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AWS... I-O-Tea

We have seemingly succeeded in stumbling through over 30 little experiments, with a couple of random "projects" to boot. Yet the holy grail of creating a paranoid android that forces Harrison Ford to become uncharacteristically philosophical about what it means to not(?!) be a replicant, seems even more far-fetched now than the plot of a typical Uwe Boll film.

But it hasn't all been in vain.

Because where we have landed is where most other avid tinkerers of microprocessors and electronics eventually end up... a strange (yet vibrant) place where the urge to interconnect sensors and devices far outweighs the actual need. Where it is essential to collect as much arbitrary sensor readings from around the family home as humanly possible, just in case we need to open them up in Excel at some point in the distant future to show the in-laws.

Welcome to a brand new series about IOT: an eclectic collection of curious posts in which we will attempt to do as much as humanly possible, with as little as humanly possible.  Or more precisely, we will be leaving ESP8266 and ESP32 microcontrollers lying precariously around the house to the utter bemusement of the entire household, and get them (devices, not family members) to communicate with the mothership that is AWS IoT.

1Frozen PiCold? How cold? Take DS18B20 temperature readings using a small army of ESP8266 devices, and dispatch them to AWS IoT Core and store them in DynamoDB.
2Have-ocadoWe will attempt to build a cluster using EEPROMs that binds 2 × ESP32 microprocessors in eternal wedlock - all in the name of monitoring some avocados.  Then, we will deservedly spam ourselves with relentless notifications about node events and failures, using AWS Lambda and Simple Email Service (SES).
3Green, green grass of /homeDo your avocados spontaneously combust? Be prepared, using a flame detector, temperature sensor and piezo buzzer. Connected to AWS IoT using ESP32, and Greengrass on Raspberry Pi.
4Quantitative wheezingOver-zealously collect data from multiple temperature, pressure and humidity sensors, and attempt to use AWS IoT Analytics to make sense of it all.
5LoRa-Wan KenobiA long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... we connected an ESP32 running MicroPython to The Things Network LoRaWAN and AWS IoT Core. So ok, it may have actually been April 2019. And the galaxy was most likely the Milkybar Way.
6Soreen seems to be the hardest word Survive a post-apocalyptic landscape without cellular networks. Integrate a U-blox Neo-6 based GPS receiver module with MicroPython on ESP32, and update device coordinates in AWS IoT.
7Ironed curtainsSetup a Raspberry Pi infra-red night-vision camera, and upload the results to AWS S3. To carry out rubbish bin surveillance, of course
820th entry foxAn Ironed Curtains sequel.  Use AWS Rekognition to detect if the animal captured by the Raspberry Pi night-vision camera is of a cat, or a fox. Then, use AWS SES and S3 pre-signed URL to send out a notification.
9Hard graphtUse AWS Elasticsearch Service to store temperature, humidity, pressure and light readings collected by an ESP32. Then use Grafana or Kibana to visualise them.
10Pear Force OneUse AWS IoT Events to monitor the status of Pear Force One. Because Harrison Ford is nowhere to be seen to save the world from certain disaster.



LoRa-Wan Kenobi

In the regurgitated words of Michael BublĂ©: It's a new dawn .  It's a new day .  It's a new Star Wars film .  For me .  And I'm (George Lucas, and I'm) feeling good .  Unfortunately for Canadian Mike, the Grammy that year was won by the novelty disco classic with the famous refrain: We love IoT, even in Planet Tatooine * . *Not true. Clearly, the Star Wars producers didn't sincerely mean the last Jedi the previous time around.  Return of the Jedi, released during the decade that spearheaded cultural renaissance 2.0 with the mullet and hair-metal , was less economic with the truth.  Either way, we're going to take inspiration from the impressive longevity of the money-spinning space-opera and reboot our franchise with some Jedi mind tricks.  Except this particular flick doesn't require an ever-growing cast of unrecognisable characters, unless ASCII or UTF counts.  In place of an ensemble gathering of Hollywood stars and starlets, we will b

Battle of BLEtain

The trolling . The doxing . An army of perplexing emojis. And endless links to the same - supposedly funny - viral video of a cat confusing a reflection from a dangling key for a golden hamster, while taking part in the mice bucket challenge. Has social media really been this immense force for good? Has it actually contributed significantly to the continued enlightenment of the human (or feline) race? In order to answer these poignant existential questions about the role of prominent platforms such as Critter, StinkedIn and Binterest, employing exceptional scientific rigour equal to that demonstrated by Theranos , we're going to set up a ground-breaking experiment using the Bluetooth Low Energy feature of MicroPython v1.12, and two ESP32 development boards with inexplicable hatred for one another.  And let them hurl quintessentially British expressions (others call them abuse) at each other like two Wiltshire residents who have had their internet access curbed by the co

Hard grapht

You would all be forgiven for assuming that bar , pie and queue line are favourite pastimes of the British .  Yet, in fact – yes, we did learn this back in GCSE maths – they are also mechanisms through which meaningless, mundane data of suspect origin can be given a Gok Wan -grade makeover, with the prime objective of padding out biblical 187-page PowerPoint presentations and 871-page Word reports (*other Microsoft productivity tools are available).  In other words, documents that nobody has the intention of ever reading.  But it becomes apparent over the years; this is perhaps the one skill which serves you well for a lifetime in certain careers.  In sales.  Consultancy.  Politics.  Or any other profession in which the only known entry requirement is the ability to chat loudly over a whizzy graph of dubious quality and value, preferably while frantically waving your arms around. Nevertheless, we are acutely conscious of the fact that we have spent an inordinate amount