Welcome to the Adafruit IOT Monthly for the spooky month of October. This newsletter highlights projects and updates about Adafruit IO – our Internet-of-Things Service for makers, but also contains news, stories, and advances in IOT.
Adafruit IO News: Features and Updates
IO News highlights what’s new on Adafruit IO, our internet-of-things service for makers. There’s been some new updates to the platform, and an feature to look forwards to coming in the (very near) future.
Dashboard Updates: Indicator and Icon Blocks, Drag-and-drop Images
We’re excited to tell you about two new blocks we’ve added to Adafruit IO dashboards recently to help you build richer interfaces. Icons and Indicators, two features that have been requested a lot in the last few years.
You can use Icon blocks as live changeable visual displays by sending different values to the feed, as in the example above, or as permanent labels to improve the display of your data. Drop a text block next to an icon block on your dashboard and drop some icons into the text block to see how they look.
Want to add some indicator LEDs on your dashboard to display the status of a specific feed at a glance? We’ve added Indicator blocks which let you pick an ON color and an OFF color and then describe which state the Indicator block should be in based on conditions you set. The block compares the selected feed’s current value to the given conditions and chooses a color accordingly.
You can use as many of these as you’d like – they’re easier and cheaper than setting up a bunch of LEDs on your hardware!
Want to add a custom image to your dashboard? It’s now possible! Drag and drop images onto any Image dashboard block to automatically publish the properly formatted Base64 image data string to your feed.
New IOT Video: Welcome to Adafruit IO
Still don’t understand what Adafruit IO is but want to learn more about it? We made a new video about Adafruit IO to give a overview about the service to people interested in IOT, but don’t know where to get started. When you’re done watching it, visit Adafruit.io & start building your own internet of things project today!
Powered by Adafruit IO: Projects from the Community
Each month, we select our favorite projects from around the internet which use Adafruit IO. Here are some of our favorites:
Building a Motion-Activated Camera for Wildlife Photography
Patrick Moffitt’s neighborhood has lots of deer eating the grass of his front yard. Instead of building something to scare them away, he built a camera to take pictures of them. This project was also a learning experience for programming a device driver for the Weatherproof TTL Serial Camera. He used a Feather M0 WiFI along with a slew of parts available at the Adafruit Store to construct this camera.
Robot Gains #GoogleAssistant Voice Control with #AdafruitIO and #IFTTT
IgorF2 has been working on building a Wi-Fi controlled robotic tank. In the first iteration of this project, he used a ESP8266 and controlled it from his smartphone using the Blynk app. While this was fun, it wasn’t enough….
Zelda Heart Reacts to Twitter
Zelda fans – it’s time to put down your Ocarina and pick up a soldering iron! [Jeremy S. Cook] built a glowing 8-bit Zelda heart to light up differently depending on what people are tweeting him. The heart-shaped enclosure was built using a CNC mill to cut two layers of MDF which are held together using super strong (neodymium) magnets.
Are you working on a project which uses Adafruit IO and want to show it off? Add the (#adafruitio) hashtag to your tweets, Join our Discord channel (http://adafru.it/discord), or join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
New Adafruit Learning System Guides
Have you heard about making, cosplay and electronics, but don’t know where to start? Visit the Adafruit Learning System for over 1500 tutorials for electronics projects, ideas and techniques! We’ve selected two, internet-of-things-based, guides from the learning system:
Wouldn’t it be nice to get a friendlier heads up? Do you ever miss the old-school “You’ve got mail!” sound from your old AOL email client?
Let’s build a physical mailbox for your emails using Adafruit IO and IFTTT
We’ve also started a new Adafruit IO Series – The IO Home.
Interested in making your house a bit smarter? Why not start small by building a Cardboard Smart Home! Adafruit IO Home is a series of learning guides covering all aspects of a smart house: from temperature monitoring to an intelligent home security system.
Want to scale up from the cardboard home to a real home? We’ve selected real-world components, sensors, and hardware which can also be installed in your home, office or laboratory!
Adafruit IO Home: Lights and Temperature
Learn all about home automation by building a cardboard smart-house, controlling its lights, and monitoring temperature!
Adafruit IO Home: Security
A smart home is a safe home. In this guide, we’re going to take our cardboard smart-home and equip it with sensors to protect the home against intruders, wanna-be burglars, and invisible chemicals.
#IOTuesday: IOT News from around the ‘net
We publish the latest and most interesting IoT news from around the `net every Tuesday. Here’s some of our favorite recent stories.
Alexa Shelf Manager with Raspberry Pi
Can’t find where you put that resistor on your components shelf? Yep, me neither. Botmation decided they needed a quick and easy way to store their things. Naturally, they turned to Amazon’s Alexa Voice assistant and built a shelf around the idea of asking alexa “hey, where’s my Pi?”.
Waste Management is the biggest problem in all the countries. So to reduce the rate of overflow of the dustbins we have to propose a system which can easily send an alert from the dustbin to the respected person to take a proper action. This project is implemented for one dustbin which can send an Mail alert to the person who is responsible for that dustbin management.
Mapping NYC’s The Things Network with the Manhattan Mapper
The ManhattanMapper is a custom built mapping device used to measure network coverage from a car driving around New York City. It was constructed using Adafruit Feather boards with software written for the Arduino framework. The following describes the process of building the device and discusses the hardware and software involved.
Enjoyed skimming the Adafruit IOT Monthly? Leave us a comment below!
Here at Adafruit, we sell all of these amazing components, but we couldn’t find a good way to interact with them over the internet. There are certainly a lot of great services out there for datalogging, or communicating with your microcontroller over the web, but these services are either too complicated to get started, or they aren’t particularly fun to use. So, we decided to experiment with our own system, and that is how Adafruit IO got started.
To start, please visit https://io.adafruit.com, and take a look around.
Want to get started quickly? Get up and running with the Welcome to Adafruit IO Guide on the Adafruit Learning System.
We also have a blog/changelog specifically for Adafruit IO to keep you updated with the latest changes to Adafruit IO.
To make it easy for people to get started using Arduino or ESP8266 we have a starter pack with just about everything you may want to connect to the internet, with known-working WiFi modules!
ESP8266 Huzzah Kit