Tag Archives: Uncategorized

Upload your sketch over-the-air with the Arduino IoT Cloud!

via Arduino Blog

Over-the-air (or OTA) programming is a very useful feature in all those cases where your devices are located in places that are not easily accessible. For example, you built a weather station using the Oplá IoT Kit, situated it on your rooftop, and started monitoring the weather from an IoT Cloud dashboard. That’s great until you find a bug or want to modify something and have to climb on your roof with a laptop to do so. Here’s where OTA becomes handy. 

If you have connected an Arduino Nano 33 IoT or a MKR WiFi 1010 to the Arduino IoT Cloud, you can now update the sketch using a wireless connection from the web.

How it works

To use OTA, you need to do two things: enable a device and create a Thing.

To enable a device, you need to connect a board to the IoT Cloud and update the firmware. Just plug the device into the USB, go to the Device tab, and click Add Device. A wizard will guide you through the process — at the end, your board will be available as a target for the upload over-the-air and you will be able to update the sketch remotely!

A Thing is a component that manages the dialogue between the cloud and the physical device thanks to a dedicated library (the Arduino Connection Handler), and stores the data into the cloud. Creating a Thing is simple: just select the voice from the IoT Cloud’s main menu, configure the variables that you want to exchange with the device, and pair the board that you have just enabled.

If you are new to the IoT Cloud, here is an in-depth tutorial on how to build an IoT project with Arduino Create. Once you have configured a Thing, you will be able to perform OTA updates. 

Devices that can be updated via OTA will appear in the dropdown list of all updatable devices in the online editors of Create — the full Web Editor and the new Sketch Editor have been introduced in the Thing configuration page to make minor changes to the code.

This Sketch Editor is one of the innovations that we have introduced in the IoT Cloud with two objectives in mind: 

1. Help those who are learning to program with Arduino follow the tutorials of IoT projects, such as those included in the Oplà IoT Kit.

2. Allow users to quickly make small changes to the sketch, which do not require access to libraries or more sophisticated editing functions.

More resources

If you want to know more about OTA and the redesign of the IoT Cloud, we have prepared a couple of detailed tutorials that will walk you through the exploration of the new features. 

Uploading sketches over-the-air (OTA)

Getting started with the Arduino IoT Cloud

New to Arduino Create? It’s a platform that helps you develop and manage connected projects with Arduino, featuring tools to code, monitor, and control devices from the Internet and your smartphones. Sign up for free now!

Don’t miss any updates and receive amazing projects from Arduino in your inbox! 

Mesmerize your holiday guests with these motor-driven rheoscopic fluid ornaments

via Arduino Blog

We’ve all see Christmas ornaments shaped like a ball – interesting, but a bit passive. Will Donaldson, however, has created an amazing enhancement for these “orbaments,” adding a rheoscopic fluid inside that shows turbulent swirling patterns as it moves.

The fluid is simply tap water and food coloring, plus the special rheoscopic concentrate that contains an array of light reflecting particles. To maintain a state or turbulence, Donaldson affixed a small drone-style motor to the hanger assembly on top of each orb using hot glue.

Motors were inserted with propellers attached, which were bent to fit inside. To vary the speed of the turbulence, Donaldson added an Arduino Nano, along with an L293 driver, using the analogWrite() function for PWM control.

Smart Fairy Tale

via Arduino Blog

As an exhibit at the Phaneo Science Center in Wolfsburg, Germany, Niklas Roy and Felix Figus created a remotely-operated storytelling machine dubbed “Smart Fairy Tale.”

When initiated, a little red ball rolls down the apparatus’ transparent tubing, triggering different interactions based on the interruption of light sensors along its path. 25 Arduino Nanos are used to control each individual animatronic part of the “story,” making the code manageable and allowing the overall installation to still work if there’s a malfunction in one section.

To start the Smart Fairy Tale, people can log on to its Raspberry Pi server, where they can also change how it works. Animations were designed with the help of donated toys, inspirational drawings from kids, and the participation of artist Wolfgang Kowar – a truly public art exhibit!

More information on the Smart Fairy Tale machine can be found in Roy’s blog post or on Figus’ website.

This useless box has lights, sounds, and a real attitude

via Arduino Blog

You’ve probably seen an example of the “useless box,” or “useless machine,” which when switched on does nothing except open up to turn itself back off again. This one by creator Alex Pikkert adds a few new tricks, giving it a bit of a mood, and not one but two switches and fingers!

When switched on, the device uses a micro servo to open the box. The correct finger then extends under the power of one of the other two servos to turn the particular switch you flipped off again.

To help give it “attitude,” the Arduino Uno-controlled unit employs a pair of ID1820 sound boards that let it squawk out giggles and other noises as it seems to become increasingly annoyed over time. Tri-color LEDs can also flash angrily next to the switches, and there’s an as-yet unused passive infrared sensor, potentially usable for further automated hijinks.

