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Connect a thermostat with OpenMote and thethings.iO

thethings.iO + openmote

thethings.iO + openmote

During the last months we have seen dozens of amazing projects being connected at thethings.iO. Here we are going to show you how to connect a heating system and a thermostat for your house using thethings.iO as the IoT platform and OpenMote as a hardware.

connect-a-heating-system
This project was made by Roberto Romero Jotel as his final Master’s project for the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya this past 2015, so we are going to make a quick review to his one.

OpenMote and OpenWSN

During the project, the maker Roberto connected a heating system with a thermostat using the OpenMote with OpenWSN (IEEE 802.15.4e) and thethings.iO. On the project there is also a Raspberry Pi with Internet and the OpenBase and OpenMote-CC2538 modules connected by USB at the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi was converting the messages from the OpenWSN(802.15.4e) to Ethernet (HTTPS) to send the data to thethings.iO

The OpenMote platform consists on:

  • OpenMote-CC2538: which uses SoC TI format for Cortex-M3 and CC2520. This SoC can support Contiki, OpenWSN (which is also the protocol we are going to explain later in this post) and FreeRTOS.
  • OpenBase: a plate with different ports such as Ethernet, USB and JTAG.
  • OpenBattery: also a plate with 3 digital sensors and batteries. Its operation is autonomous.
Reliable Low Power Wireless OpenMote

Reliable Low Power Wireless OpenMote

The OpenWSN is a collection of different Internet of Things protocols. It counts on the OpenOs, which is a collaborative of OpenWSN, an OpenVisualizer, the visualization program and a Python CoAP library.

The IoT platform

thethings.iO is the IoT platform of the project. It also provides write and read methods. In the first case (ThingWrite), it allows users to collect data in JSON format with POST request at the URL through the CoAP API:

coap://coap.thethings.iO/v2/things/{{THING_TOKEN}}

In the case of the ThingRead, it allows the user to read the data from a resource (KEY) with GET request at the URL:

coap://coap.thethings.iO/v2/things/{{THING_TOKEN}}/resources/{{KEY}}

thethings-io-dashboard

How to make things work together

The real question in here is how to connect the OpenMote with thethings.iO?

Project's architecture

Project’s architecture

The key is the integration of thethings.iO API on the OpenMote implementation with the Raspberry Pi. Let’s explain the two basic functions of thethings.iO that enables the thermostat to read data and write sensor’s data from and to thethings.iO.

First of all, the thermostat wants to send new data from its sensors (temperature, humidity, etc). How do we do it? Remember that we have to consider that the OpenMote is connected to a Raspberry Pi through a TCP socket. That means that thethings.iO as the IoT platform receives the data through CoAP from the Raspberry Pi thread that listens the TCP socket from the OpenMote.

Once they are connected one to each other, the client sends the Raspberry Pi process the data. All this data collected is sent by the Raspberry Pi to thethings.iO IoT platform using a CoAP POST request. thethings.iO gives an answer which can be “Success” or “Error”. Finally, when the OpenMote receives the answer, the connection ends.

The reading operation from thethings.iO is similar, the OpenMote tries to establish a socket connection with the Raspberry Pi, and the Raspberry Pi sends a request of polling to thethings.iO. Once they are connected to eachother, the client sends a request to read its data to the server. All the data is requested to thethings.iO by the server using a CoAP GET request. Then, thethings.iO sends the answer to the Raspberry Pi, giving a “Success” with the JSON, which is translated in sending all the data requested, or an “Error”.

If you want to know more about Roberto Romero’s project (in catalan) and the public code on Roberto’s github account.

And if you want to start connecting things with thethings.iO you can register here.

Analytics for Sigfox: meet thethings.iO

Analytics for Sigfox with thethings.iO

Analytics for Sigfox with thethings.iO

If you are an Internet of Things enthusiast, you must know Sigfox. In case you don’t, keep reading. Nevertheless, this post is not only about the incredible things you can make with Sigfox but also how you can integrate it with an IoT platform such as thethings.iO.

What’s Sigfox?

Sigfox is a cellular style telecom that enables remote devices to connect using UNB (ultra-narrow band) technology. It appeared trying to solve the network problems that Wi-Fi range may cause (for example, it is short and 3G and 4G are expensive and use too much power while working) to make the Internet of Things easier.

