Tag Archives: IoT

Internet of Voice Challenge with Amazon and hackster.io

via Raspberry Pi

Many of you have been using the Raspberry Pi as a platform for internet of things (IoT) hacking. With wired and wireless communication on board, Raspberry Pi 3 is a great platform for connecting the network, and network-accessible services, to the real world.

Where we're going, we don't need roads

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads

Voice recognition can add a whole new dimension to IoT projects. We recently showed you how to connect your Raspberry Pi to Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service to build your very own homebrew clone of the Echo voice appliance. Now, in partnership with Amazon and hackster.io, we’re giving you a chance to win Echo kit and Amazon gift vouchers by developing your own “internet of voice” projects with the Raspberry Pi.

I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission

I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission

Prizes will be awarded in two categories: best use of the Alexa Skills Kit as an integral part of the project, and best use of the Alexa Voice Service. The top prizes in each category are worth $1900, and the contest runs until the start of August. Head to hackster.io for more information, and good luck!

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Ring a bell with Node-RED and Twitter

via Raspberry Pi

This is a great beginner’s project from Red Reef Digital for those new to Node-RED. Node-RED is IBM’s browser-based, visual tool – looking just like a flow chart – for IoT programming. It seemed to come out of nowhere a couple of years ago, but it’s very easy to get your head around, and we’ve seen some great stuff done with it. (Winner? Probably the dinosaurs.)

Your instructions will end up looking like this:


The results being that you can ding a physical dinger by sending a command over Twitter.

Node-RED comes preinstalled in Raspbian Jessie, so you’ve probably got it ready to go for your Pi already.

The sales bell is a thing many businesses use as a motivational tool. The story goes that back in the Mesozoic, Amazon staff would ring a bell every time one of them made a sale. This worked well for a while, but eventually it had to be turned off, because a bell droning away constantly doesn’t make for a pleasant working environment.

(The bell approach remains much more effective than one of those Successories posters.)


For those businesses selling a human-scale number of items, and who like the motivating tinkle of the sales bell (and who doesn’t like a motivating tinkle?), this is a nice way to implement it, especially in a large office with only one bell. Users can send a message to Twitter, and the bell will tinkle. Motivatingly.


Here are Red Reef Digital to show you how.

#RingTheMorningBell for Small Business with Red Reef Digital!

We love Chase Bank’s morning bell campaign for small businesses so much that we built a Twitter-connected bell that will ring every time someone uses the hashtag #RingTheMorningBell. Powered by a RaspberryPi running NodeRED and MeshBlu.

If you’re looking for a getting-started Node-RED project, this seems a great place to begin – and it’s a project that you can start to build on and adapt very easily. (We’re thinking lights. Motors. Sirens.)

Red Reef Digital have made a neat little tutorial, with a parts list, wiring diagrams, code and step-by-step instructions. Let us know if you build this or adapt it; we’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

The post Ring a bell with Node-RED and Twitter appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Massimo Banzi explores the meaning of the IoT

via Arduino Blog

Back at Arduino Day 2016, Massimo Banzi explored the true meaning of the Internet of Things in a more philosophical, approachable way. During his presentation, the Arduino co-founder touched upon the current state of the industry, some guiding principles, as well as what the future may entail.

“A lot of people are trying to build products that are connected, but not a lot of stuff makes a lot of sense right now. There’s a lot of strange stuff happening. It’s the beginning of an industry,” Banzi explained. “There’s a couple of misconceptions. A lot of people tend to equate the Internet of Things with smart thermostats for your home, and it’s much more than that. The part of the IoT that right now is impacting and can impact your life the most is the least sexy one.”

You can watch the entire talk below:

Aquarium lighting and weather system

via Raspberry Pi

We spotted this aquarium project on YouTube, and were struck with searing pangs of fishy jealousy; imagine having a 2000-litre slice of the Cayman Islands, complete with the weather as it is right now, in your living room.


aMGee has equipped his (enormous) tropical fish tank, full of corals as well as fish, with an IoT Raspberry Pi weather system. It polls a weather station in the Cayman Islands every two minutes and duplicates that weather in the tank: clouds; wind speed and direction; exact sunset and sunrise times; and moon phase, including the direction the moon travels across the tank.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 14.23.34

The setup uses three 100W and 18 20W multi-chip leds, which are controlled separately by an Arduino that lives on top of the lamp. There’s also a web interface, just in case you feel like playing Thor.

