Developing with the Internet of Things is fun. It’s challenging. It’s frustrating at times.
But it’s also an opportunity to change the world with code! And you don’t need 5 years R&D or an engineering degree to do it. In this blog I’ll go through some quick weekend hackathon projects you can put together to bring your IoT idea to life.
Consider that the IoT is made up of 3 key elements: The Devices, The Network, The Applications.
Network connectivity is a critical element of the IoT ecosystem, being able to send sensor data reliably and efficiently between devices and applications. Then there’s the messaging alerts for real time emergency notifications and communication that the network can also provide.
Here’s a couple of projects that harness TelstraDev’s network capabilities for IoT prototypes that address some key local and global issues. If you want to see more detail on each one, check out the GitHub repos: https://github.com/MichelleHowie
Control your IoT device remotely with SMS commands
Some IoT devices can actuate (i.e action on data it receives) based on specific inputs. For example, streetlights that turn on depending on the time of day or if someone walks past and triggers a people counter.
In this quick prototype, I set up an Arduino MKR NB 1500 with Telstra LTE-M connectivity, so that when I send “ON” in a text message to my virtual mobile number, it turns the LED on the Arduino board on. Sending “OFF” in an SMS turns it off.
The fun part here, was that I also had the virtual mobile number that controlled my mate Steve’s Arduino device, so we could send messages across Australia to control each other’s IoT device lights. Awesome potential here, but also very real security and control considerations.
Here’s the high-level process flow that made it possible:
Simple, yet effective! The message to your virtual mobile number is directed to an endpoint in Node-Red, where a function to validate the message payload input decides if it should trigger 2 possible device events (light ON or light OFF). The message to change the state of the LED is published to your IoT broker, where the Arduino is listening. The sketch running on your Arduino knows what to do when it sees ON or OFF, and voila!
For more details see the GitHub ReadMe or recorded tutorial of this prototype, which includes an introduction to IoT brokers and the open source low-code software we used to put this together in just a few hours.
GitHub Repo + ReadMe: https://github.com/MichelleHowie/TelstraDevArduinoNodeRedBlink
Originally presented at Call For Code with DeveloperSteve Coochin, May 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcrxT9fyxZw&ab_channel=IBMDeveloper
Check out part 2 of this series for how to request Environmental Sensor Data via SMS from your remote IoT device.