SenSe(i)-Box: Smart City Monitoring Platform

Sense-Box is created for test and development applications requiring outdoor deployments. The platform is shipped with IP-65 certified box which can operate in a variety of weather conditions. The box contains a raspberry Pi model 3 B embedded Linux computer and Mahmote Sensor mote. While the mote can operate on its own for sensing environment data and communicating this data to a central server, the embedded Linux computer allows developers and testers to be able to configure the network with new software and run experiments synchronously via commands sent over the WiFi and/or Ethernet networks. Even if the software uploaded to the sensor mote contains a fatal bug, the module can be re-programmed via the Linux computer enabling a robust platform against software errors. Furthermore, the experiment and test results can be easily collected via the embedded Linux computer after each experiment. This enables the system to be used as a rapid algorithm development platform where algorithms ranging from protocol stack to data mining can be easily tested in a realistic environment. Naturally, the box can be configured to have only the low power mote for end-user applications.

The box comes with a TI cc2538 based low power SoC coupled with a TI cc2592 range extender which lets users to operate the sensor mote in a variety of transmit power levels. This is very useful especially when a particular node needs extra communication range to bridge the routing gap between two locations. The communication range of the box is improved further with a 5 dBi omni-directional external antenna. The box also supports power over Ethernet which enables an easy install via only a single Ethernet cable. Raspberry Pi Linux computer is attached to the Mahmote via a baseboard which connects the GPIO ports of the Raspberry Pi Linux to Mahmote and enables a variety of applications. Furthermore the base board comes with ports that can sense temperature, light, air quality, humidity data. The board also can be populated with an MPU6050 gyroscope and accelerometer hardware for further sensing options. The sepcifications of each hardware module used in the Sense-Box is listed as tables below.

SenseBox Specifications

➢ Embedded Computer : Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.

➢ Low Power Sensor Mote: Mahmote (TI cc2538 with cc2592 range extender).

➢ Sensors : Light, Humidity, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Temperature and air quality.

➢ Connection Options : WiFi, Bluetooth, 802.15.4, Ethernet

➢ Power Supply : Power over Ethernet

➢ Antennae : 802.15.4 – 5dBi omni-directional, WiFi-Onboard, Bluetooth-Onboard.

➢ Box: IP65 Outdoor Box.

RaspberryPi 3 Specifications

➢ SoC: Broadcom BCM2837

➢ CPU: 4× ARM Cortex-A53, 1.2GHz

➢ GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV

➢ RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz)

➢ Networking: 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless

➢ Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy

➢ Storage: microSD ➢ GPIO: 40-pin header, populated

➢ Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm analogue audio-video jack, 4× USB 2.0, Ethernet, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI)

CC2538 Specifications


  • Powerful ARM ® Cortex®-M3 With Code Prefetch.
  • Up to 32-MHz Clock Speed.
  • 512KB, 256KB or 128KB of In-System-
    Programmable Flash.
  • Supports On-Chip Over-the-Air Upgrade (OTA).
  • Supports Dual ZigBee Application Profiles
  • Up to 32KB of RAM (16KB With Retention in All Power Modes)
  • cJTAG and JTAG Debugging


  • 2.4-GHz IEEE 802.15.4 Compliant RF Transceiver.
  • Excellent Receiver Sensitivity of –97 dBm.
  • Robustness to Interference With ACR of 44 dB.
  • Programmable Output Power up to 7 dBm.

Security Hardware Acceleration

  • Future Proof AES-128/256, SHA2 Hardware Encryption Engine.
  • Optional – ECC-128/256, RSA Hardware Acceleration Engine for Secure Key Exchange.
  • Radio Command Strobe Processor and Packet Handling Processor for Low-Level MAC Functionality

Low Power

  • Active-Mode RX (CPU Idle): 20 mA
  • Active-Mode TX at 0 dBm (CPU Idle): 24 mA
  • Power Mode 1 (4-µs Wake-Up, 32-KB RAM
    Retention, Full Register Retention): 0.6 mA
  • Power Mode 2 (Sleep Timer Running, 16-KB
    RAM Retention, Configuration Register
    Retention): 1.3 µA
  • Power Mode 3 (External Interrupts, 16-KB
    RAM Retention, Configuration Register
    Retention): 0.4 µA
  • Wide Supply-Voltage Range (2 V to 3.6 V)


  • µDMA
  • 4 × General-Purpose Timers
    (Each 32-Bit or 2 × 16-Bit)
  • 32-Bit 32-kHz Sleep Timer
  • 12-Bit ADC With 8 Channels and Configurable
  • Battery Monitor and Temperature Sensor
  • USB 2.0 Full-Speed Device (12 Mbps)
  • 2 × SPI
  • 2 × UART
  • I2C
  • 32 General-Purpose I/O Pins
    (28 × 4 mA, 4 × 20 mA)
  • Watchdog Timer