DIY LED aquarium lighting with real time weather simulation

DIY LED aquarium lighting project for my reef tank. The 660 watts fixture simulates the weather from Cayman Islands in real time. 3 x 100 watts and 18 x 20 watts multi-chip leds controlled separately by an arduino sitting on the lamp).

If you want to learn more, aMGee answers questions about the build (which, sadly, doesn’t have a how-to attached) at the Reef Central forums.

It’s a beautiful project, considerably less expensive (and more satisfying) than any off-the-shelf equivalent; and a really lovely demonstration of meaningful IoT. Thanks aMGee!

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Bring IoT features to Arduino boards with the Yún Shield!

via Arduino Blog


Great news for Makers working on IoT projects! The Arduino and Genuino Yún Shield — now available on our online store for $49.90/€43.90 — is a device that enables you to easily bring Yún features to Arduino and Genuino boards supporting shields.

It’s the perfect shield to start connecting your projects to the Internet thanks to the Yún Web Panel and the dedicated ”YunFirstConfig” sketch. This new feature, implemented in the new Arduino Software (IDE) 1.6.9, allows you to manage your shield preferences and upload your sketch on the attached Arduino or Genuino. Like the previous Yún board, the Yún Shield uses the Bridge library and extends your board capabilities using the Linux processor.

The new Yún family runs the latest version of OpenWRT (15.05 Chaos Calmer), which offers an additional layer of security and a large amount of bug fixes over previous Yún distribution. The precompiled package list is huge (we have more than 4,000 packages ready to be installed), and if you still can’t find what you are looking for, you can use the community provided repositories since the new release is fully modular (not a fork).

Want to learn more? Explore all there is to know about the Yún Shield, including its documentation via the links below:

Go hands-on with these dedicated tutorials:

Got any question? Join the forum!


ESP8266 Based Irrigation Controller

via hardware – Hackaday

If you just want to prevent your garden from slowly turning into a desert, have a look at the available off-the-shelf home automation solutions, pick one, lean back and let moisture monitoring and automated irrigation take over. If you want to get into electronics, learn PCB design and experience the personal victory that comes with all that, do what [Patrick] did, and build your own ESP8266 based irrigation controller. It’s also a lot of fun!

[Patrick] already had a strong software background and maintains his own open source home automation system, so building his own physical hardware to extend its functionality was a logical step. In particular, [Patrick] wanted to add four wirelessly controlled valves to the system.

He started by designing the circuit that would do the job using EAGLE. An interface circuit from transistors and relays would help the ESP8266 to drive the electromechanical valves. Because these require 24 V AC to open, a clean and simple switched mode power supply circuit based on the LM2596T was employed to convert the already present 24 V AC supply voltage down to 3.3 V DC for the ESP8266. A few status LEDs were added to check the system status at a glance. One could’ve wasted a few optocouplers on the relay part – but in case of the ESP8266, why bother to spend more on protection circuitry than on the µC, right?

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES[Patrick] was crafty enough to avoid a few of the common pitfalls when starting with building hardware projects. He knew the EPS8266 boots with the GPIOs set high, so he used PNP transistors in the relay circuit to avoid sprinkling his lawn every time the device starts up. Also, he added footprints for some optional components to the board, just in case something wouldn’t work as expected, which turned out to be very helpful in the end.

The board layout was then sent to a manufacturer. After assembling the retrieved PCBs, [Patrick] noticed the RX/TX pins on the programming header were reversed, so a pin-re-reversing adapter would be required. Also, the chip antenna on the ESP-03 turned out to be rather weak. Luckily, an optional U.FL connector footprint was present, so an external antenna could be added easily.

On the firmware side, [Patrick] uses his own “DWN” protocol, which allows new devices to notify the home automation server about their presence and type. The firmware also prevents overwatering by limiting the maximum ON-time for a valve to 30 minutes. Eventually, the controller board went into a rugged enclosure and not only the finished build but also the schematics, layout and firmware have been released into the wild. We’re sure you’ll find this well-documented project a great resource for your next home automation project!

Filed under: green hacks, hardware