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Falling In Love With My Sentilla Perk Kit

Posted by brunogh on August 18, 2008 at 8:30 PM PDT

I just received my Sentilla Perk (Pervasive Computing Kit) some hours ago (Picture 1). I want to thank Sentilla so much and, in special, Cheryl Hall, for being very attentive. If you don't know Sentilla yet, it wons the Duke Awards in Pervasive Solutions category this year at JavaOne!

I have installed my kit on Windows Vista, it is described in the box that Windows XP is required. Anyway, it worked and it seems there is a beta version for Linux and Mac OS X too. The dev forum in the previous link needs registering, so be sure you create an user before.


Picture 1. The kit

The basic steps to start are (from the instructions that came in the kit):

  1. Setup the Motes (Install the batteries and switch them one)
  2. Install Software (Insert the CD and install the IDE)
  3. Insert the Gateway (in a USB port)
  4. Install Drivers (from USB Serial Drivers folder in the CD)
  5. Launch Sentilla (Launch the IDE called Sentilla Work)
  6. Get Started! (Go ahead, take a look in the demos and create your own applications)

Sentilla Work is based on Eclipse (Picture 2), so you will not have problems to start developing. There is a Welcome page that shows how to start and how to install Sentilla Work Mote Project, which contains a lot of useful demos.


Picture 2. Sentilla Work

Sentilla Perk Kit is a CLDC-compliant Java ME-based platform (CLDC 1.1). Because talk is cheap, here it goes a very simple Hello World based on a code available on Mote Project. The snippet is very simple and blinks the red LED every one second. As you can see, there is no MIDP lifecycle and it defines its own libraries. The deploy on the motes are done very easy in the IDE using the gateway. The application running is in the Picture 1 as well.

import com.sentilla.system.Leds;
import com.sentilla.system.LedsDriver;

public class MoteBlinkRed {
    public static void motemain() throws InterruptedException {
        Leds leds = LedsDriver.create();
        while (true) {

Get started too! Keep an eye here, my fun is guaranteed until the end of the year! :)


Bruno Ghisi

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Email me with the application you intend to create and you will get a free Perk kit.

Hello hlavalle, that is very weird, because I have heard about some brazilian people that got the project approved. Try to send an email to them. Thanks.

Bruno, I went to look at the the Sun SPOT Open Grant Program you mentioned. But it is not for us, from Brazil, as it is not an eligible country.

Right you are. I just had to fill in something in the MAC address field, there was no validation done on it.

Hello TIA, I am sure you can register for free on If you don´t have the MAC address, just send an email to . I will try the Linux version as soon as I can too. Thanks.

I'm interested in information about the Linux beta. Your link leads to a registered user only forum. I need to have a kit to register just to read the forum. Could you perhaps post some info? I did search their site, but got nothing. TIA

Bruno--Thank you so much...CH

Thanks Jim! Probably will try something soon! :) Cheers!

Very cool, Bruno! So, are you going to write a cool JavaFX app for it? Thanks, Jim Weaver

erickson: Hello World is he idea to set up the whole environment and create something. Morse code will work, but I probably would take some time to understand it.

That is definitely a huge difference, forgot to mention. But, also, SPOTs accept proposals and gave kits for free:

If it's "Hello, World!" shouldn't it actually say "HELLO WORLD" (in Morse code)? :) That would be cool.

The main difference between Sentilla Perk Kit and Sun Spot is price. The Perk Kit is $199 while SunSpot is $750. During JavaOne, Janice Heiss wrote an article referencing the two (

Hello dxxvi , maybe this interview with Sentilla CTO made at JavaOne ( can help. They bring pervasive computing, but there are differences in both devices, like SPOTs are open source, uses IMP profile running on a Squawk ( , etc. Both are amazing to create those fun stuff!

What's the difference between this Sentilla and the Sun Spot Java Development Kit?

UPDATE: Sentilla is launching a developer portal: