The Mulle - A node for Bluetooth Sensor Networks
The Mulle - A node for Bluetooth Sensor Networks

The Mulle

The Mulle - a sensor platform for sensor networks and Internet of Things. The Mulle is a low-power EIS (Embedded Internet Systems) platform för WSN, BSN and IoT. The Mulle platform supports full TCP/IP, Bluetooth, SOA protocls and 6loWPAN.

lwIP, TinyOS and Contiki can be used as operating system and programming framework.

Overview

The Mulle platform is battery powered and designed for low-power consumption. The size of the Mulle platform is only 25 x 23 x 5 mm. The Mulle platform is a complete standalone sensor node aimed at ad-hoc sensor networking and ambient intelligence systems.

The Mulle generation 3 uses a high-density 60-pin expansion connecter where daughter boards can be attahed for a large variety of sensors. All Mulles has signal processing capabilities, an integrated webserver as well as integrated wireless communication using Bluetooth or 6LoWPAN..

The Mulle platform comes in two versions. The first version has support for TCP/IP over Bluetooth. The second version uses IEEE 802.15.4 (6LoWPAN) in order to communicate with the Internet.

Communication

The Mulle uses standardized protocols such as Bluetooth profiles (LAP, SPP and PAN) and TCP/IP to communicate. This approach enables users all over the world to access sensor data from a Mulle in real time.

The Bluetooth-based Mulle supports the following protocols:

  • Internet protocols
    TCP/IP + UDP
    ICMP
    HTTP
    OLPv2
    DHCP (client and server)
    NTP
    mDNS-SD (Bonjour compatible)
    SOAP (partial DPWS-support)
    IGMP
    NAT
    NATPMP
  • Bluetooth
    H4 / CSR BCSP
    HCI
    L2CAP
    SDP
    BNEP
    RFCOMM
    PPP
    OBEX
  • Bluetooth Profiles
    SPP
    DUN
    LAP
    PAN-PANU
    PAN-GN
    PAN-NAP
    OPP

The IEEE 802.15.4-based version supports the following protocols:

  • 2.4 GHz and 868 MHz IEEE 802.15.4
  • 6LoWPAN (TinyOS and Contiki)

Service Oriented Architecture

SOA architecture

SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) is a highly versatile solution for distributed computing and intregration between different systems. The Mulle, designed with high-level integration in mind, has been a ground-breaking platform for research on SOA targeted deeply resource-constrained embedded systems. Already back in 2005, the Mulle was used by researchers at EISLAB to explore the use service and device discovery using standardized protocols. The mDNS-SD (multicast DNS with Service Discovery) protocol was used on the Mulle platform in order to publish services and announce device presence.

Recently, the Mulle has shown that the use of DPWS (Devices Profile for Web Services) is feasable even on very small devices. Now, we are exploring the use of the CoAP protocol in heterogenoues senspr networks with real-time requirements.

Research areas

Published: 5 October 2011

Luleå University of Technology