tamberg's Blog

2011-11-06 by tamberg

Side Projects (Internet of Things)

Arduino Web LED (2009). My very first demo for Yaler, our open source project and startup. All of the projects in this post – which is the last part in a series on side projects – are enabled in one way or another by using the Yaler relay infrastructure.

Ambient Weather LED (2010). The above Arduino Web LED allows you to set the color through a simple REST interface, i.e. the abstraction is close to the hardware. This way, the application logic can run outside of the object, in the cloud. The code which defines the behaviour of the connected object can be upgraded. In this case a small program reading Yahoo's forecast for Zürich and then setting the LED's color to reflect the conditions, makes the object act as an ambient weather notification.

Web enabled Polar heart rate monitor (2011). A simple hack involving a Polar belt, SparkFun's Polar receiver interface, a BlueSmirf module, and Liquidware's Lithium Backpack. The measured heart rate was transmitted to my laptop via Bluetooth and accessible through a custom Web service. At the Pachube hackathon we mashed it up with the XY stage of a DIY microscope to get heart beat controlled nematodes.

Web controlled EggBot (2011). Developed and sold as an easy to assemble DIY kit by Evil Mad Scientist Labs, the EggBot is a simple "robot" with a pen, able to draw on eggs. By programming a Web service that runs on the computer attached locally to the EggBot, it becomes possible to remotely control the EggBot via the Internet.

Web controlled power plugs (2011 - present). Controlling LEDs over the Web gets boring after a while, so a natural next step is trying to switch a power outlet. While I remember messing around with lamps, cables and switches as a kid, getting close to "real" current now suddenly seems quite dangerous. Therefor my Netduino Plus controlled power plug is using an opto-coupler based DIY circuit board designed by the knowledgeable guys at MechArtLab. Another attempt to avoid premature death is the power remote hack, where I modded a cheap, RF-controlled outlet's remote control to be (meta-) remote controllable over the Internet. Next up is Gadgeteer...

Web enabled bathroom scale (2011 - present). Inspired by the Withings WiFi scale, a flex sensor is attached to an old mechanical bathroom scale. A Netuino Plus reads the sensor and makes measurements accessible via Yaler. The main challenge with this project is calibrating the sensor, so for now this remains work in progress.

Tweeting SenseCam (2011 - present). A side effect of wearing a SenseCam all day is that you talk a lot about privacy and ownership. One such talk with @drbrian led to the idea of the Tweeting SenseCam. While the cam itself is not connected to the Internet, the computer on which I store the pictures is online most of the time. So if you see me, you tweet the tag #SenseCam to @tamberg and later, after the pictures are synced to my machine, you get a response containing a link to the pictures that were taken around the time your tweet was sent. This is mostly a concept and only partly developed, so please don't tweet yet. I'll write another post when it's ready.

Smartphone hosted SMS Web service (2011 - present). Using unused smartphones to provide a distributed backend for a SMS Web API came up as a project idea for the next Random Hacks of Kindness hackathon and is described in this post.