The IoT field is interesting and many new technologies are being introduced by IoT engineers everyday. There are some projects which we cant even dream of but have been accomplished in the IoT field. There are so many problems in the word that are waiting to be solved with IoT solutions. Building IoT solutions has also become very easy nowadays because of the number of prototyping boards and kits that are available in the market.
What I’ve done so far
My very first project was to build a CI build status indicator board supporting 16 projects. For this I made use of few LEDs, an MC74hc, few capacitors and the Arduino UNO to control everything. Since I already had an electronics background, these things were not so interesting to me. But the part that I loved the most learning and doing was integrating the Arduino UNO with the CI server – Jenkins – used in our office. I got the change to learn about web hooks, pub-sub and CI in general. Only after this project I completely understood and realized the potential of combining the internet and physical devices – IoT.
My second project was not very complex but I worked with a new and cool toy – the Arduino Yun which has a WiFi chip on board which is really useful. This project involved monitoring the room temperature in our office using the DHT11 sensor which is capable of measuring both temperature and humidity, and reporting the data to a Node.js server which persisted the readings in MongoDB. This data was accessible in a mobile app written using Apache Cordova. The app had lovely graphs created by few of my colleagues to visualize the temperature and humidity data. One other interesting part of this project is the bot we wrote for our internal chat service, HipChat, that allowed anyone to know the current temperature by sending a message to the bot. Also the bot intelligently notifies whenever the temperature rises above a certain limit.
But working with the Yun was no easy business. The first stumbling block came when I had to upgrade the Arduino IDE to 1.6.3. That was pretty straightforward but then I faced issues with getting the Yun to access the wifi network. The friendly folks at the Arduino forum helped me get through these issues and pointed me to some nice libraries supported on the Yun.
Then I came across the various backend services that allows us to connect the Arduino Yun to things from simple Excel Spreadsheets to MySQL databases and to client libraries for Ruby, Python, Java, etc and to social media services including Twitter, Facebook and also to email. One of such services is Temboo. Working with Temboo was so fun. I managed to replace the original Node.js backend for my temperature monitoring app with Temboo.
Another project that I worked on was health related. We were working on a prototype for a portable health monitoring system that can measure and monitor the temperature, pulse & blood pressure of people.
For measuring the pulse rate I used the SEN11574 sensor and for body temperature measurement I used a thermistor. Then I hooked the Arduino to a MySQL server through a Rails backend. We have lots to do in the project and I am looking forward to seeing the end result. I will write a separate blog on this once its done 🙂
Coming from an electronics background I was very well versed with all the physical aspects of IoT but after joining Spritle and starting to work on IoT projects and prototypes I have fully understood the big picture of IoT and I feel liberated and empowered by realizing how much we can do by combining the power of the internet with hardware systems.
Are you working on anything interesting? Please leave your comments below!
Some useful links gathered over the months I worked on IoT:
Online hardware stores