Using Sigfox, you can transfer small amounts of data (each message can be up to 12 bytes of payload data). Any user can send between 0 and 140 messages per day, and if they want a 24 hours distribution, they can also send a maximum of one message every 11 minutes. This means that each message you send doesn’t contain much information.

Do you want to know how to connect a thing with thethings.iO and Sigfox? Then, watch this tutorial:

When Sigfox meets thethings.iO

As you have just seen, Sigfox is perfect for very low power operations. Messages transmitted must be small, which can be seen as a problem. Any user can downlink 4 messages of 8 bytes to the device, and the uplink is up to 140 messages of 12 bytes. Depending on the use case, this is just enough information to be transmitted.

Sigfox doesn’t understand or transform your payload, so you can read the message as is, allowing developers to parse the structured payload and play with bits and bytes. That means, that you cannot see any data or analytics using just Sigfox, and at the moment neither any business logic on the top of it.

With all these limitations, we have integrated Sigfox with thethings.iO, in order to pick up all the data generated and offer it to its users. Actually, it is more than that. Paying the price of a Sigfox device plus 1€ per year to thethings.iO you can get a full customizable analytics, cloud code with triggers and crons and real-time interaction from your Sigfox-connected devices.

In less than 5 minutes you can see your things’ data at thethings.iO panel. Awesome, right?

thethings.iO and Sigfox

thethings.iO and Sigfox

As we have said, with Sigfox you only get Payload data (using binary language). To make it clever, using thethings.iO, data is translated to our JSON diagram, so you can know the exact temperature or humidity (or whatever) value of your device at any time in your Sigfox dashboard with thethings.iO.

thethingsio.dash

You can find libraries for a couple of prototyping shields with Sigfox Antennas at our github account as Sigfox SDK for thethings.iO.

What we do at thethings.iO

At thethings.iO we connect devices or wearables to the Internet. We are a Cloud solution for companies that decide to build new cool things that can be connected to improve our lives. If you want to know more about us, you can create an account by clicking here, sign up to receive our monthly newsletter or follow us on Twitter! Stay tuned and be the first in knowing the latest news of the IoT world and thethings.iO.

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IKEA joins the IoT revolution

IKEA joins the IoT Revolution

IKEA joins the IoT Revolution

Internet of Things is now a reality, and lots of companies have to face it. Companies from many different fields (as we have seen: housing, decor, gardening…) have to improve their offers in order to survive in the new technological era. That’s why the famous Swedish company IKEA has decided to adapt things into the IoT’s world and also create new connected things to make our lives easier.

IKEA’s idea is to make a more sustainable life at home, so that is the reason why in the next decade the brand is going to create and develop new connected things, such as the whole kitchen. In a collaboration with IDEO, a global design company, and design students from Lund University (Sweden) and Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherland), IKEA has created the named Concept Kitchen, which was shown at the Milan Design Week.

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How IoT will change our gardens

How IoT will change our gardens

How IoT will change our gardens

In this blog, we have had a quick look at different ways that Internet of Things is going to change our lives soon, like houses, cities, workplaces and even animals! As you see, Internet of Things is going to change absolutely everything, and your garden could not be less. In this post, we are going to know new connected garden equipment that will help you improve it.

It is commonly said that most people do not have many time to take care of their garden. Then, you need to ask yourself if you prefer to have a poor garden, or better hire a gardener who will care of it for you.

Firstly, you need to know that, as well as there are thermostats that can help you control your house temperature or humidity, there is also the garden version. Edyn Garden Sensor is an IoT device that tracks environmental conditions, such as light, humidity, temperature… and then recommends you which plants will thrive or the optimal time for planting, among others. You can see all the information just by using its app. Isn’t it easy?

Edyn Garden Sensor

Edyn Garden Sensor

Other IoT devices can also help you save lot of water, for example RainMachine, which is synchronized with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and other international weather data sources, that sends information to the app about temperature, humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, amount of precipitation… This device also calculates daily evapotranspiration losses and, at the same time, auto-adjusts the watering duration depending on the needs of the plant. The main purpose of RainMachine is protect and nourish your garden to perfection.

Koubachi offers a new point of view in tracking and controlling your plants. It offers a plant sensor (there are the indoor and outdoor options) and measures vital plant parameters, like light level (sunlight or artificial), soil temperature, humidity… With it, your own plant will tell you when you should to water it or if you need to change its position. In your app you will have an inventory of your plants.

