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Archive for the ‘Internet of Things’ Category

Consider how interactive devices have come to dominate our lives. Once the purview of a select few in large laboratories, powerful gadgets—supercomputers even—are carried with us everywhere we go in the form of smartphones. And as everything around us becomes increasingly more connected, those that have no interest in the technical aspects of computing will still need to know how to configure the networked things throughout their homes.

As an experiment in interactive design, Austrian researchers Florian Güldenpfennig, Daniel Dudo, and Peter Purgathofer have come up with a ‘Magic Paradigm’ for programming.

Their project uses a wand with a built-in RFID reader, allowing it to sense which RFID tagged object it’s pointing to and register various sequences. This enables devices to be customized as needed, many of which contain an Arduino Nano as ‘active’ units and an nRF24L01+ module for communication. A central desktop/Arduino setup is also implemented to coordinate system elements.

We are surrounded by an increasing number of smart and networked devices. Today much of this technology is enjoyed by gadget enthusiasts and early adaptors, but in the foreseeable future many people will become dependent on smart devices and Internet of Things (IoT) applications, desired or not. To support people with various levels of computer skills in mastering smart appliances as found, e.g., in smart homes, we propose the ‘magic paradigm’ for programming networked devices. Our work can be regarded as a playful ‘experiment’ towards democratizing IoT technology. It explores how we can program interactive behavior by simple pointing gestures using a tangible ‘magic wand’. While the ‘magic paradigm’ removes barriers in programming by waiving conventional coding, it simultaneously raises questions about complexity: what kind of tasks can be addressed by this kind of ‘tangible programming’, and can people handle it as tasks become complex? We report the design rationale of a prototypical instantiation of the ‘magic paradigm’ including preliminary findings of a first user trial.

As has been made abundantly clear by the advertising department of essentially every consumer electronics manufacturer on the planet: everything is improved by the addition of sensors and a smartphone companion app. Doesn’t matter if it’s your thermostat or your toilet, you absolutely must know at all times that it’s operating at peak efficiency. But why stop at household gadgets? What better to induct into the Internet of Things than 600 year old samurai weaponry?

Introducing the eKatana by [Carlos Justiniano]: by adding a microcontroller and accelerometer to the handle of a practice sword, it provides data on the motion of the blade as it’s swung. When accuracy and precision counts in competitive Katana exhibitions, a sword that can give you real time feedback on your performance could be a valuable training aid.

The eKatana is powered by an Adafruit Feather 32u4 Bluefruit LE and LSM9DS0 accelerometer module along with a tiny 110 mAh LiPo battery. Bundled together, it makes for a small and unobtrusive package at the base of the sword’s handle. [Carlos] mentions a 3D printed enclosure of some type would be a logical future improvement, though a practice sword that has a hollow handle to hold the electronics is probably the most ideal solution.

A real-time output of sword rotation, pitch, and heading is sent out by the Adafruit Feather over BLE for analysis by a companion smartphone application. For now he just has a running output of the raw data, but [Carlos] envisions a fully realized application that could provide the user with motions to perform and give feedback on their form.

Incidentally this isn’t the first motion-detecting sword we’ve ever covered, but we think this particular incarnation of the concept might have more practical applications.

When tossing something into the rubbish bin, do you ever concoct that momentary mental scenario where you’re on a basketball court charging the net — the game’s final seconds ticking down on the clock — making a desperate stretch and flicking some crumpled paper perfectly into the basket only for no one to notice your awesome skills? Well, now you can show off how good you are at throwing out garbage.

Well, not strictly garbage. The genesis of this IoT basketball hoop was in fact an inflatable ball on [Brandon Rice]’s desk that he felt would be more fun to fidget with if he could keep score. The hoop and backboard were laser cut on his Epilog cutter, and sport a Particle Photon to track and upload his running point tally to the Internet. An Arduino and IR sensor detect objects passing through the hoop — ultrasound proved to be too slow to keep up with [Rice]’s shots.

This smart hoop also has an LCD screen which displays [Rice]’s score, and a strip of LEDs that flash every five points. Not a bad way to spend $50, if you ask him. With the advent of smart basketball nets, there will be robots out-shooting us at free-throws in no-time. Wait, that’s already happened?

Dear Arduino Community,

Back in July, we announced that the original Arduino founders regained full control of Arduino as a company. It was the culmination of a project that lasted several months, which required a tremendous amount of effort in finding the right partner that could help us make it happen while keeping the spirit of Arduino true to itself.

Throughout the litigation we dreamed of reclaiming control of the company, bringing it back to its original principles while designing a strategy that would allow us to tackle the challenges of the contemporary IoT world.

In order to make his a reality, we needed a partner that would provide us with the resources to regain full ownership of Arduino as a company while keeping it independent and true to its values of openness.

It wasn’t easy, but more than a year ago, in the middle of the litigation, we started a conversation with an important technology company that is an essential building block of today’s digital world: Arm.

