Tag Archives: automation

IFTTT debuts three new apps to automate your connected world


Do empowers you to create your own personalized button, camera, and notepad.


With the rise of the Internet of Things and smart devices, a growing number of Makers and developers alike have turned to IFFTT (“If This, Then That”) to automate online and mobile actions through “recipes.” Since its launch in 2011, IFTTT has expanded throughout the consumer market, offering integration with many of today’s most popular gadgets from Fitbit to HP printers to Hue lightbulbs.

DoButton.0

Despite its popularity, the barrier to entry has been a bit limited to techies willing to browse through channels to create recipes. That was until now. The company has announced the launch of three free new apps for both iOS and Android — Do Button, Do Camera and Do Note — that will make setup as simple as a touch of a button. The suite of Do apps are designed to dumb-down the process by letting users drag-and-drop tools they want to connect and customize recipes through a minimalistic UX. Along with that, IFTTT has rebranded its original app to a much more simple “IF.”

ifttt-do-button-nest

Do Button enables users pair web tools and turn the function into a shortcut widget right on their home screen for everything from their Google Drive to Nest Thermostat, among countless other apps. For instance, you can now set the living room to your favorite temperature or open the garage door all with the tap of a button.

Do Camera possesses similar functionality, allowing users to create actions to share their photos in a much more expedited manner. Now, you can post photos to the Facebook album of choice, or quickly distribute on Tumblr or WordPress pages.

Do Note is a quick text entry app that will take a particular command and instantaneously send it out, whether it’s an appointment in Google Calendar, an added item on the grocery list, or even a quick tweet. You can also use voice commands to trigger a recipe.

do_note_example_evernote@2x-600x359

At the moment, you can only program up to three recipes on the Do apps. However, IFTTT CEO Linden Tibbets says the team is working on ways to make saving recipes easier for swapping, as well as offering recommended recipes they might enjoy. As the number of connected devices continues to proliferate, expect Do to have a supporting role in the automation process.

IF you’re interested in learning more, THEN you should read more here.

Homey ties all your smart devices together and lets you talk to them!

We here at Athom have recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign for our first product, Homey. In essence, it’s a device that you place in your house, and it listens to your voice. It has 8 wireless transceivers onboard, so it talks all languages.

Homey is not tied to any specific brand or standard, as I strongly believe that technology should work together in a seamless way. Nowadays, with all these ‘smart’ devices, the opposite is happening! Oh, and did I already mention that it’s plain ridiculous that you now need a smartphone to switch a light?

And… so we developed Homey! Having raised over €200.000 on Kickstarter, we’re currently super busy with manufacturing the device!

It works on a Raspberry Pi Compute Module, which is connected to the wireless transceivers, a speaker and a microphone array. On top, it runs Node.js which allows developers to add support easily! Why Node.js? As every developer or someone with a burning desire to build, Node.js is becoming the go-to coding method for enterprise. Innovators from the app and cloud side of things have utilized it in their early adoption to build out Yammer.com, Walmart.com, Paypal.com, Dailymail.co.uk, Netflix, and much more. Node.js helps bring forth rapid innovation and delivery, which is enabling the speed of delivery and prototyping. The nimble ability to iterate are the key traits of keeping the cycle of innovation moving forward. This is why our Homey platform is built integrally around this community of Node.js to plug into this top notch world of agile developers.  

Packed with anything that is connected, the network effect of community is also always important. This is why we made Homey so compatible to help facilitate [like a nexus] the widely diverse ecosystem of connected devices. The open-source community of Arduino is a perfect union. Importantly, Homey is fully compatible — it plays into this developer and Maker community base to help fulfill and stretch the creativity and imaginations of the millions of Makers who may take on the ideas of their devices fitted with various Arduino variants (Arduino Uno, Arduino Mega, LilyPad Arduino, Arduino Nano, Arduino Due, Arduino Yún, Arduino Robot, Arduino Shields, and more) many of which are using IoT community inspired Atmel based AVR and ARM based processor cores. Helping to produce the heterogeneous make-up of a fuller installation of IoT, it’s a perfect union! 

For all of you Arduino fans: Homey (at its true nature, acting as a nexus to the diverse set of protocols) is designed to work with Arduino! We ship transceivers with Homey [if you select that option], and we will then provide you a library for Arduino so you can access this massive community (using Maker boards as well as shields) to connect your own projects to Homey. You can be quickly on your way to a connected, SMART design packaged with a wider IoT enablement (fulfilling various protocols).

For example, if you connect a LED strip to an Arduino, and tell Homey to “turn the lights to red,” Homey will forward this command to your own Node.js app, which then sends the signal ‘red’ or ‘255,0,0’ to your Arduino. The Homey-Arduino library then will pass this command on to your own Arduino code, where you can tell the LEDs to turn to red. Basically, what I’m trying to say here is that you don’t have to do that much!

Stay tuned for upcoming posts about Homey, where there will be in-depth discussions around the hardware. In the meantime, don’t forget to pre-order your Homey!

ATmega16 MCU powers Oktopod dev platform

Oktopod Studio is an open source development platform for mechatronics, robotics and automation.

The platform – which is powered by Atmel’s ATmega16 micrcontroller (MCU) – allows Makers to more easily create low voltage electronic devices, models and home applications.

“We designed Oktopod Studio to be as user friendly as possible, [as it] features plug-and-play analog outputs, digital inputs, DC and Servo motor drivers [as well as a] graphical user interface for PC and Andriod devices,” an Oktopod rep explained.

“You don’t need to be a programmer or an electronic expert to use Oktopod Studio and make your own robotic projects.”

The Oktopod platform consists of two primary components linked via Bluetooth or USB:

  • Hardware – Oktopod Board
  • Software – Oktopod Control App

The Oktopod Board offers Makers a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), along with plug and play inputs and outputs for connecting a wide range of low voltage electronic devices, including LED lights, DC/servo motors, buzzers, electromagnets, switches, as well as photo-, thermo- and magnetic sensors.

Aside from Atmel’s ATmega16 MCU, key hardware specs include:

  • 

8x Analog output (up to 3A)
  • 2x DC motor driver
  • 3x Servo motor driver
  • 4x Digital inputs
  • USB/Bluetooth communication module
  • Power supply input 6-12 V (reverse polarity protected), on-board 3A fuse

In terms of software, the Oktopod Control app (PC and Android) allows Makers to assume manual control of the hardware via sliders and buttons.

oktopod

Meanwhile, the board is programmed by creating a so-called “wishList” of output operations using an intuitive virtual dashboard.

Interested in learning more about the ATmega16-powered Oktopod? You can check out the project’s official page here.