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Building Wireless Sensor Networks: with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino, and Processing [Paperback]

Robert Faludi
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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New! Introducing the, a hub for Software Developers and Architects, Networking Administrators, TPMs, and other technology professionals to find highly-rated and highly-relevant career resources. Shop books on programming and big data, or read this week's blog posts by authors and thought-leaders in the tech industry. > Shop now

Book Description

January 3, 2011 0596807732 978-0596807733 1

Get ready to create distributed sensor systems and intelligent interactive devices using the ZigBee wireless networking protocol and Series 2 XBee radios. By the time you're halfway through this fast-paced, hands-on guide, you'll have built a series of useful projects, including a complete ZigBee wireless network that delivers remotely sensed data.

Radio networking is creating revolutions in volcano monitoring, performance art, clean energy, and consumer electronics. As you follow the examples in each chapter, you'll learn how to tackle inspiring projects of your own. This practical guide is ideal for inventors, hackers, crafters, students, hobbyists, and scientists.

  • Investigate an assortment of practical and intriguing project ideas
  • Prep your ZigBee toolbox with an extensive shopping list of parts and programs
  • Create a simple, working ZigBee network with XBee radios in less than two hours -- for under $100
  • Use the Arduino open source electronics prototyping platform to build a series of increasingly complex projects
  • Get familiar with XBee's API mode for creating sensor networks
  • Build fully scalable sensing and actuation systems with inexpensive components
  • Learn about power management, source routing, and other XBee technical nuances
  • Make gateways that connect with neighboring networks, including the Internet

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Building Wireless Sensor Networks: with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino, and Processing + Arduino Cookbook + Programming Arduino: Getting Started With Sketches
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

A Practical Guide to the ZigBee Mesh Networking Protocol

About the Author

Robert Faludi is an NYU Professor, SVA professor, and an expert consultant on commercial projects, including large-scale home energy monitoring. His work has appeared in The New York Times, CNet, Good Morning America, and elsewhere. He is a co-creator of the LilyPad XBee wearable radios, and Botanicalls, a system that allows thirsty plants to place phone calls for human help.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596807732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596807733
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Faludi is a professor in the MFA program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and also in the Interactive Telecommunications program at NYU. He specializes in behavioral interactions through physical computing and networked objects. Rob is the author of Building Wireless Sensor Networks, with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino and Processing published by O'Reilly Media, 2011. He is currently the Chief Innovator at Digi International, with a mandate to forge stronger connections with the innovator community, discover outstanding new work, contribute to internal projects and support people doing interesting things. Faludi holds a B.A. from Oberlin College, an M.A. in Cognitive Psychology from New York University, and a second Masters in Interactive Telecommunications also from NYU. For ten years, his San Francisco-based Faludi Computing supported Internet startups like and Salon, and created interactive web sites for companies like Gap, Visa, Lonely Planet and American Eagle Outfitters. As a researcher for NYU's Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science, he investigated the connections between visual perception, motor action and the mathematical properties of environmental affordances. At ITP he specialized in physical computing, dense social networks and networked objects, work continued as a Resident Researcher there and at Microsoft Research. He frequently consults on interactive projects including recent work in entertainment, architecture, and toys. Faludi developed device networking and customer engagement systems for GroundedPower and Tendril, both smart energy monitoring startups. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Good Morning America, BBC World, at the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry and Museum of Modern Art among others. Projects include Social Genius, a multimedia name-learning game; WildLight, a networked device that brings organic light to dark or windowless spaces and BlueWay, a networked location and wayfinding system. He is a co-creator of the LilyPad XBee wearable radios, and Botanicalls, a system that allows thirsty plants to place phone calls for human help.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kind to beginners but also useful generally February 4, 2011
Faludi is kind to the reader by using simple language in the old school of: tell-them-what-you're-going-to-say, tell-them and then tell-them-what-you-said.

I bought the book because although I am not a beginner to electronics, I am to ZigBee, and I am lazy and want a quick start to what to get and why and which "start-bugs" to avoid. Faludi does a good job here and tries to please everybody by including non-Windows based (Mac and Linux) examples where he can (this market is clearly biased towards Windows).

Evidently you could simply download the free ZigBee spec' and read it - it is not too boring and took me about four days to scan through it, but for the cheap price, I would recommend that even a professional would recover the cost in time saved from this book but evidently he will not be interested in the simplistic treatment of how to connect A to B, just the tips and hints and as a quick broad outline for both the spec and the parts range.

For the beginner this book is excellent with both diagrams and photographs of how to wire up the half dozen-or-so connections between one module and another plus very full descriptions + screen shots of how to drive the (mainly Windows based) software.

The firmware example-code is consistently of the simplest-only-to-do-the-principle (there is no cheating by padding with large amounts of code) and gradually the reader is taken into more and more detail about protocols and networking in a painless manner.

A huge amount of work has gone into this book to make it look simple. It is also up to date (late 2010). I highly recommend it to anyone.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great step by step guide... February 14, 2011
NYU Professor Robert Faludi, has supplied a very easy to follow book tackling the construction of a XBee wireless network, which is not as simple as it may appear. He provides both a step by step guide and a basic understanding/education of the technology involved.