During a very hot day in spring I visited California to meet with Arm. It was a great meeting of minds and we determined that such a partnership was the right fit for us. Arm is an extremely innovative company whose processors can be found inside virtually every mobile device on the planet; but they don’t actually build silicon. Instead, they have created an ecosystem of a thousand-plus partners, some of whom compete with each other, but Arm works in harmony with all of them.

Arm recognized independence as a core value of Arduino. This was very important for us, as it meant full understanding of our need to work with multiple silicon vendors and architectures as long as they make sense for Arduino—without any lock-in with the Arm architecture.

Following the meeting with Arm, I was thrilled. I shared my excitement with our new CEO Fabio Violante and my cofounders: Arduino could again be 100% ours, with the help of a supportive partner that leaves complete autonomy to our team and our community.

We worked very hard for many months to make this happen, and Arm graciously agreed to support us to complete the operation.

What should you expect from us in the future? A stronger Arduino, free to innovate with more firepower, and plenty of enthusiasm for future challenges and opportunities.

We will continue to work with all technology vendors and architectures moving forward. We stay independent; we stay open, and we still provide the most loved microcontroller development platform that has changed the lives of so many people around the world.

We sit down to talk with Scott Shawcroft, an engineer at Adafruit, to discuss their hardware transition to CircuitPython.

Read more on MAKE

The post CircuitPython Snakes its Way onto Adafruit Hardware appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

 This is a guest post from Vaughn Shinall, Head of Product Outreach at Temboo. 

temboo_arduino_zero

Making 20,000 cakes more safely and efficiently every day, improving engine manufacturing for lawnmowers so they run more quietly, and designing farms to need less water. These are just a few examples of how Arduinos are being used everyday by engineers, businesses, and researchers with Temboo. Our embedded code generation engine empowers all sorts of people and organizations to program Arduino to connect to any cloud service, enabling ideas and creative applications all over the world.

Today we’re excited to announce a big update to our support for Arduino devices. In line with the great advances that Arduino has made with its development boards and Internet-connectivity shields recently, we’ve upgraded our generated code and Arduino library to support the latest Arduino hardware.

Temboo’s code generation engine now officially supports the following boards:

As well as the following Internet connectivity shields:

Temboo will generate code for these Arduino boards that is production-ready and optimized for embedded devices. You can even select the sensors, actuators, and GPIO pins you are working with in our interface so that the generated code automatically converts sensor readings into real world units and handles conditional logic to, for example, send an SMS alert whenever high temperatures are detected.

temboo_new_arduinos

Temboo also ensures that your sensor data and other information is protected in transit by establishing a secure connection from your board to the Temboo platform via HTTPS. As always, any information that you store on the Temboo platform is secured via military-grade encryption. Combining Temboo’s generated code with your Arduino board enables you to easily accomplish many common IoT tasks, from generating sensor data graphs viewable in any browser, to integrating with 100+ popular APIs, triggering sensor-based alerts via email and SMS, and remotely controlling actuators like LEDs, solenoids, fans, motors, and more.

Our customers in the food & beverage and manufacturing industries have been putting these features to good use on top of Arduino hardware, and they’re part of a growing trend. More and more types of engineers, from chemical and civil to mechanical and electrical, are incorporating Arduino and Temboo into their work and in the process acquiring new skills that can be applied to many engineering tasks, from retrofitting existing machinery for connectivity to remotely monitoring any type of physical asset.


temboo_ggp

We’re really excited about supporting the latest Arduino hardware, and will be regularly enhancing our Arduino library and generated code, so stay tuned for updates!

goblin2_A

We are happy to announce another new member in the Arduino AtHeart Program! GOBLIN 2 from Mexican startup VERSE Technology is an Arduino-friendly development board with powerful wireless capabilities and broad compatibility with industrial protocols like RS-485.

Designed for both IoT professionals and Makers alike, GOBLIN 2 features an ATmega328P MCU and SIM5320A module at its core, providing dual-band HSDPA and quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity, along with high accuracy 16-channel GPS. The SIM5320A enables GOBLIN 2 to connect with web servers through any cellular network, and includes a header for keyboards, microphones, and speakers. 

GOBLIN 2 is equipped with six analog and 10 digital ports (half of them work as PWM), and offers 24V, 5V and 3.3V voltage outputs. The board is powered by a LiPo battery, which can be charged through micro-USB or solar cell thanks to its built-in battery management system. 

According to VERSE Technology CEO Aaron Benitex:

“We are developing technology to monitor and control the billions of present and future Internet of Things-ready devices. GOBLIN 2 is a board that allows our users to measure parameters like temperature, humidity, position, and others in remote locations. We have designed it in a way that it can easily work with industrial sensors and other applications such as telemetry, weather, GPS systems, and more.”

