Temboo Adds More Arduino Board Support

March 22 2017

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Making 20,000 cakes more safely and efficiently every day, improving engine manufacturing for lawnmowers so they run more quietly, and designing farms to need less water. These are just a few examples of how Arduinos are being used everyday by engineers, businesses, and researchers with Temboo. Our embedded code generation engine empowers all sorts of people and organizations to program Arduinos to connect to any cloud service, enabling ideas and creative applications all over the world.

Today we’re excited to announce a big update to our support for Arduino devices. In line with the great advances that Arduino has made with its development boards and internet-connectivity shields recently, we’ve upgraded our generated code and Arduino library to support the latest Arduino hardware.

Temboo’s code generation engine now officially supports the following boards:

As well as the following internet connectivity shields:

Temboo will generate code for these Arduino boards that is production-ready and optimized for embedded devices. You can even select the sensors, actuators, and GPIO pins you are working with in our interface so that the generated code automatically converts sensor readings into real world units and handles conditional logic to, for example, send an SMS alert whenever high temperatures are detected.

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Temboo also ensures that your sensor data and other information is protected in transit by establishing a secure connection from your board to the Temboo platform via HTTPS. As always, any information that you store on the Temboo platform is secured via military-grade encryption.

Combining Temboo’s generated code with your Arduino board enables you to easily accomplish many common IoT tasks, from generating sensor data graphs viewable in any browser, to integrating with 100+ popular APIs, triggering sensor-based alerts via email and SMS, and remotely controlling actuators like LEDs, solenoids, fans, motors, and more.

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Our customers in the food & beverage and manufacturing industries have been putting these features to good use on top of Arduino hardware, and they’re part of a growing trend. More and more types of engineers, from chemical and civil to mechanical and electrical, are incorporating Arduinos and Temboo into their work and in the process acquiring new skills that can be applied to many engineering tasks, from retrofitting existing machinery for connectivity to remotely monitoring any type of physical asset.

monginis2x

We’re really excited about supporting the latest Arduino hardware, and will be regularly enhancing our Arduino library and generated code, so stay tuned for updates.

A version of this post originally appeared on the Arduino Blog on March 14th, 2017.

Temboo now generates production-ready code for even more Arduino boards and shields.

The Anatomy of a Commercial Freezer Monitor

June 15 2016

Photograph of gelato

Food waste is a colossal social, environmental, and economic issue. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that as much as 40% of the food that is grown and processed in the United States will never be consumed.

FOOD waste isn’t just a big picture problem. When your business model relies on fresh, delicious, and safe to eat food, optimizing your entire cold chain to keep things at the right temperature is your first priority. All it takes is an open freezer door forgotten by a distracted employee—we’re looking at you, Adrian—and you’ve lost product, and that means profit.

Picture This

You’re the manager of an ice cream factory. Today is the first day you could call the weather “sizzling”. It’s ice cream season. As you survey your factory floor you smile with satisfaction at the contrasting hues of freshly packed pints of pistachio, coffee toffee crunch, and cherry cheesecake.

Dropped ice cream cone

Tomorrow you’ll discover that one of your state-of-the-art commercial freezers died peacefully in the night while you were sleeping and didn’t bother to utter any last words. An entire shipment of decadent ice cream is ruined.

But what if it could text you at 2 AM to let you know it was running hot? Or that Adrian had, yet again, left the door open too long? And what if you had temperature logs you could refer to when you need to investigate a freezer malfunction?

A texting, data-logging commercial freezer? We can build that with Temboo.

We designed a simple commercial freezer monitor application that reduces food waste and profit loss. How did we do it?

Systems diagram of this commercial freezer monitor application

Our commercial freezer monitor can be adapted for all kinds of commercial refrigeration and freezer equipment.

The Freezer Monitor Software

The Temboo Enterprise Plan

Most of the heavy lifting of our freezer monitor is done virtually in the cloud, enabling a low-cost microcontroller to run complex applications unhindered by its limited RAM and processing power.

