IBM, Libelium Launch Internet of Things Starter Kit

IBM and Libelium, a wireless sensor network provider, announced a new kit to help developers build applications for the Internet of things.

IBM and Libelium, a wireless sensor network hardware provider, announced the release of an Internet of things Starter Kit to enable dozens of sensor applications ranging from monitoring parking spaces or air pollution to providing assistance for the elderly.

Created by IBM scientists and Libelium engineers to ease application development, testing and scalability of wireless sensor networks (WSN), the new Internet of things Starter Kit integrates Libelium’s Waspmote wireless sensor platform with IBM’s Mote Runner software and 6LoWPAN, which allows sensors and devices to connect directly to the Internet using the new IPv6 protocol.

IBM Mote Runner is an open-software development platform that connects sensor and actuator motes within wireless sensor networks based on the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) 6LoWPAN protocol specification. With the new Internet of things Starter Kit, a real-time operating system is integrated in Libelium Waspmote nodes to support more than 60 different sensors available "off the shelf," allowing developers to easily build applications on top. The Internet of things SDK also includes the source code of the 6LoWPAN libraries so that researchers can modify and add their own algorithms and improvements, IBM said.

The development environment of IBM Mote Runner comprises a complete tool chain to develop applications in high-level, object-oriented languages such as Java and C#, providing support for source-level debugging and network simulations to ease application development and testing, IBM said. Its Web-based deployment and monitoring framework, in concert with edge and backend servers, make IBM Mote Runner an end-to-end-solution for the development, deployment, integration and visualization of wireless embedded applications. IBM Mote Runner further provides a 6LoWPAN protocol implementation for IPv6 connectivity.

"We have worked closely with IBM to offer a development platform that can be used for both simulation and real IPv6 sensor connectivity," said David Gascon, CTO at Libelium, in a statement. "This platform is a powerful tool for improving and testing 6LoWPAN capabilities in the context of wireless sensor networks and the Internet of things."

Libelium is a wireless sensor network platform provider that delivers open-source, low-power consumption devices that are easy to program and implement for Smart Cities solutions and a wide range of machine-to-machine (M2M) and sensor projects. Company officials said all of Libelium’s products are modular, horizontal and easy to integrate into third-party systems. Because of its hardware integration design and horizontal approach, Libelium’s Waspmote has the potential to be the standard, universal platform for the Internet of things, the company said.

“If we can harvest the big data insights from all of the things connected to the Internet we can more precisely understand how our world actually works,” said Thorsten Kramp, a computer scientist at IBM Research. “By making Internet of things application development easier, the answers to the grand challenges of our age become more feasible.”

The Waspmote Mote Runner Developer Kit is available today at:

A key feature of the Waspmote platform is its energy efficiency, which is crucial to wireless-sensor networks. Waspmote counts with a sleep mode of 65uA allowing years of battery life. Other features include refinements to the hardware platform and a set of more than 60 ready-to-use sensors and actuators for a broad set of applications. Waspmote’s modular approach to radio technology allows the choice of any of the six radio protocols available—including WiFi, ZigBee, 802.15.4, Bluetooth, NFC, 3G—or to switch between any two of these technologies if needed, IBM said.

On Oct. 24, David Gascon of Libelium will present a session on the value of open-source hardware platforms at the TSensors (Trillion Sensors) Summit at Stanford University. Information on the summit can be found here.