MoteLab was an experimental wireless sensor network deployed in Maxwell Dworkin Laboratory, the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building at Harvard University. It was decommisioned in January 2014. MoteLab provided a public, long-lived testbed for development and testing of sensor network applications via an intuitive web-based interface. Registered users could upload executables, associate those executables with motes to create a job, and schedule the job to be run on MoteLab. During the job all messages and other data were logged to a database which was presented to the user upon job completion and then could be used for processing and visualization. In addition, simple visualization tools were provided via the web interface for viewing data while the job was running. MoteLab facilitated research in sensor network programming environments, communication protocols, system design, and applications.
We deployed 190 TMote Sky sensor "motes", which consisted of a TI MSP430 processor running at 8MHz, 10KB of RAM, 1Mbit of Flash memory and a Chipcon CC2420 radio operating at 2.4GHz with an indoor range of approximately 100 meters. Each node included sensors for light, temperature, and humidity.
Each mote was powered from wall power (rather than batteries) and was connected to the departmental Ethernet, which facilitated direct capture of data and uploading of new programs. The Ethernet connection was used as a debugging and reprogramming feature only, as nodes generally communicated via radio.
Nodes ran the TinyOS operating system and were programmed in the NesC programming language, a component-oriented variant of C. Typically, application prototyped using either the TOSSIM simulation environment or with a handful of motes on a desktop. The MoteLab web interface was then used to upload programs to the building-wide network.