With Temboo’s Profiles feature, we can reprogram parts of our application right in the web browser without writing a single line of code or disconnecting our hardware.

Click here to learn more about what’s included in the Enterprise Plan.

Text message speech bubbleSMS Alerts 

Our application sends text message alerts via our Twilio SendSMS Choreo to a designated phone number whenever the freezer’s door is open too long, or if its temperature edges outside the acceptable range.

Thermometer and database symbol

Temperature Logging 

Our freezer monitor application regularly logs timestamped temperature data to Amazon’s DynamoDB, a NoSQL database service, and our newest Choreo release. We add a new item to our database table with our DynamoDB PutItem Choreo.

The Freezer Monitor Hardware

An Arduino Yún provides the brain power and WiFi connectivity.

Arduino Yún

The Sensors

magnetic contact switch to determine whether the door is open

Magnetic contact switch

A TI LMT84 analog temperature sensor, which we selected for its low cost and accuracy over a broad temperature range.

TI LMT84 temperature sensor

For more details on working with temperature data, refer to our practical guide to selecting the right temperature sensor for your IoT application.

Other Components

A 10KΩ resistor Color pattern of a 10 kilohm resistor and a breadboard

Connecting the Hardware

Step 1: Hooking Up Power Connect the Arduino’s GND pin to the breadboard’s ground bus strip. Connect the 3.3v pin to the voltage supply bus strip.

Circuit diagram of step 1


 

Step 2: Connecting the Temperature Sensor Connect the left leg of the TI LMT84 to voltage, and the right leg to ground. Next, connect the middle leg to the analog A0 pin.

Circuit diagram of step 2


 

Step 3: Connecting the Door Sensor On the breadboard, connect one leg of the door sensor to digital pin 7 through a 10KΩ resistor commercialFreezer_hardware_10KResistor. Connect the other leg of the door sensor to ground.

Circuit diagram of step 3


Configuring the Code

Arduino microcontroller connected to WiFi

Connect Your Device

Be sure your Yún’s WiFi is properly configured, or that it is connected to the Internet via Ethernet.

Set up Twilio

1. Follow the Twilio setup instructions to use Twilio Choreos

2. Create a profile for the Twilio SendSMS Choreo

Set up DynamoDB

  1. Follow the DynamoDB setup instructions to use DynamoDB Choreos.
  2. In the DynamoDB Console, click Create Table to create a new DynamoDB database table for logging your freezer data. Name your table whatever you like. For the Primary key, in the Partition key field, type “Timestamp”. Set the data type to String.
  3. Create a profile for the DynamoDB PutItem Choreo.

Customize the Example Code

  1. Download the freezerMonitor example code from GitHub.
  2. At the top of the example code in lines 50 and 51, replace “myDynamoDBProfile” and “myTwilioProfile” with the names of the Temboo profiles you created for DynamoDB and Twilio.
  3. Enter your Temboo account information in the TembooAccount.h header file. You can find this information on your account page if you’re logged in to Temboo.

A smartphone displaying text alerts received by this commercial freezer monitor application

Run Your New Commercial Freezer Monitor

Upload the code to your Yún, mount your hardware, and start getting text alerts right from your commercial freezer.

To Keep in Mind

Hardware Installation

  • We wouldn’t recommend putting your microcontroller board inside the freezer, so be sure to use wires long enough to connect the breadboard to a microcontroller board mounted somewhere outside the freezer.
  • When determining placement for the temperature sensor, be sure to put it in a location that is representative of the average temperature of the commercial freezer. Somewhere in the middle of the freezer is generally best. If the sensor is too close to the door, its readings may be significantly warmer than the average temperature of the freezer. Conversely, placing the sensor too close to the discharge air stream coming from the freezer’s compressor can give readings that are significantly colder.

