Tag Archives: arduino

Create a voice-controlled device with Alexa and Arduino IoT Cloud in 7 minutes

via Arduino Blog

We’re excited to announce the launch of the official Arduino Amazon Alexa Skill. 

You can now securely connect Alexa to your Arduino IoT Cloud projects with no additional coding required. You could use Alexa to turn on the lights in the living room, check the temperature in the bedroom, start the coffee machine, check on your plants, find out if your dog is sleeping in the doghouse… the only limit is your imagination! 

Below are some of the features that will be available:

  • Changing the color and the luminosity of lights
  • Retrieving temperature and detect motion activity from sensors
  • Using voice commands to trigger switches and smart plugs

Being compatible with one of the most recognized cloud-based services on the market, bridges the communication gap between different applications and processes, and removes many tricky aspects that usually follows wireless connectivity and communication.

Using Alexa is as simple as asking a question — just ask, and Alexa will respond instantly. 

Integrating Arduino with Alexa is as quick and easy as these four simple steps:

1. Add the Arduino IoT Cloud Smart Home Skill.

2. Link your Arduino Create account with Alexa.

3. Once linked, go to the device tab in the Alexa app and start searching for devices.

4. The properties you created in the Arduino IoT Cloud now appear as devices!

Boom — you can now start voice controlling your Arduino project with Alexa!

IoT – secure connections

The launch of the Arduino IoT Cloud and Alexa integration brings easy cross platform communication, customizable user interfaces and reduced complexity when it comes to programming. These features will allow many different types of users to benefit from this service, where they can create anything from voice controlled light dimmers to plant waterers. 

While creating IoT applications is a lot of fun, one of the main concerns regarding IoT is data security. Arduino IoT Cloud was designed to have security as a priority, so our compatible boards come with an ECC508 crypto chip, ensuring that your data and connections remain secure and private to the highest standard. 

The latest update to the Arduino IoT Cloud enables users with a Create Maker Plan subscription to use devices based on the popular ESP8266, such as NodeMCU and ESPduino. While these devices do not implement a crypto chip, the data transferred over SSL is still encrypted. 

Getting started with this integration

In order to get started with Alexa, you need to go through a few simple steps to make things work smoothly:

  • Setting up your Arduino IoT Cloud workspace with your Arduino Create account
  • Getting an IoT Cloud compatible board
  • Installing the Arduino Alexa Skill

Setting up the Arduino IoT Cloud workspace

Getting started with the Arduino IoT Cloud is fast and easy, and by following this tutorial you will get a detailed run through of the different functionalities and try out some of the examples! Please note, you will need an Arduino Create account in order to use the Arduino IoT Cloud and a compatible board.

Getting an IoT Cloud compatible board

The Arduino IoT Cloud currently supports the following Arduino boards: MKR 1000, MKR WiFi 1010, MKR GSM 1400 and Nano 33 IoT. You can find and purchase these boards from our store

The following properties in the Arduino IoT Cloud can currently be used with Alexa:

  • Light
  • Dimmable light
  • Colored light
  • Smart plug
  • Smart switch
  • Contact sensor
  • Temperature sensor
  • Motion sensor

Any of these properties can be created in the Arduino IoT Cloud platform. A sketch will be generated automatically to read and set these properties.

Installing the Arduino Alexa Skill

To install the Arduino Alexa Skill, you will need to have an Amazon account and download the latest version of the Alexa app on a smartphone or tablet, or use the Amazon Web application. You can find the link to the Amazon Alexa app here. Once we are successfully logged into the app, it is time to make the magic happen. 


To integrate Alexa and Arduino IoT Cloud, you need to add the Arduino Skill. Then link your Arduino Create account with Alexa. Once linked, select the device tab in the Alexa app and start discovering devices.

The smart home properties already in existence in the Arduino IoT Cloud now appear as devices, and you can start controlling them with the Alexa app or your voice!

For more information, please visit the Arduino Alexa Skill.

Step-by-step guide to connecting Arduino IoT Cloud with Alexa

 A simple and complete step-by-step guide showing you how to connect the Arduino IoT Cloud with Alexa is available via this tutorial.

Share your creativity with us!

Community is everything for Arduino, so we would love to see what you create! Make sure you document and share your amazing projects for example on Arduino Project Hub and use the #ArduinoAlexa hashtag to make it discoverable by everyone! 

This New Nano Pack Has EVERYthing You Need

via Arduino Blog

The Arduino Nano Every is now available in a 3 and 6 pack – perfect for running a course or powering all your projects with Arduino.