GOBLIN 2 can be programmed using the Arduino IDE as well as Atmel Studio. Simply upload your code to the board via micro USB, and begin exploring the IoT. Want to learn more? Check out VERSE Technology website

Amazon Dash is a handy service, and when Amazon released their AWS IoT platform, [Brian Carbonette] felt that it left out all the hardware hackers from the tinkering fun. Seeking justice, he put together a guide for an Arduino Dash button aimed at hardware hackers and those who are still easing into the world.

For his build, [Carbonette] used an Arduino MKR1000, laying out a few different configuration options for building your button. He has also gone to great lengths to help all comers tackle the Arduino-Dash API communication process by building an AmazonDRS Arduino Library, which handles all the “boring details,” so you can focus on the hardware. With the warning that the software-side setup is tedious the first time around, [Carbonette] has included a detailed manual for setting up the aforementioned AmazonDRS library, some example code, and a breakdown thereof. He also suggests implementing other features — such as a notification if the item is out of stock on Amazon — to tie the project together.

[Carbonette] has also provided some external resources on various aspects of the project for those seeking greater depth and ideas for expanding beyond. Next thing you know you’ll be summoning Ubers and finding your misplaced phone.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

If you’re waiting for a much sought-after letter, checking your mailbox every five minutes can be a roller-coaster of emotion — not to mention time-consuming. If you fall into this trap, Hackaday.io user [CuriosityGym] as whipped up a mailbox that will send off an email once the snail-mail arrives.

The project uses an Arduino Uno, an ESP 8266 wifi module, and an idIoTware shield board — making specific use of its RGB LED and light dependent resistor(LDR). Configuring the RGB LED on the idIoTware board to a steady white light sets the baseline for the LDR, and when a letter is dropped in the box, the change in brightness is registered by the LDR, triggering the Arduino to send off the email.

idIoTware Mailbox DemoThey used a service called IFTTT — If This Then That — to set up the email process, but feel free to use whatever is most comfortable for you. Be sure to insulate your board properly if you have a metal mailbox! Or, forego the standard letter receptacle and build the smartest mailbox you may ever see.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, home hacks

For years, the open-source philosophy of Arduino has been the inspiration to robots, drones, medical and space research, interactive art, musical instruments, 3D printers, and so much more. Now, Arduino is on a mission to radically simplify the way you build smart devices. Introducing ESLOV, a revolutionary plug-and-play IoT invention kit.

ESLOV consists of intelligent modules that join together to create projects in minutes with no prior hardware or programming knowledge necessary. Just connect the modules using cables or mounting them on the back of our WiFi and motion hub. When done, plug the hub into your PC.

ESLOV’s visual code editor automatically recognizes each module, displaying them on your screen. Draw the connections between the modules on the editor, and watch your project come to life. From there, publish your device to the Arduino Cloud and interact with it remotely from anywhere (including your phone). The Arduino Cloud’s user-friendly interface simplifies complex interactions with sliders, buttons, value fields, and more.

The ESLOV modules and hub can also be programmed with the wildly popular Arduino Editor — you can use either the online editor or the desktop-based IDE. With the provided libraries, you can customize the behavior of the existing modules, enhance the hub’s functionalities, as well as modify the protocols of both the hub and the modules.

With a total of 25 modules buttons, LEDs, air quality sensors, microphones, servos, and several others the possibilities are endless. Sample applications include everything from a monitor that lets you know if your baby is safe, to a washing machine notifier that tells you when your laundry is finished, to a thermostat that you can adjust while out of the house.

In line with the core values of the Arduino community, ESLOV’s hardware and software are open-source, enabling you to produce your own modules. Additionally, Arduino will welcome third-party modules from partners and other certified programs.

To accelerate its development in the open-source spirit, ESLOV — which began as part of a three-year EU-funded PELARS project — is now live on Kickstarter and needs your support.

The toolkit is offered in a variety of sizes, depending on the number of modules. Prices range from ~$55 USD to ~$499 USD, with multipacks and other opportunities available as well. Delivery is expected to get underway in June 2017.

In terms of hardware, the main hub is currently equipped with a Microchip SAM D21 ARM Cortex-M0+ MCU at 48MHz and built-in WiFi (just like the MKR1000). Each of the modules are small (2.5 x 2.5cm), low-power (3.3V), single-purpose boards featuring the same processor found at the heart of the Arduino/Genuino UNO: Microchip’s ATmega328P.

The modules can be reprogrammed via I2C bus or with an external programmer. ESLOV’s hardware includes firmware from our factory, dedicated to the specific function of each module.

The ESLOV connector has five pins (one more than standard I2C) for automatically configuring the module and handling the sleeping states to boost battery life. Tests can be performed on your computer via USB. The modules’ firmware and the hub’s software can be updated both using the USB cable and over-the-air (OTA).

Those heading to World Maker Faire in New York on October 1st-2nd can learn more about the kit inside the Microchip booth in Zone 3, as well as during Massimo Banzi’s “State of Arduino” presentation on Saturday at 1:30pm inside the New York Hall of Science Auditorium.

Want to learn more or back ESLOV for yourself? Check out its Kickstarter page!



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