Design concepts for the successor of the Sense/Stage MiniBeeOn these pages we present our design concepts for the new device and the accompanying firmware, software, and the new documentation pages.
Our target audience consists of artists and students, people who want to make interactive works, but do not have a lot of experience with electronics or (low-level) firmware programming.
The basic setup for the system consists of a base station and wireless nodes to which the wireless nodes can connect. The base station connects to a user’s laptop and is interfaced via a website hosted on the base station.
When you connect the base station via USB to your computer, it will show up as a network device - you can then browse to it with your webbrowser to manage your wireless nodes.
Node and receiver node are the same hardware - so just one board design.
- the wireless node will have an option to attach an external antenna
- for the base station there will be a standard antenna available (like on your Wifi router)
- or you can attach a BNC cable so you can place your antenna at the most suitable spot, e.g. high up in the air.
- another possibility is a parabolic antenna, so you can focus on your stage area
The firmware can be used on three different levels:
- basis - basic functionality, which will support the most common use-cases
- intermediate - customisation via templates: to support common special sensors, without the need to manually write firmware
- expert - API to firmware library to make your own custom code for the nodes
The software bridge does the following things:
- talks via a serial interface with a wireless node
- manages the configuration of the nodes (config file load/save; osc update)
- communication interface to other programs: standard OSC
- communication interface to other programs: optional MIDI or HID - this would need to enable a feature on the USB device interface
The documentation pages will have two main categories: one related to the Sense/Stage MiniBee and one to the new wireless device.