Koubachi Plant Sensor

Koubachi Plant Sensor

For all those that have tried to have a little vegetables’ garden at home, Click & Grow is the option they were looking for. Their first internet-connected device was Smartpot, a connected pot that allows you to watch how your plants grow. As they describe themselves, the process is simple: “plug it in, add a little water and let it take care everything else”. By using an innovative NASA-inspired technology, they make plants grow faster, but still 100% naturally, without pesticides, insecticides… Can you believe it?

Even the brand Parrot has been interested in the connected devices, specially with a garden product, so similar to Koubachi. It is called Flower Power, and measures the needs of your plants and sends it to your phone. Available indoor and outdoor, it controls fertility, humidity, temperature and light. When it detects a need, it advises you automatically, so you will know in real time when to water your plants, add fertilizer…

Even if you are a garden-lover or a garden-forgetful person, IoT is going to change the way you look at your garden for sure! Now, any excuse is going to be accepted.
thethings.iO connects all those devices to the Internet, as most of you know. Actually, some months ago we connected a Koubachi Plant Sensor here at thethings.iO’s office! If you want to know more about IoT world and thethings.iO stay tunned!

Discover how we can help you to connect wearables and devices to the Internet.

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How IoT will change our animals

How IoT will change our animals

How IoT will change our animals

Could you ever imagine that Internet of Things is going to change our animals? Yes, this is possible, just keep reading and you will discover it!

Pets

Basically, the most common IoT devices for dogs or cats are the animal tracking-kind. Many companies have created a similar FitBit bracelet, but for dogs’ neck. It is commonly said that the dog is the best friend of the human, so why not start understanding it?

Some examples are WÜF or FitBark, which monitors the dog’s everyday activity and allows you to track its progress. By using FitBark, the dog’s master can understand its health, changes in behaviour, share experiences with friends and family, automatically share data to its vet, etc. It fits in all kind of dogs.

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thethings.iO library for Electric Imp

We love Electric Imp, its simplicity and how it works. This is the reason why this is the very first tutorial explaining with detail how to connect Electric Imp with thethings.iO. The ElectricImp + thethings.iO library that we implemented let you read, write and activate things through the REST API from thethings.iO.

From now if you need to store data from your Electric Imps you will be able to use our Electric Imp class to access the thethings.iO services.

Electric Imp board

Electric Imp board

Keep reading if you want more information about the Electric Imp + thethings.iO library…

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How IoT will change Sport

How IoT will change Sport

How IoT will change Sport

First, it was the Health app from Apple or Nike+, Nike + Running, Runtastic mobile apps…, and now lots of wearables and other devices are connected to the internet to measure, not only your steps, even more and more. From bracelets to t-shirts that control your movements. The inimaginable, has become real to change our lives. Do you want to know more? Keep reading, we are going to show you the latest news in the Internet of Sport Things field.

Fitness

To practise Fitness is in style. Everyone knows what fitness it, and most people around the world have added it to their lifestyles. The Internet of Things fitness devices’ main role is to help athletics practise it in a better way.

If we think about running, the first device that comes to our minds is FitBit. What is it? It is a brand of connected bracelets that allow the customers to track their day-to-day. Your daily steps, the distance you have walked, the calories you’ve burned… everything is tracked with one FitBit device. To monitor your sleep at night, to wake you up with a quiet vibration, act as a clock or ask at phone calls (yes, you can connect it to your smartphone) are some of other capabilities Fitbit offers to customers. But there’s even more! All the data generated can help you see your own personal progress and keep the control. There are other sport brands that offer a similar product as FitBit, for example, Nike, with its device called FuelBand.

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How the Internet of Things will change our houses

How IoT will change our houses

How IoT will change our houses

“Home, sweInternet-of-Things home”. Yes, IoT will be in your house too. Imagine yourself arriving from work. You lock your car just by touching your smartphone. Automatically, you can also open your house’ front door. You are in, and then, looking at your own smartphone, you can know exactly the temperature, humidity… there is in the house. And what about turning your lights on with just one click? Let’s talk about some of those opportunities that new homes will bring us…

Saving energy

As we have said and repeated lots of times, most IoT help us saving energy. Using a new system of connected, for example, lights, you can customize and adapt them depending on your needs at any time. Check Ledmotive, one of thethings.iO customer, and you will realise what we are talking about.

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