Thank you to the Open Mobile Alliance for bringing me down to San Diego for an intense Friday workshop! What a great chance to meet top-notch, intelligent and advanced developers. Our chief goal was to introduce Lightweight Machine to Machine protocols; LWM2M. We set out to compile and install the Wakaama client on the Arduino Yun. Wakaama will expose all the Yun GPIO and analog inputs through lininoIO bridge. If we can get through to that, then we can learn how to connect it to a leshan LWM2M server and use the web user interface for interacting with the device.
The Yun allows you to pair it to your existing wireless connection, so with a few easy steps to join the WiFi, both your computer and your Yun are on the same network. This allows you to plug the Yun into a portable power device or to a wall adaptor, and you can still update your code. I have impressed many of my students with this such feature, plugging the hardware in across the room intentionally to show the range!
Now, I have taught several workshops with multiple Yuns, but we encountered some new issues for this meeting of great minds. Turns out that if we don’t know the identifying number for each Yun, when you plug in 25 boards, it’s hard to know which one is your own, and which ones are across the room! So, though many Universities use the Yun to teach multiple courses in programming languages, I haven’t heard of this problem! Then I remembered! At universities, there is usually a T.A. who logs in each Arduino individually and renames their wireless signifier something like, “Yun1” “Yun2” or “YunTeamBear” “YunTeamGiraffe” In the future, I will include an index card with the unique number to identify the board once you’ve plugged it in and are waiting to see it in the drop down list of WiFi networks. Funny how I intentionally left that step for these developers so they could get the full experience…but instead I got everyone fully frustrated!
If we had some trouble finding our WiFi network listed, we could also press any of the reset buttons on the board for WiFi, the MCU, or for the Atheros. Sometimes Yun needs updated firrmware which we make available on our github and wiki, but this is definitely an extra step you don’t want to leave to do in a workshop where our time is limited! Also, these super progressive gentlemen who joined us are seeking complexities in the code once we get there, not the complications to simply get connected! This being the most advanced group I have taught directly, I expected more from myself, but know how to make it better for next time!
On the Sierra Wireless side, they did a great job with support and resources available to all attendees. So in my effort to allow these hackers to fully control the Yun meant that many of them weren’t able to get to the full experiment of running the client. I get it now that these gentlemen were all capable of all the steps, but if I had done some of it for them, we could’ve had more time with LWM2M. We could’ve loaded the client on all the boards first and then the class would be more about what we could do with it, but that too was part of the whole workshop! You know how I like to make my students do all the work! But it was hard when everyone was stuck and there wasn’t much to be done!
The group of guys were still very dedicated and had great attitudes about just exploring and trying what they could on the Yun. I truly believe that the Yun, Yun Mini, and Arduino Industrial are a great line of hardware to accommodate the maker-hackers who are sincerely trying to develop products that work in the emerging Internet of Things world. We just need to be mindful that universities and companies usually complete a few of these setup steps before throwing multiples of their boards out there for tinkering at work! Thanks for all your hard work gentlemen! Now next workshop…how can we get more lady hackers to join us?