Today is Halloween and this holiday provides a wonderful excuse to hack on some spooky-themed projects.
We've curated a few of our favorite Halloween hacks in this post, ranging from a Raspberry Pi-controlled pumpkin to a Dracula dark theme for your Terminal.
The Jack o'Lantern can be controlled to change the colors of the LED lights inside the face and a motion sensor triggers a unique lighting sequence for people when they walk by.
Spotify-Powered Halloween Sound Effects
This Halloween Sound Effects using Spotify and Raspberry Pi project uses a Spotify playlist with Halloween sounds to power the hardware hack. Check out the accompanying video to see how it works.
Dracula Dark Theme
Containers are one of the many ways food is shipped to vendors around the globe. The food encounters various types of environmental changes before it reaches the consumer. These environmental changes could impact the quality of the product during the shipment.
Using Twilio’s Narrowband Developer Kit that was distributed at SIGNAL 2018 we will create a full-stack IoT prototype using the U.S. T-Mobile NB-IoT network. NB-IoT is a new radio network technology that has very minimal power requirements meaning devices can connect with a lifespan of 10 years in the wild. This environmental monitor will be used to track the temperature/humidity of a food shipment and infrequently send small packets of data to update a web application.
- Twilio Developer Kit from T-Mobile Narrowband
- Twilio Narrowband SIM
- LTE Antenna
- Micro USB cable
- Lithium Battery
- Seeed Studio Temperature and Humidity sensor
NB-IoT, also known as Narrowband-IoT, is a new cellular technology that promises low cost, low power consumption, wide area coverage and long battery life. These characteristics help make “smart devices” a reality.
T-Mobile has deployed NB-IoT coverage in the United States and Twilio is the first company to provide a NB-IoT developer kit. Twilio’s Alfa Developer Kit features a development board created in collaboration with Seeed Studio. The development board can access the T-Mobile NB-IoT network using a Twilio Narrowband SIM (which comes in the kit). Once on the network, developers can exchange data between multiple NB-IoT kits using the Twilio Breakout SDK.
This post demonstrates how to connect to T-Mobile’s NB-IoT network using Twilio’s Developer Kit. Once connected, we’ll send a “hello world” message over the network using the Breakout SDK. You can also find the the completed project on GitHub under TwilioIoT …
The new MKR family of Arduino boards are going to change the landscape of rapid prototyping IoT solutions. The Arduino MKR GSM 1400 is a great solution for anyone looking to expand the scope of their IoT projects using cellular connectivity. By integrating a modem with a microcontroller a new all-in-one communication solution has started to emerge. This paired with the Twilio Programmable Wireless SIM makes it possible to communicate around the globe using Machine-to-Machine commands. “Things” can now be connected in ways previously impossible with WiFi or Bluetooth.
This tutorial demonstrates how to send a Machine-to-Machine Command from the Arduino MKR GSM 1400 to a server written in Go. When the Machine-to-Machine Command is received server-side an audio file will play a .mp3 saying “hello”. If you want to jump ahead the completed project can be found on the TwilioIoT GitHub.
What is the Arduino MKR GSM 1400? …
When it came to my Grandma 90th birthday I was stumped about what to get her as a gift. She has been a big influence in my life and I wanted to do something that showed that. I knew I wanted to integrate Twilio in some way because when she was younger she was a switchboard operator for Bell Telephone. Then it hit me like a ton of phones. I will create a hardware device with a Programmable Wireless SIM and a Grove Button. When grandma presses the Grove Button a voice call will be routed to her phone and an operator will tell her how much I love her and wish her a happy birthday.
What I needed to send some birthday love
For this project you will need following components:
Following your passion and hard work are things I observed being around family when I was young. My grandfather passed away early in my life but his memory was always visible to me through the pictures hanging on the walls in my grandmother’s house.
One wall had an image of a worn leather boot and him climbing a telephone pole next to it. He, along with other family members, were responsible for putting up telephone lines across the northern part of Massachusetts for Bell Telephone.
Growing up in this environment I was always taught to problem-solve and was encouraged to seek solutions by observing the problem through the eyes of others. From the beginning I was equipped with curiosity and inspired to use it every day.
There were two principles I was told that make the world work: asking "why?" and communication.
As a kid I never …
Communication between the worlds of humans and machines doesn’t need to be apocalyptically hard or prohibitively expensive. In this project, we are going to build a voice call operated garage door opener with an ESP8266 dev board and a relay. In order to stitch all the parts together, we will use our visual workflow builder Studio and Sync for IoT.
Gather the Garage Door Hardware
Our final flow will use an ESP8266 to link your garage door to a communications flow via Sync for IoT. Here’s what you’ll need:
- One Sonoff DEV or Wio Link board.
- One Grove Relay.
- A door actuator unit, which you might have already.
Alternatively, if you are good at soldering …
The Internet of Things certainly has potential – and for some applications it’s even currently performing. Smart farming is one of those fields (pun intended), where always-connected sensors can do better at crop monitoring than any human ever could. Watching moisture levels and other soil metrics is a perfect assignment for low-powered microcontrollers scattered throughout amber waves of grain.
Building a Smart Farm with Arduino, Twilio and Helium
Here in the Bay Area, lot sizes are measured in square footage not acreage – so excuse my diversion into hyperbole. At my house, I have a couple of 3’x6.5’ planter boxes where we grow herbs and root vegetables. Today, we’ll wire up a planter box and build an agricultural monitor using Twilio’s Programmable Wireless and SMS, along with a Helium Element Gateway, Helium Atom Prototyping Module and an Arduino Uno.
On the accessories side, we’ll be using …
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got an entire desk drawer full of hardware dev boards and sensors waiting patiently for a project. (Okay, fine, a garage storage rack.)
That’s why I was so excited when we announced we’re bringing Twilio’s Sync to IoT devices. Sync is Twilio’s real-time state synchronization product, allowing you to persist, update, and check variable state from anywhere the internet is found. We added MQTT over TLS support to Sync, opening up Sync’s super-scalable architecture to many of those aforementioned drawer hardware devices.
If you can’t tell, I’m over the moon at this development. Follow along with this blog post; we’re going to use an Espressif ESP8266 Dev Board, Sync for IoT, the Arduino IDE and billions of electrons to blink an LED from the command line.
Sync-ing Our Capabilities
Sync for IoT is currently in Developer Preview, so you’ll first …
The option we’ll use is the npm module
johnny-five. Johnny-Five isn’t limited to certain hardware but instead supports a wide range of different microcontroller platforms (including the Tessel) using various I/O plug-ins. The only drawback …