Retro cassette player gets modern MP3 playback and RFID functionality

via Arduino Blog

When creator mattb_138’s parents were cleaning out their house, he came across an old cassette player and decided to upgrade it with MP3 capabilities and an RFID interface.

The newly-enhanced device uses an Arduino Nano for control, along with a DFPlayer Mini module to play songs stored on a microSD card. An RC522 reader enables him to select tracks based on RFID cards, printed with their appropriate album art.

The cassette player’s internals are kept largely stock, using a potentiometer to adjust the volume of the original speakers. Two buttons are also implemented with long and short press functionality, allowing for pause/play, skip, shuffle, and selection between A/B “side” of each card.

You can find more details on the upcycled project — which was inspired by the Juuke RFID playerin mattb_138’s Instructables tutorial.

Getting Involved in 2020

via Open Source Ecology

We are getting ready for ambitious plans post-COVID 19. Next year we are releasing the Seed Eco-Home as a turnkey product that you can build with a friend in one week – for US$50k. And as I say, that is only the beginning.

You can sign up for announcements on the Seed Eco-Home release progress at the Seed Eco-Home Interest List. You can participate in a large collaborative hackathon for product release – or you can order a turnkey kit after product release.

The Seed Home is a product designed to solve housing by providing effective and low cost, reconfigurable, Incremental Housing solutions in infill or large-scale developments up to 3 floors high, either for owner-builders or those who want to start a construction business. We are solving for access to housing, which in its deeper sense involves upskilling that allows for more people to have economic access. We start with access to housing that can be build in the most efficient and effective manner – by using an open and collaborative development model intended to change human economic history.

There are many other ways to get involved:


  1. Join the OSE Workshops FB Group
  2. Sign up for our monthly newsletterOSEmail
  3. Open Building Institute
  4. Open Source Ecology – Germany
  5. YouTube Channel
  6. Follow OSE on Twitter
  7. Request a workshop to be held in a location near you – [1]

Start an OSE Chapter

  1. Formal OSE Chapters are the deepest way that anyone can get involved in OSE work. We are announcing this possibility starting July 2020 – and this is an ambitious initiative intended to select for a deeper level of commitment to address the continuity issues of a volunteer-based organization. The procedure at this point is to take a 1 year full time or 2 year part time immersion program and start an official OSE Chapter in another location, outside of OSE International in Missouri, USA. Chapters are funded by programmatic revenue (workshops, STEAM Camps, machine builds and sales such as the 3D printer), spend 50% of their time on further research and development to bring the GVCS to completion by 2028. See more at OSE Mentorship and apply.


  1. Participate in our workshops and programs. Put yourself on our interest map, and if we have anough people in a location, we can organize a workshop near that location.
  2. Be part of our Tech Team: become an OSE_Developer. Take a look at our Current Projects to see what is under active development – and then join an active project.
  3. Join us for periodic Design Sprints where we do large-scale collaborative development. The way it works: we define a collaboration architecture for an ambitious goal, and recruit subject matter experts (SMEs) with relevant skills to collaborate. SME areas cover technical development, documentation, enterprise development, and more.
  4. Create a Wiki Account
  5. Build our machines. You can see the current State of Completion, and pick machines for replication from our growing menu of product releases.
  6. Produce Parts for OSE. We currently make and sell the OSE line of 3D printers. We are looking for people to print parts for us using our machines. In addition, we are looking for open source suppliers of electronics, power supplies, metal, and other components that go into the 3D printer – with the caveat that the parts are produced using fully open source, DIN SPEC 3105-compliant toolchains. This means we are actively working on bringing production back everywhere in the world.

Build Community

  1. OSE Meetups – start a meetup in your town and work towards completion of the Global Village Construction Set by developing derivative products that lead to the Open Source Economy.
  2. OSE_Clubs Collaboration – Start an OSE Club – Get students involved in large-scale collaboration by turning class time into global collaboration time. See
  3. Open Source Ecology Classroom Initiative – turn your classroom into a hotspot of global collaboration.
  4. OSE_Chapters_at_Universities – begin developing the open source economy while you are in college. Coming 2021 – Extreme U
  5. OSE_National_Chapters – regional and national chapters
  6. OSE_Incentive_Challenge – annual grand event
  7. Do you know any Subject Matter Experts who could help provide expertise? Help us with our SME Search.


  1. Buy our products. 100% of our proceeds go to a nonprofit cause to change the world.
  2. Sign up for our workshops. Get exposed to Extreme Manufacturing swarm-based builds.
  3. Subscribe to support this work financially as a True Fan
  4. Donate to OSE. We are a 501(c)3 education organization.

The post Getting Involved in 2020 appeared first on Open Source Ecology.