Code Configuration

  • Determine the temperature range suited to your application. The Arduino code contains variables you may set for the safe range of freezer temperatures. Anything outside this range will trigger an alert. Your optimal temperature range depends on your particular usage. For instance, the commercial ice cream freezer in this story would require a different temperature range than a vaccine refrigerator.
  • Don’t make the temperature range to trigger alerts too narrow. Keep the thermostat cycles of your freezer’s compressor in mind. For example, if a refrigerator’s compressor has a cut in point of 4.4ºC and a cut out point of 2.7ºC, setting a range of 3–4ºC will result in unnecessary alerts. Test out the temperature range settings in the code to be sure they will reflect normal operating conditions for the particular equipment you’re monitoring.
  • Observe the freezer’s usage patterns in order to determine the best setting for receiving open door alerts for your application. The code includes variables for setting the maximum amount of time the freezer may be open before an alert is triggered. The ideal setting will depend on the sensitivity of the freezer contents and the day-to-day activity around the freezer. For example, in normal usage of a commercial freezer, it might be open for several minutes while it is being stocked with freshly made product waiting to ship. 
  • If the timestamps generated by your device yield unexpected results, you may need to set the date and time on your board. The Yún’s configuration settings, including WiFi, can be set from its local webpage.

Ice cream cones

Make it Your Own

Use Your Favorite Board

Temboo provides official support for several microcontrollers, including Texas Instruments’ LaunchPad and the Samsung ARTIK.

Explore Services for Logging or Notifications 

Our combination of Twilio and Amazon DynamoDB is just one of many possibilities. What else could you use?

Data Logging

Google Sheets is a versatile choice for logging data. Alternately, use our data streaming feature for continuous temperature logging. Streaming is included in our Enterprise Plan:

Notifications

Want to use an API that doesn’t have Choreos yet? Simplify it with our HTTP Utilities.

Adapt It for Your Application

It’s not just commercial freezers that store valuable assets in need of a watchful eye. Our example code can easily be adapted to create a door and temperature monitor for a range of applications across industries.

Medical and life sciences

  • Laboratory sample cold storage
  • Pharmacy and vaccine refrigerators

Food & beverage

  • Commercial refrigerators
  • Walk-in freezers

Information technology

  • Data centers
  • Server rooms

With the addition of a humidity sensor, this monitor could be adapted for even more applications. With the right temperature range settings, it would be suitable for storage cabinets containing rare books and antiques or other sensitive materials, or for manufacturing and storage environments where environmental precision is key, such as in a brewery or distillery fermentation room or a wine cellar.

Feeling Inspired?

If you use our commercial freezer monitor for yourself, or find it to be a useful reference in building your own IoT application, let us know and we may feature your solution in an upcoming blog post.

Build a smart commercial freezer monitor with temperature logging and SMS alerts to prevent product loss.

Smart Networked Trash Cans with Temboo and ARTIK

March 4 2016

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Temboo Smart Trash Cans are a great way for developers to start getting involved and thinking about how the development and advantages of smart cities can be. At Samsung’s latest presentation at the CES and Mobile World Congress, they’ve brought to light how this can be taken even further using MQTT to network the smart trash cans and make them even smarter. With Temboo coming pre-installed in every Artik board, creating industrial and production-ready solutions like this are increasingly easier to develop.

To find out more, you can read the original post at Artik blog post

Temboo Smart Trash Cans are a great way for developers to start getting involved and thinking about how the development and advantages of smart cities can be. At Samsung’s latest presentation at the CES and Mobile World Congress, they’ve brought to light how this can be taken even further using MQTT to network the smart […]

Cool IoT Applications from Our Amazing Users

February 12 2016

With Presidents’ Day coming up, you might be looking for something fun to do over the long weekend.  Why not try building your own version of one of these cool IoT applications?

