Have a project that calls for not just one gizmo, but a swarm? Particle.io made the Xenon to be the brains of each node of that swarm. It’s the building block for their push to make building mesh networks easy, if not downright fun.

The big idea of a mesh network is that you want to blanket an area with sensors or ‘bots. Maybe you want a soil moisture sensor in every 10 feet of your farmland. Or you want a gas buildup sensor every few feet down your mine. Whatever it is you’re measuring or manipulating, you need to scatter devices far and wide. And of course, you want to do it cheaply, without spending too many dollars or hours to get results. This is where mesh networks shine, and the Xenon is strong offering for building one.

Imagine a mesh network being laid out like a tree. Each sensor or robot in the network is a “leaf” of the tree, collecting information or changing the world. The “branches” of the tree carry sensor readings from those leaves back to your servers on the Internet. Or the branches carry commands from the Internet to robot “leaves”. The Xenon is meant to be the main building block for a mesh network: It has the battery-saving features make a good “leaf” node, and should serve well for the “branches” as well.

The Xenon is built to mesh, and only to mesh; not as a standalone board. You’ll need one last board to complete the mesh: A Particle Argon for connecting your mesh to the Internet over Wi-Fi, or a Particle Boron for connecting over the cellular network.