Tag Archives: IoT

Home Automation Mix-and-Match

This week I got a Wio Link prototype from a friend at Seeed Studio. It is an ESP8266-based little Internet of Things board with 6 Grove connectors for easy device connectivity, wifi networking, and controlled over an app & the Internet. For a quick project I wanted to hook it up with Home Assistant, an open source home automation platform that I read a lot about lately. The main focus was to have a first impression of both parts, and build up some experience for future, more serious projects.

The target solution: light up an LED if a particular person is at home location. Sort of a basic alarm system, though notice that the location of the LED was not mentioned – it can actually be anywhere in the world, as long as there’s Internet connectivity.

I’ve used the Wio Link, a Grove LED light, an Olimex OLinuXino Lime2 board running ArchLinux for the server, and a Buffalo router with DD-WRT system installed.

Wio Link

Wio Link was introduced in Seeed’s Kickstarter campaign, where they have raised more than 8x of their original target. It looks like a neat little board, and was happy to try out when I got my hands on one.

Their wiki page has quite a bit of information, so it was easy to get started. Connect to power, hold down the configure button till the LED lights up in a “breathing” pattern, connect through their Wio Link app, set up the wireless network settings and so on. Once connected, can define what kind of devices are attached to the board, and it looks like most of Grove devices are represented there. I only had a Grove LED at hand, so added it (“Generic Digital Output”), updated it, which created a new firmware and pushed onto the device.

Wio Link setup process (left to right): add device, update firmware, check status
Wio Link setup process (left to right): add device, update firmware, check status

The first update took a couple of minutes, but it’s pretty straightforward. The device then also has an API link, which brings up a web page with all the options to query, control, and reset the attached accessories (in my case that’s the one digital output).

Continue reading Home Automation Mix-and-Match

Magic for the Internet of Things: Resin.io

I have my fair share of playing with embedded Linux and Internet of Things projects these days, but the real treat is finding projects occasionally that just blow me away. Through some Hacker News comments I ended up checking out Resin.io, a tool that brings cloud deployment and management to embedded applications. That might simple (boring?), but here’s the workflow in a nutshell:

  1. Start a new application and download an image file for your chosen single board computer (1 of 5 choices at the moment: Raspberry Pi 1 & 2, Parallella, Intel Edison, and BeagleBone Black)
  2. Flash the image onto an SD card, connect the board to the network, and boot it up
  3. The board shows up in the cloud management console, and you get a git repo address
  4. Make an application (Docker, Node.js, etc.), do a git push: voila, your board’s running your app
  5. Flash a few more SD cards, connect the devices to the network, all of them will run your application
  6. Modify the app behaviour through environment variables, either all of them at once, or customize each
  7. Check status, logs, updates, online, and enjoy that things just work!

I cannot emphasise enough how good any service feels that 1) runs by git pushing code, and 2) just works.

SomaStream

To try it all out, I’ve put together a very simple application: SomaStream – the SomaFM internet radio streaming app.

SomaStream device status
SomaStream device status (image uploading)

Grabbed my RaspberryPi that didn’t do much lately, plugged an earphone in it, and started to look for some examples in the docs how to make it play some streaming music.  Continue reading Magic for the Internet of Things: Resin.io