The Internet of Things is extremely interesting, but can sometimes seem daunting for beginners. Matthew Hallberg comes to the rescue with his introductory tutorial on weather checking using an Arduino Yún.

Temboo Arduino Tutorial

People who say that it’s boring to watch grass grow must have never tried it with cacti and a time-lapse camera. Ghanashyam creates a super cool budget time-lapse camera just with a webcam, Temboo, and Dropbox.

First went the cable boxes, and now goes TV. But how do you get the weather without watching the weather channel? You could go the boring route and check a weather website… or you could create your own easy-to-make personal weather station with this tutorial.

Weather Station Circuit

There are many other tutorials and cool IoT applications out there as well, which you can check out on Instructables and Hackster. It’s really been overwhelming how creative our users are, and we’re working to make sure that you can be more creative than ever!

With Presidents’ Day coming up, you might be looking for something fun to do over the long weekend.  Why not try building your own version of one of these cool IoT applications? The Internet of Things is extremely interesting, but can sometimes seem daunting for beginners. Matthew Hallberg comes to the rescue with his introductory […]

New Arduino Smart Trash Can Instructable

December 20 2015

Are you looking for a fun IoT idea to tackle during the holidays? How about building yourself a smart trash can? More efficient waste disposal is an important benefit that the Internet of Things can offer to population centers, as it will keep cities cleaner while also helping them to cut costs, but you don’t need to be operating on an urban scale to realize some of the benefits for yourself as well.

This new Instructable walks you through how to build a smart trash can application using Temboo and an Arduino Yún. You’ll program the Arduino to send you alerts via Zendesk when the can is full, and to log data in a Google Calendar about when the trash is emptied. It’s also easy to mix and match hardware and web services if you want your IoT trash can to work differently–perhaps you want it to send you email alerts, or even Tweet when it’s full! Try it out, and make your trash smarter!

Are you looking for a fun IoT idea to tackle during the holidays? How about building yourself a smart trash can? More efficient waste disposal is an important benefit that the Internet of Things can offer to population centers, as it will keep cities cleaner while also helping them to cut costs, but you don’t […]

Build an IoT Aquaponics System

December 11 2015

iot_aquaponics_system

Do you have a green thumb (or do you wish that you did)? You may have heard of aquaponic gardening, a way to efficiently grow plants in limited space. Rik Kretzinger, an aquaponics enthusiast with experience in building commercial greenhouses, transformed his yard into a small farm with a complex of aquaponic growing beds that provide a ready source of fresh produce for him and his family. He used Temboo to add an IoT twist to his growing process: an Arduino Yún that Rik wired to his valves lets him remotely monitor factors such as humidity and temperature, and manage watering cycles from his phone. If you’re interested in trying out aquaponic gardening for yourself, you’re in luck—Rik has created a number of resources for budding farmers, including an Instructable to guide you through every step of building and running your own connected growing bed. You can also read about his cool IoT application in Make Magazine.

Do you have a green thumb (or do you wish that you did)? You may have heard of aquaponic gardening, a way to efficiently grow plants in limited space. Rik Kretzinger, an aquaponics enthusiast with experience in building commercial greenhouses, transformed his yard into a small farm with a complex of aquaponic growing beds that […]

Machine-to-Machine to the Cloud

November 18 2015

Now you can program scalable, flexible, and production-ready distributed device applications in minutes with Temboo’s new support for M2M networks! From monitoring air quality and noise levels in urban environments to tracking cross-country shipments to controlling water usage in agricultural settings, you can use networked sensors and devices in all sorts of powerful IoT applications.

Introducing M2M

Connect your networked Samsung ARTIK, Texas Instruments, and Arduino hardware to any web service, and choose to have your gateway communicate with your edge devices using MQTT, CoAP, or HTTP. Check out this video to see it all in action!

