Smart Citizen: Making your own sensor

Description

In the process of exploring new ways to sense the environment, communities might find that they would like to appropriate Smart Citizen Kits to prototype their own sensors.

However, it is important to know that for any embedded device to be able to publish directly into the Smart Citizen API it needs to have: internet connectivity and http and ssl support. This includes well known platforms as the new Arduino MKR1000 Arduino MKR 1000 https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoMKR1000 [Arduino WiFI101 Library with HTTPS (SSL) support https://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/
WiFi101ClientConnectSSL] or the Rasperry Pi.

For devices with just USB support, as the Arduino UNO, Raspberry Pi can be turned into an USB/Serial bridge using tools as Node Red.

EXAMPLE: Measuring street activity using the Raspberry Pi and Processing.org

The cost of cameras is permanently dropping as their computing power increases. This creates new opportunities to develop sensing tools based on Computer Vision strategies, a type of system that was until recently only possible for specialized industries.

Using accessible tools such as Processing and low cost computers like Raspberry Pi we can now build and test novel custom sensors.

The following example uses a Raspberry Pi with the Pi Cam module in order to monitor general activity on a street by performing simple computer vision operations. Data is then published to the Smart Citizen API using the Smart Citizen class for Processing (Processing is a software sketchbook and a language for learning how to code https://processing.org/).

Note this is not aimed at providing a ready to use solution yet showing the potential of the technology. A detailed description of the source is available within the Smart Citizen Toolkit repository.

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