This book starts with describing initial choices around hardware and software to construct a XBee wireless network, Professor Faludi also does a quick tutorial on radio transmissions theory and wireless networking. Once you have the bits and pieces set out, Professor Faludi walks through a number of projects helping to build up the readers overall knowledge:

1. A Wireless doorbell

2. Romantic Lighting Sensor

3. Simple Sensor Network

4. Simple Sensor with Sleep Project

He then discusses a XBee Internet Gateway (XIG) project ( see his blog), this opens up the borders by allowing the XBee radios to proxy through the ConnectPort X2 and hence be accessable via the Web.

Next project, a project to Tweat to a XBee. Professor Faludi concludes the book with a review of the ZigBee stack, a list of plans for the ZigBee platform. Finally there is a resource guide for Arduino, Python, ZigBee, Digi, etc.

This book really offers a end to end introduction to XBee radio networks and is well worth the time for anyone who is hacking or looking at industrial applications in sensor networks.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wireless networks made easy January 17, 2011
This book is a *must* for anyone working with xBee series 2 radios. After wasting countless hours scouring the internet for info on how to update firmware, and configure/interface with the series 2, I found this book to be a godsend. It is simple to follow and clearly written. The book is broken down into little projects so you can quickly get a network up and running, and then move on to building bigger and more sophisticated networks. Without Faludi's guidance, my xBees would surely be gathering dust on a shelf. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in building wireless projects!
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Projects and info is centered on series 2 xbees January 27, 2011
By Bkglass
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I probably would have thought twice about buying this book if I knew it was only concerned with the series two xbees. The series one xbees are far more popular and much easier to use. Since this book is presented as an intro to wireless xbees, why only concentrate on the more complicated series two? The series two seems better suited for bigger more ambitious projects that would not have a need for an intro book. Since series one and series two are incompatible, you should google xbee series one vs series two and decide which series you want to work with. If you plan on working with series one, then don't buy this book because you won't be able to do any of the projects very easily.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Overview of a Complex Subject June 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent overview of a difficult subject. I'm pretty new to the Arduino and prior to reading this book had no experience with the XBee. The book gave me enough of a foundation to build a small sensor network for my property (8 wireless nodes controlled by Arduino FIOs); Mr Faludi gives a clear, concise overview of the technologies involved and, perhaps more importantly, the motivations behind selecting different technologies. My remote wireless nodes contain LiPo batteries and I expect to get two to three months between re-charges; this impressive lifetime is due mostly to the implementation of sleep mode, a difficult subject which is very clearly covered in the book.

One point of confusion that I still grasp with is the differentiation between series 1 and series 2 xbees. The book exclusively uses series 2 devices, while several of the more notable Arduino hobby sites (adafruit, etc) very vocally prefer the series 1 devices. To my way of thinking (perhaps influenced by the author's position), having sensors in a mesh network makes the most sense; I have yet to read a valid counter argument.

I would also recommend that if you are seriously considering implementing a solution with multiple XBees to go ahead and purchase a Digi XPort X2 - they are available via the Digi site (though their online store is terrible) as well as Sparkfun. Remote management of XBees (including remote firmware updates!) is a very, very nice feature, and the iDigi integration extends this capability to any location on the internet. Pretty sweet. If you're interested, I blog about most of my hobby exploits here: [...]
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to building Xigbee network of sensors.
This is a good introductary book if you are looking at buildind a network of wireless sensors with Zigbee protocols. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Stephen Dum
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great for hobbyists.
Published 15 days ago by Wilbur F. Pierce
3.0 out of 5 stars So so
Got topic but not as well written as most technical books. A bit difficult to follow as since the initial chapters presentation don't clearly state the order of steps to follow as... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Robin Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for hobbyists
I was hoping for some treatment of the Smart Energy Framework, but this is a very good book for hobbyists.
Published 3 months ago by Jim Cyganek
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Hand book.
Building Wireless Sensor Networks: with ZigBee, XBee, Arduino, and Processing is a great beginners hand book. I would recommend it to any beginner.
Published 3 months ago by George M. Feder
2.0 out of 5 stars So, so, so...
it's a good start but, alas, a poor finisher. particularly when it comes to series 2 zbeee. oh oh oh oh....
Published 4 months ago by Donald Moisey
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice complete guide for XBee
I'm still working my way through the book, but it has helped me to understand the basics of XBees to get my units tested. Read more
Published 5 months ago by CompletelyComputers
5.0 out of 5 stars Overall a Good Book
This book came highly recommended for series 2 xbee modules. It's a good read and very through in explaining the fine details on these complicated modules. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ryan Hesse
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive overview
I bought this book in electronic form and then again in hardcopy because I found it valuable enough to mark up extensively with notes and bookmarks. Read more
Published 9 months ago by HD Rider
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This is a great book, To be honest I did a lot of research on series two Xbee's and arduino before I purchased this book. Everything I found during my research was in this book. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Chris
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