For those countless creations requiring a small and easy to use microcontroller board, the Nano Every has the tiniest Arduino form factor out there measuring just 45x18mm. Whether you’re working on a low-cost robotics project for the entire classroom or presenting a complex prototype with many functional blocks, this pack offers exactly what you need – a batch of Nano Every boards at a great price! 

This robust little board costs as little as €7.50 each ($9.30 each) in the 6 pack, saving €0.50 ($0.60) per board versus the single. It’s now more affordable than ever to forecast the local across town by building your own little band of Gnome Weather Forecasters in your class.

If you are interested in the ARDUINO NANO EVERY – PACK, visit the Arduino online store at this link.

Rolling robot transformed into a zip lining contraption

via Arduino Blog

MOREbot is an Arduino-powered educational robotic platform that’s currently available for pre-order. While the base kit is geared (literally and figuratively) towards building a small two-motor robot, MORE Technologies CEO Canon Reeves shows off how it can be reconfigured into an RC zip lining device in the video below.

The project uses the kit’s DC motors for traversing the cable, with O-rings that normally form the tires taken off in order to grip the top of a paracord. Everything is controlled by an Arduino Uno and a motor shield, while a Bluetooth module provides wireless connectivity. Control is via an iPad app, which simply rotates both motors at the same time as needed.

Since the parts are all modular, Reeves is planning on adding a few other attachments including a GoPro camera mount and perhaps even a servo that lets him drop a payload like a water balloon from it.

ElastImpact brings a bit more realism to VR

via Arduino Blog

If you’ve ever used a VR system and thought what was really missing is the feeling of being hit in the face, then a team researchers at the National Taiwan University may hold just the solution. 

ElastImpact takes the form of a head-mounted display with two impact drivers situated roughly parallel to one’s eyes for normal — straight-on — impacts, and another that rotates about the front of your face for side blows.

Each impact driver first stretches an elastic band using a gearmotor, then releases it with a micro servo when an impact is required. The system is controlled by an Arduino Mega, along with a pair of TB6612FNG motor drivers. 

Impact is a common effect in both daily life and virtual reality (VR) experiences, e.g., being punched, hit or bumped. Impact force is instantly produced, which is distinct from other force feedback, e.g., push and pull. We propose ElastImpact to provide 2.5D instant impact on a head-mounted display (HMD) for realistic and versatile VR experiences. ElastImpact consists of three impact devices, also called impactors. Each impactor blocks an elastic band with a mechanical brake using a servo motor and extending it using a DC motor to store the impact power. When releasing the brake, it provides impact instantly. Two impactors are affixed on both sides of the head and connected with the HMD to provide the normal direction impact toward the face (i.e., 0.5D in z-axis). The other impactor is connected with a proxy collider in a barrel in front of the HMD and rotated by a DC motor in the tangential plane of the face to provide 2D impact (i.e., xy-plane). By performing a just-noticeable difference (JND) study, we realize users’ impact force perception distinguishability on the heads in the normal direction and tangential plane, separately. Based on the results, we combine normal and tangential impact as 2.5D impact, and performed a VR experience study to verify that the proposed 2.5D impact significantly enhances realism.

TipText enables one-handed text entry using a fingertip keyboard

via Arduino Blog

Today when you get a text, you can respond with message via an on-screen keyboard. Looking into the future, however, how would you interact unobtrusively with a device that’s integrated into eyeglasses, contacts, or perhaps even something else?

TipText is one solution envisioned by researchers at Dartmouth College, which uses a MPR121 capacitive touch sensor wrapped around one’s index finger as a tiny 2×3 grid QWERTY keyboard.

The setup incorporates an Arduino to process inputs on the grid and propose a number of possible words on a wrist-mounted display that the user can select by swiping right with the thumb. A new word is automatically started when the next text entry tap is received, allowing for a typing speed of around 12-13 words per minute.

Proxino takes your virtual circuit into the real world

via Arduino Blog

While circuit simulation tools become more accessible all the time, at some point it’s necessary to actual build your device and test it. Proxino, developed by researchers at Dartmouth College, takes a different approach, and enables you to virtually create a circuit, then test parts of it as needed with electronic components via physical proxies. 

To accomplish this, Proxino hardware sits on an Arduino Uno as a shield, and generates the virtual circuit’s responses to inputs. This setup allows for the implementation of physical elements like buzzers, lights, and sensors to complement the simulated environment, which can even be shared by remote collaborators in different locations. 

Proxino certainly looks like it could be an excellent instructional tool, or perhaps more!