When the note is saved, the screen displays the following:

Selecting a visit from the listbox on the left will let you view the visit notes, the visitor that came, the volunteer that served them, and will also enable editing or deleting the visit.

Jim Boulter
We're working this semester to get the app ready for the hackathon being held here in November.  That means major progress needs to be made on the android app, and I need to finish up iOS.  All this and tying the apps and web front end in with the backend changes that will come this semester (like using cookies for login, instead of a body-held token) will take a lot of work.  We're looking for an Android programmer, which I was approached about today and a front-end dev who can work with the bootstrap framework we're using (Josh/Wyler can confirm what exactly is going on for frameworks there).

We need this to basically be ready for the big beta test at the Hackathon.  We need to be doing testing before then.  So this means we need to be done with the apps specifically before November.  We need an android dev who can pick up the existing code and get it done really quickly.  We need basically everything done besides form creation.  We need data communication with the server, we need communication with the google/youtube apis, both through JSON and HTTP requests.  This may not be the best project for an inexperienced programmer.

Things up ahead this semester for features:

  • Change login over to cookies
  • Finish joining other parties functionality
  • Complete Android over-haul specifically
  • Getting our product closer to shipping by fixing bugs and optimizing existing code
  • Publishing in the app store(?)
We definitely need help to get this going.

MeNext • 2 days ago
Derek Meer
So, this is my first blog post ever. I can only hope the quality of our project offsets the eventual quality of this post. Anyway, let's get down to business.

My name is Derek Meer, and I'll be working with Michael Hosier for the semester on a project called OpenWSN. Initiated by UC-Berkeley students and faculty, OpenWSN's goal is to turn wireless sensor networks an open-source project. They already have a solid framework, and since Mike and I have very little practical knowledge of WSNs, we decided to contribute to their project instead of re-inventing the wheel. This will most likely involve fixing bugs and adding features. Ideally, by the end of the semester, we would gain enough WSN knowledge and enough familiarity with the code base that we create our own "node" that uses OpenWSN's software.

Why wireless sensor networks? To start, they have high commercial and academic value in the present and future. A basic internet search could tell you that WSNs are a hot research area right now. The public demand for WSNs will greatly increase with the continued integration of embedded hardware in everyday life. This "internet of things," makes appliances, buildings, and systems more intelligent. In addition, both Mike and I are interested in working with embedded control and communications. Basically, we think the subject is both really cool and really applicable to society. So I guess the better question is: why NOT wireless sensor networks?

We plan to spend the next few days gathering information about OpenWSN's bugs and desired features so we can create some deliverable goals for our formal RCOS proposal. This will probably be posted when we're done with it. Until then, thanks for reading, and we hope that the project serves some useful purpose!

OpenWSN • 2 days ago
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