Now you can program scalable, flexible, and production-ready distributed device applications in minutes with Temboo’s new support for M2M networks! From monitoring air quality and noise levels in urban environments to tracking cross-country shipments to controlling water usage in agricultural settings, you can use networked sensors and devices in all sorts of powerful IoT applications. […]

Build the Industrial Internet of Things

October 28 2015

Trash cans that let you know when they’re full, production lines that can be controlled from a mobile app, and buildings that help you calculate how much you’re saving by heating them more efficiently—these are just a few of the powerful new end-to-end IoT Applications that Temboo enables you to build. From picking your hardware to generating your program code, Temboo’s dynamic, step-by-step user interface shows you how to create connected applications that will make your industry smart.

Temboo IoT Applications

Every Temboo IoT Application includes a helpful demo video, a suggested list of materials, and an illustrated series of step-by-step instructions. Once you’ve finished setting up your application on our website, Temboo automatically generates all the application code you need, customized to fit your specifications and ready for production—you can upload it to your hardware right away, or extend and modify it to customize your application even further. Each application can run on several Temboo-integrated chipsets, from industrial SoCs to maker boards; you can select the Samsung ARTIK, Texas Instruments, or Arduino board that you are using, and we’ll continue to add more supported hardware to that list.

Example circuit diagram from our IoT Apps

Take a look at our first IoT Applications, and be sure to check back as more are released!

Trash cans that let you know when they’re full, production lines that can be controlled from a mobile app, and buildings that help you calculate how much you’re saving by heating them more efficiently—these are just a few of the powerful new end-to-end IoT Applications that Temboo enables you to build. From picking your hardware […]

Deconstructing Communication Systems

June 23 2015

DIY Arduino telegraph
Modern communication systems have become so advanced that we rarely pause to consider how they work—conversing with someone hundreds or even thousands of miles away is, for many, now a daily occurrence. For his systems design course at California College of the Arts, Noam Zomerfeld decided to delve deeper into the technological complexities that lie beneath communication systems in an effort to understand and present the ways in which their different elements interact. To do it, he designed and built his own system using Temboo.

As the foundation for his exploration, Noam constructed a rudimentary telegraph using a piece of wood, a nail, two batteries, and a wire. With a classmate, he also designed an alternative to Morse code to use with his device. He then made the system incrementally more complex: first, he added an Arduino that would translate strings of text inputted by users into his telegraph code, and then he brought in Temboo’s Twilio Choreos to enable users to provide their inputs via SMS.

Arduino Telegraph on exhibit at a student show

Viewers of his application can text a message to Noam’s Twilio number, and the Arduino attached to his telegraph will check the Twilio message queue every few seconds for new arrivals. When it receives a new message, the device will translate it into Noam’s code, which assigns each letter of the alphabet a unique sequence of between three and nine taps. The telegraph then taps out the encoded message, and whoever receives it can decode and transcribe it based on a key that Noam provides. You can see the telegraph in action in this video:

Modern communication systems have become so advanced that we rarely pause to consider how they work—conversing with someone hundreds or even thousands of miles away is, for many, now a daily occurrence. For his systems design course at California College of the Arts, Noam Zomerfeld decided to delve deeper into the technological complexities that lie […]

Ultramarathoning, Round II

June 9 2015

The new Maraduino

You may remember that around this time last year our friend Ande Gregson spent six days running one hundred fifty miles across the Sahara Desert as part of the annual Marathon des Sables race. Well, he did it again this year with a new and improved version of his Marathon des Sables Gadget, the Maraduino. Using an Arduino Yún, Temboo’s Twilio Choreos, and a phone that he carried with him in the desert, he kept his supporters at home abreast of his progress whenever he had phone signal. We’re already looking forward to seeing what next year’s edition of the gadget can do!

You may remember that around this time last year our friend Ande Gregson spent six days running one hundred fifty miles across the Sahara Desert as part of the annual Marathon des Sables race. Well, he did it again this year with a new and improved version of his Marathon des Sables Gadget, the Maraduino. […]
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