Newbie question - advice on which Arduino board?

Hi, I’m an electrical engineering student, and have had Arduino recommended to me by my thesis supervisor. For my thesis, I’m planning on designing a system with 100 current sensors around a house sending data back to a base station (possibly a laptop).

Each of these sensors would need an MCU to interface between the sensor and the wireless communication device. I don’t yet know what either of these will be, but that may be influenced by what board I choose. I’m currently thinking either XBee or ANT for wireless and maybe something like this for the sensor [amploc.com/store/index.html].

So my question: What board would you recommend? Something small, efficient, low power, with good sleep mode and just a couple of ADC ports is all I need. I’m just overwhelmed by the amount of options out there, and don’t know where to start looking!

Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

The XBee has an MCU with an ADC built into it. If all you want to do is read in an ADC port and transmit it to a central "base" station that can all be done directly on the XBee unit - no external MCU required.

(That should also save a lot of $$$ since you need 100 of them.)

Thanks Robbo. Xbee is looking pretty attractive to me right now.

cool project would be nice to see the results

You should also check the jeenode :

http://news.jeelabs.org/2009/03/05/jeenode-v2-pcb/

The new YellowJacket from Asynclabs has an ATMega328 with a WiFi module packed onto a board the size of a box of matches.

http://www.asynclabs.com/

If you want to go wireless, it’s hard to beat WiFi and they are cheap too.

http://www.asynclabs.com/store?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=24&category_id=11